|▲ CEO Lee Sung-chu, Yang Hae-sook|
1974, the current CEO Lee Sung-chul’s father opened Morning Smile Ranch on Jeju Island. From the humble start, the ranch has grown today to be a field where people, especially children, visit and try feeding the cows and making dairy goods such as ice cream, cheese and a choice of pizza. In 2008, the ranch was recognized as an eco-friendly activity-based ranch by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Lee majored in dairy management and has read more than 6,000 dairy related books. Despite his huge knowledge and experience in the field, he came to realize that running a ranch is different part of the area from having the knowledge. So he decided to close the ranch but no one turned up to show interest.
In search of breakthrough, his wife Yang Hae-sook started to learn cheese making in 2004. After three years in 2007, her naturally made cheese won the gold prize at the Korea Natural Cheese Contest. The winning continued to the grand prize at a competition in the modified milk category, the New Intellectual Famer Awards, and the citation from the National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service. The ranch also obtained HACCP and Lohas Excellence.
Morning Smile Ranch uses milk squeezed from 80 cows to make fresh milk, handmade yogurt, string cheese and mozzarella ball cheese. The products are sold at its homepage and Post K Mall and are being supplied to 18 Hyundai Department Stores nationwide, emart, NH Hanaro Mart and a number of hospitals.
Ranch activities are run on booking or the time of the visit but a group of more than 10 people must book in advance. When asked about future plan, the two couple CEOs firmly said that they wish to grow this family business to last over 100 years through differentiation and cooperation with other ranches on the island.
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