1908 — Local Minnesota farmers gather in Bongards, Minnesota to form a Co-op Creamery. They purchase land for the future site for $233.
1909 — Operations begin with cream and butter production, at the creamery’s first facility in Bongards, Minnesota.
1942 — The original creamery expands, adding an office, R&D lab, another cheese-making room, new equipment and a refrigerated storeroom.
1944 — Bongards celebrates its first $1 million dollar year, producing over 3 million pounds of cheese.
1946 — Bongards expands production by acquiring the East Union Creamery, and enters the dry whey protein market.
1948 — The co-op acquires the Green Isle Creamery.
1949 — Bongards is hailed as “one of the world’s largest cheese factories,” with nearly half a million pounds of daily milk capacity.
1958 — Bongards celebrates its 50th anniversary.
1968 — The co-op introduces the first automated continuous cheese making system. It’s capable of converting 1.5 million pounds of milk into 150,000 pounds of cheese — Cheddar, Colby and Monterey Jack — and 85,000 pounds of whey every day.
1969 — An explosion, likely due to a gas buildup, destroys two creamery building and damages several others.
1978 — Bongards begins experimenting with flavor infusions, including smoked cheeses and Monterey Jack with bacon. The company now processes up to 1.75 million pounds of milk daily.
1983 — Capacity increased through installation of a state-of-the-art cheese vat built in Sweden — the first of its kind in the U.S.
1984 — Bongards now offers 10 varieties of cheese, plus butter and whey.
1988 — Co-op celebrates Jack Budahn’s 50-year anniversary as manager of Bongard's Creameries.
1999 — Bonnie the Cow is featured in “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” a movie featuring scenes shot in Minnesota.
2003 — Bongards buys Perham, Minnesota cheese and whey manufacturing facility.
2005 — Current President & CEO Keith Grove joins Bongards.
2007 — Bongards’ Paul Wendt is named 2007 Cheddar Block Cheesemaking Champion by the Upper Midwest Dairy Association.
2008 — Bongards celebrates 100th anniversary in business.
2010 — Commodity processing program is offered to K-12 schools, pilot plant opens and Bongards buys Humboldt, Tennessee manufacturing facility.
2013 — New headquarters opens in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
Today — After more than 100 years in business, Bongards is now serving more customers and delighting more consumers than ever before!