Cream of the Crop

OUTdrive Episode 137 with Michael Hemme

OUTdrive Episode 137 with Michael Hemme

A key component of marketing and sales rests in the people behind the product or service. As a marketing agency based in rural America, we love a good story, especially if it has local roots and ties to agriculture. Today’s episode has all three components. I sat down with Michael Hemme to talk about his family’s business, Hemme Brothers Farmstead Creamery.

Michael is one of the family members behind Hemme Brothers in Sweet Springs, Missouri. They specialize in making delicious, small-batch, handcrafted cheeses. The creamery was founded in 2016, but the family’s farming roots stretch back over 25 years, initially raising pigs before transitioning to the dairy business. Because of their life-long experience in raising crops and livestock, Hemme Brothers opted for a vertically integrated business model, which means they control the process “from crop to cream to curd.” If you live in Missouri, you may have seen their products in grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and even wineries.

Tune into this episode to learn how the Hemme Brothers create a product and operate a business “that’s better from the beginning.”


  • 2:00 – Michael shares his background growing up on a dairy farm and how they transitioned into the creamery business
  • 5:30 – How the Hemme Brothers’ operation and responsibilities are broken down among the family members
  • 7:00 – Why the Hemme family decided to go with a vertically integrated approach to their business, controlling the product from crop to curd
  • 10:00 – Michael talks about their products and the challenges of producing and selling cheese
  • 11:45 – Michael outlines all the ways they distribute their products and where consumers can buy Hemme Brothers cheese
  • 13:45 – Some of the ways they take their product to market and share the Hemme Brothers’ story
  • 17:40 – Michael shares what his typical day looks like and how it changes seasonally
  • 21:30 – Michael shares what he thinks makes Hemme Brothers cheese different from other products
  • 22:45 – What Michael loves about rural America and living in the country
  • 26:00 – Michael’s advice for how people can support farmers and people in agriculture