About us

Our cheese

We are a small internationally acclaimed artisan cheese producer that makes some of New Zealand’s finest soft cheese.  We source top quality, export standard certified organic, milk from a local farm milking Ayrshire cows. Our cheese is made on the same day it is milked, and because we only use the milk from one herd we have total control over quality from beginning to end.

We pick up the milk early in the morning, as the cows are being milked and it is in our pasteuriser within an hour of leaving the cow.

Our fresh organic milk is batch pasteurised, which is a very gentle method of pasteurisation.  We believe the way we treat our milk throughout the process is reflected in the quality of our cheese. We use non-animal rennet and all our cheese is handmade and aged on site.

You are most welcome to visit our factory in Whangarei, Northland to watch us making cheese.  We usually have a selection of cheeses to taste and you can also buy our cheese on the premises.

Meet the Northland cheesemaker who won a major award for his Kau Piro

Watch a feature on Seven Sharp about our inspirational cheesemaker

Watch this Channel North Video about Grinning Gecko Cheese.

About us

James and Catherine McNamara

We were both raised in Whangarei, Northland and live on a small lifestyle block at Whangarei Heads. Our love of nature combined with our passion for cheese led us to ditch our day jobs and embark on a new venture.

Because of the prevalence of dairy farming in New Zealand, and the impact it has on the environment it was important to us to make our cheese only from certified organic milk.

The name grinning gecko and the company brand was inspired by the green geckos that live in the manuka and kanuka on our property.

Seeing these beautiful creatures up close is truly amazing. It serves as a reminder of the diversity that exists beyond the rush of our daily lives; and what could be destroyed by a few careless generations. – Catherine McNamara