Sunshine Coast cheese pany named one of Australia's best

WOOMBYE Cheese Company is known for producing some of the best cheese around, but it is about a lot more than that.

For owner Karen Paynter, it is a way of remembering her late husband Graeme and continuing his legacy.

The couple started the business in 2013 as a passion project, with Graeme sadly passing away from cancer two years ago.

Karen and her sister Sandra have continued running the business in his memory, and with the help of cheese maker Stefan Wilson, the company has now been named a finalist in the 2018 Australian Grand Dairy Awards in the washed /mixed rind category for their Woombye Cheese Washed Rind.

Sunshine Coast cheese pany named one of Australia's best

FAMILY BUSINESS: Sisters Karen Paynter and Sandra Cadby from Woombye Cheese. Contributed

The Australian Grand Dairy Awards are Australia's most prestigious national dairy awards and the highest recognition for any Australian dairy producer.

Mrs Paynter said it had taken a lot of time and hard work to get the cheese perfect.

"Stefan and Graeme tweaked around with it a lot, and we did too, so it's a real testament that it's not the easiest to make but it is a sentimental favourite," she said.

"To have it in this nomination for such a prestigious award is fantastic, we are really happy and proud.

"It has been hard, but things like this make it really worthwhile."

Karen and Graeme began planning the Woombye Cheese Company while living in Singapore and working in law and sales respectively.

Mrs Paynter said Graeme had undertaken the cheese-making as a semi-retirement plan.

"To this day I don't know how he convinced me!", she said.

"But we found the property at Woombye, he did the business plan and sourced equipment and milk and did a five day cheese making course.

"The first batch he did was Camembert and it was fantastic.... and the rest is history."