Made in Eastern Iowa: WW Homestead Dairy and Sidwell's Hot Fudge

By Ashley Hinson, Anchor/Reporter

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By Ashley Hinson

In Allamakee County, two dairies have merged their milk, all with the goal of making udderly good dairy products. Tom Weighner and Tom Walleser both have about hundred cows apiece, just north of Waukon.

For a year now, with another partner and the help of family members, they've been using their milk to make fresh products at the WW
Homestead Dairy.

"It's super fresh. We know every single cow that it comes from,” says Weighner. "We do fresh cheese curds, we are starting to do cheddar cheese, we have 30 flavors of ice cream, and we do a creamline non-homogenized pasteurized milk."

The day we stopped by? Cheese curd day. They make curds three days a week. They’re popular at local restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, and for those stopping by their dipping station and storefront in Waukon.

And an interesting fact we learned while stopping by? "The only difference between the white and yellow cheese curds, is food coloring,” says Weighner. “There's absolutely no difference other than food coloring."

It's a tight knit group that makes the dairy and creamery run. 5 full timers, 6 part timers, and more than 12 at the dairies themselves ( plus Tom and Tom.)

And they've worked hard to develop relationships with local businesses. The WW Products power much of the student body at Luther College with their dairy products. Weighner says "They also buy cheese curds, and they buy pints of ice cream to sell in their C store."

Fresh from the Farm, WW Homestead is milking the market now one year strong.

And to "top" off your ice cream, of course you need some hot fudge! Dave Sidwell came from a long line of dairy farmers himself.
His family started in dairy in the 1800's, switched to ice cream, and then got out in the late 50's.

The North Liberty resident brought back his love of a sundae himself with Sidwell’s Gourmet Hot Fudge.

“This is an old recipe. We rescued it and massaged it a little bit just because of the new products that are available now as chocolate cocoa powder," says Dave Sidwell.

The ingredients are simple. He wouldn't reveal his exact concoction, but says he starts with Cocoa Powder, and a 100% Chocolate product, then adds ingredients.

"Milk, cream, sugar, and butter, and those are all the ingredients."

Sidwells gourmet hot fudge is now sold in shops across the country, including many groceries in Eastern Iowa. And it's a health food...

"It's dark chocolate so it's healthy for you. It's high in antioxidants," says Sidwell.

Well maybe a "mental" health food.

From the WW Homestead Dairy in Waukon, to Sidwell’s Gourmet Hot Fudge in North Liberty, it's all proudly made in Eastern Iowa.

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