Meet Dieter Kuijl (CEO)

Dieter Kuijl is a cheese expert, specializing in melted cheese and product technology. He has developed an extensive knowledge of cheese properties and uses his technology and self-developed machines to create almost any desired property and shape of melted cheese without compromising on product quality. He is the CEO of St. Paul, which presents itself as a ‘smart cheese solutions’ provider since 38 years.

Despite coming from a long line of cheese makers, Dieter initially wanted to pursue a career in mechanics and attend automotive school. However, his father expected him to join the family business, which turned out to be a fortuitous decision. Dieter’s passion for technology and his family’s cheese-making heritage led him to start his own cheese factory together with his sister, focusing on processed and melted cheeses.

At that time, knowledge about melted cheeses was limited, and Dieter found it fascinating to explore how to modify the cheese’s properties to create new functional properties such as meltability and shelf life. He delved deeper into the subject, developed new technologies, and modified machines to optimize the process, which became the company’s specialty.

Although he was not initially interested in his parents’ cheese trade, he is now glad he pursued a business degree as it combined with his mechanical interest, enabling him to expand the company. St.Paul now employs around 100 people, with all their close family members working under the same roof.

In the beginning, they focused on the Belgian consumer market, but soon they expanded throughout Europe and identified a growing demand in the food industry, particularly for ready-to-eat meals, cheese snacks and multiple forms of melted cheese solutions.

Dieter’s favorite aspect of the business is still engineering and product innovation, and his technical expertise has helped him to create smart cheese solutions that have made St. Paul a leading player in the cheese industry. His story serves as an inspiration to those who are passionate about pursuing their interests and turning them into successful businesses.

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