Grate Expectations: Farm Employs Camshelving to Carefully Age Cheese


Camshelving® Premium and Elements Series are built to withstand the toughest applications in foodservice. Durable, embedded with anti-microbial Camguard and designed with 750 lbs. weight-bearing capacity per mobile unit, there are few jobs Camshelving Premium and Elements Series can’t do. Arethusa Farm produces nine types of cheese at their dairy plant in Bantam, Conn., including their Karlie’s Gratitude Camembert and Tapping Reeve Natural Rind Cheddar, both of which took Best of Class in their categories at the 2020 World Championship Cheese Contest in Wisconsin.

Arethusa Farm began making cheese in 2011, and after a few years of perfecting the process, they decided their epoxy-coated metal shelving wasn’t performing to their satisfaction. After looking at their options, Arethusa Farm outfitted their dairy plant with both Camshelving Premium Series and Elements Series units. Thanks to shelf plates made with antimicrobial properties and easy-to-clean composite plastic, Benham feels confident aging some of their cheeses directly on their Camshelving units.

“We have an environment with a lot of reasonably corrosive cleaners and then just the cheese environment in general is pretty acidic and pretty salty. I’m often taking cheese out of a big brine tank or cheese that’s been freshly salted and putting it right on the shelving and we found that the Cambro Premium [Camshelving] in particular has held up really, really well to that,” said Matt Benham, Cheesemaker at Arethusa Farm. “We haven’t had any cheese with product corrosion whereas we were finding that rust and corrosion with the products we were using before.”

Benham and his staff utilize their mobile Camshelving Premium Series units to safely and securely transport cheeses that need to be physically moved through each step. For cheeses that are in their final resting place, Benham uses their Camshelving Elements Series.

Arethusa Farms 3“Early in the cheese making process, we have fresh unaged wheels of cheese that we are moving from place to place through a series of different rooms in the production process. The Premium [Camshelving] is really helpful in that regard because it is so sturdy and we find it to be very easy to clean compared to other comparable products on the market,” said Benham.

Shelf plates easily wipe clean or fit through a commercial dishwasher, allowing Arethusa Farm to ensure their shelving is effectively sanitized before its next use.

“One thing that we really like about it is the way in which it locks together rather than there being a lot of hardware involved,” said Benham. “When we’re between using it for different batches of cheese, we want to make sure that we get it cleaned really effectively. We can actually dismantle the rack piece by piece as needed, clean all of those grooves that hold the rack together and that’s really helpful.”

Both Camshelving Premium and Elements Series mobile units have a weight-bearing capacity of 750 lbs. Benham estimates each of their Camshelving units handle an average of 500 lbs. of cheese.

“While this is not the least expensive option on the market for sure, it is one that I feel strongly that has a really good value for its utility and durability, which is why we continue to use it and keep buying more. It’s held up very well to the demanding environment that we put it through and we wear our stuff pretty hard,” said Benham. “I feel very fortunate that we found [Camshelving] when we did because I think that it’s probably saved us a lot of time and effort in the long run and certainly that hygienic ability aspect of it has been a great benefit to us as well.”

Camshelving is a necessity for foodservice operations of all kinds. Thanks to a lifetime guarantee against rust and corrosion and exceptional durability, Camshelving Premium and Elements Series are built to withstand the toughest demands in the foodservice industry. Contact your Cambro rep to get started on your free Camshelving design consultation today.


Leave a Reply