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Pine River was founded by the Lindemann family, whom has been in the dairy trade in Wisconsin since the 19th century when Herman Lindemann, settled in Liberty Township not far from the current Pine River plant. He emigrated from Prussia in 1870, and established his dairy farm on 155 acres of pristine woodland in 1886.  


Gustav Lindemann left the family farm to earn his Dairy Certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s College of Agriculture in 1895 where he studied under the famed Dr. Stephen Babcock. Considered a pioneer in the cheese and butter industry, he co-founded Northern Wisconsin Produce Co. in Manitowoc, WI in 1907. The new company assembled, warehoused and sold Wisconsin cheese nationwide.

Gustav’s son, Oscar E. Lindemann joined in 1918, helping to expand the business to include cold storage and merchandising of cheese, butter, eggs and poultry. Like his father, he was a Director-Member of the Wisconsin Cheese Exchange in Plymouth, Wisconsin, and was also a Licensed Wisconsin Cheese Grader.


Philip C. Lindemann incorporated Pine River Pre-Pack independently from his father in 1963. Besides packaging natural cuts of cheese, his new company began making Cold Pack Cheese Food using his own special recipe. Being a Licensed Wisconsin Cheese Grader, he always selected the best cheese for his Cold Pack blends. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he experimented with innovative flavors and new packaging technology to keep the product fresher and more convenient to use. In 1996, he registered the domain name


Philip A. Lindemann and Barth M. Lindemann joined the company in the 1970s. In 1983, Pine River became a supplier to the fundraising industry, helping our cheese spreads gain a national presence. Under Philip and Barth’s leadership, Pine River underwent numerous upgrades and expansions, including construction of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, allowing the company to double its production. In 2017, Philip and his team, in response to market trends, developed the industry’s first line of Clean Label Cheddar-Based Cheese Spreads. In 2023, Philip A. and Barth officially retired from Pine River after decades of building the most awarded cheese spread in the world.


A New Generation

The tradition of excellence and quality at Pine River continues with its four new partners:  (left to right) Ian R. Behm, Scott M. Caliebe, and Cory J. Meyer and Chauncey N. Behm.  Since 2009, the team has been learning and growing the business. From modernizing the food safety systems to elevating the company’s national presence, this partnership is building upon Pine River’s foundation of excellence promising the quality, award-winning products consumers expect for years to come. 

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