Just 8 months short of its 20th anniversary, Tomales Bay Foods and Cowgirl Creamery, Petaluma, Calif., announced plans to merge with Emmi Roth USA, a Monroe, Wis.-based subsidiary of Switzerland-based Emmi Group.

“Continuing support for the excellent organic dairies, the artisan cheesemakers that we have worked with over the years, growth opportunities for our team and the legacy and growth of our companies were of the utmost importance to us,” said co-founders Sue Conley and Peggy Smith in a press release.“We felt with great confidence that we have found a like-minded, value-aligned partner in Emmi, and indeed one who will be instrumental in securing the future of the business.”

Conley and Smith willcontinue to maintain involvement with the companies, serving as president and vice president, respectively. Tomales Bay Foods and Cowgirl Creamery will also continue to operate with the same commitment to organic and sustainable agriculture out of Marin and Sonoma Counties.

This merger also allows Cowgirl Creamery and Tomales Bay Foods access to expertise in traditional European cheesemaking techniques, as well as opportunities to collaborate on equipment, innovation, food safety, waste management and alternative energy.

“We have worked with and admired Emmi for some time,” added Conley and Smith. “They maintain high standards of quality, show strong support for time-honored cheesemaking techniques, have a strong commitment to local dairies and have created an enlightened work environment.”