Gay Lea Foods purchases Alberta Cheese Company

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Gay Lea Foods Co-operative has purchased Calgary’s Alberta Cheese Company.

Alberta Cheese was founded by master cheese maker Frank Talarico in 1976 and has remained in the Talarico family for the past 40 years. It makes traditional Italian cheeses under the popular Franco’s and Sorrento brands, as well as the importation and distribution of cheese and other food products from around the world.

Gay Lea Foods intends to maintain full operations at the Alberta Cheese plant and preserve all relationships with existing Alberta Cheese customers, suppliers and employees. Alberta Cheese has 28 employees.

Headquartered in Mississauga, Ont., Gay Lea Foods is the largest dairy co-operative in Ontario, with members on more than 1,300 dairy farms, more than 4,000 members in total, and more than 950 employees.

Talarico said the sale opens “an exciting next chapter for Alberta Cheese.”

“My family’s legacy becomes part of another family — one that shares our principles, and our commitment to quality and service,” he said.

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