Žuža Brence Konc

More than three decades ago, Žuža moved from her native Prekmurje to the Poljane valley, switching from urban life to working on the farm, from playing the piano to brandishing cheesemaking tools. Somewhere along the way, she also started riding a motorcycle.

The story of our farm and cheese dairy would not have started without Žuža.

Ever since Milan’s parents passed the farm on to the young couple, she has put her heart and soul into developing “something more”.

When people ask her what brought her to the Poljane valley, she usually smiles and replies that, even back then, there were bus connections. The real reason why she moved here was – of course – love. The farm youth association from the Poljane valley organized a field trip to Hungary. When a young interpreter entered a bus full of young people, fate brought her together with Milan.

We are still proud and in awe whenever she tells us about the very beginnings – a period full of plans and enthusiasm, but nevertheless extremely challenging and laborious.

 

As there were no small, private cheese dairies in Slovenia at the time, it was difficult to obtain information and knowledge. Thus, Žuža decided to take a course in Switzerland soon after the idea of starting a cheese dairy had come true. She returned to Gorenja vas full of new knowledge and experience, and started making the first wheels of cheese in the kitchen, using an improvised cheese vat and a gas burner.

It is impossible to count all the vats of milk and wheels of cheese that have passed through her hands since then, let alone the occasions when things went slightly awry and she had to muster the will and motivation to continue. An immense amount of knowledge, energy and work has been needed to get us where we are today.

Although developing a family business has been a huge part of her life, Žuža is much more than a cheesemaker.

 

Whenever she finds the time, she likes to take off her boots and cheesemaker’s apron, and put on more sporty clothes. Since she moved to Gorenjska, she has grown fond of mountains. She enjoys hiking, mountain climbing and skiing. The latter has been her forte recently, and we have to admit she has really mastered it.

Everyone in our family is rather talkative, and thanks to Žuža, we can understand and communicate with locals even when travelling abroad – her mother tongue is Hungarian and she is fluent in Serbo-Croatian, Italian and German. When the need arises, she can also communicate in English and a little bit in French.

Driving has never posed her any difficulties, be it a car, a van, or even a tractor. Unsurprisingly, when she started riding a motorcycle together with Milan, she soon discovered that riding pillion will not be enough for her.

No matter the circumstances, she has always managed to make time for her family.

Things have not always been easy and rosy, so we are grateful for your determination and dedication! We are proud of everything you have created and will do our best to continue the story you have started for future generations.