Frenchman, Cheese & Love Story

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While walking down the slope of a nondescript village Dhagogi on Naldhera-Mashobra road in Himachal Pradesh, there is a chance that one may come across a humble cheese factory, run by a Frenchman. Thousands of tourists, who travel down this scenic route, tend to miss the small signboard of Amiksa Cheese but those who reach there, bound to feel lost in the wonderland of cheeses.

Bishan Kumar & Shalini Kumar, who were holidaying in Mashobra valley recently. Oncetheycameacrossa signboard saying Amiksa Cheese, their heightened powers of observation and passion for finding new vistas to uncover led them to a small village on Baldeyan-Mashobra road where they found the hidden gem.


They were fascinated to learn that a Frenchman, François Laederich and his Assamese wife, Debarati, took a life changing decision to move to the Himalayas from the coast of South India to set up an artisanal cheese factory. Inspired by the fresh mountain air, gurgling brooks and miles of undulating meadows, they decided to make Himachal Pradesh their home and make use of its bountiful offerings to make artisanal cheese!

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Once inside Amiksa Cheese’s humble unit we saw François busy packing a sizeable number of cheese packets for a Delhi-bound cheese lover. Waiting for him to get free, we sat down outside and admired the serenity around this Frenchman’s novel project. Passing the time, we scanned through Amiksa Cheese website and found that Amiksa in Sanskrit means cheese curds.


Once we got our turn to enter the shop, we got to learn about the variety of cheeses he was making, bought five-six varieties of cheeses, and was really impressed by the quality of his artisanal cheese products. Fascinated by history, we decided to interview him on a later date to which he readily agreed to.

Recounting his story, François says he was born and raised in Paris and was trained in the art of cheese making in Aurillac, located in the Auvergne Rhône- Alpes region of France. His expertise in French cheese making, fascination towards caseiculture, abundance of milk and inspiration from the sheer beauty and culture of Himachal Pradesh did amalgamate to fuel his passion to make a variety of cheeses, which are unique in character and taste. François has been continually innovating and developing his techniques to bring forth diverse and organic varieties of cheeses for the Indian market.