Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory - Business Matters - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory - Business Matters

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YAZOO CITY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Thanks to a Mississippi company, a southern snack can be found all over the world. Considering this snack is a favorite in Christmas gift baskets it is very busy at the Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory in Yazoo City. 

To fulfill holiday orders it is all hands on deck at the factory making these so-called southern hors d'oeuvres.  Baking cheese straws is a long time tradition especially for the family of MS Cheese Straw president Hunter Yerger.

"Old southern cooks would take the left over biscuit dough in the morning, they'd throw in cheddar cheese and cayenne pepper, roll it out long and thin, and then they would bake it," Yerger explained.

Yerger's mom, Bunkie Yerger, knew that recipe well, and as a retirement project she enlisted the help of her sons Hunter and Ronny Yerger to start the cheese straw factory in 1991.

Their first batches were made right in "mom's kitchen", but now they bake an average of 5,000 lbs. of cheese and cookie straws a day in their 35,000 square foot facility.

"It's very humbling to think that we started in mother's kitchen and now we're effectively in 10, 12, 15,000 stores nationwide and also in stores in Canada and some in Europe," Yerger said.

While he is humbled by that thought Yerger recalled not taking a paycheck from the company in its first three years.  Then in 1994 came the moment he said they realized the company was about to really start cooking.

"We had to actually go buy a used forklift to be able to load the McRae's truck, so that we could ship their first order," Yerger said.

In the nearly 20 years since they have put a lot of miles on their forklift giving the rest of the country and the world a taste of Mississippi and southern culture.

Their products started with the traditional cheddar cheese straws.  Now, their catalogue has 11 flavors including variety of cheese and cookie straws.

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