My family came from the Drama district of Thessaloniki, during the population exchange of the Lausanne Treaty, first to Aydın, then to Harmanlı Village - its name was Kirmikir then- of Karacabey. My father, Celaleddin Yılmaz, became a member of the village council within two years, then was elected head of the village and served for 17 years.
A respectable man and a reputable administrator, my father was engaged in animal husbandry, in addition to farming.
Because of our livestock business and the fact that my father was the village headman, we had a friendship and business relationship with the owner of a large dairy in Bursa. My father was helping him out with his business around the region, and provided milk for his dairy farm located in our village.
This person called my father from Bursa in 1958 and asked him to bid at the Karacabey Stud Farm tender on his behalf.
My father deposited the 25 thousand liras of temporary collateral and we were then invited to the tender. On the day of the tender, my father and I went to the stud farm and secured the tender at the end of a long and challenging negotiation process. The next day, while my father was working at his office, the phone rang at around 11:00 AM. Whatever the other party said on the phone, my father got very angry and he got angrier as he spoke. In the end, he put down the phone after saying "I′m Celaleddin from Kirmikir, man! I never go back on my word!"
My father′s friend, who had asked him to participate in the tender, no longer wanted to buy the milk and decided to let go of the collateral. He said that he′d pay the collateral that my father has deposited on his behalf. But my father couldn′t cope with going back on his word, even if it was on someone else′s behalf. He thought that he wouldn′t be able to explain the situation to the Karacabey Stud Farm′s managers, to the people of Karacabey, to his wife and friends, and decided to do whatever was necessary for the contract.
According to the terms of the tender, we had to buy 4 tons of milk every day for a year. But we didn’t have the money, we had no containers, neither the masters nor the apprentices. However, there was no other way, Celalettin of Kirmikir would have to buy four tons of milk starting the next day.
My father was a bit familiar with dairy farm business. We restarted a friend’s dairy that was closed down and called in the masters. At the time, cheese was made from sheep milk and people were used to that taste. We started thinking, “so what do we do with 4 tons of cow milk?”. At the end, we decided to produce kashkaval cheese. At the time, our name was "Yılmaz Kaşarları" our logo YK.
ESTABLISHMENT OF SÜTAŞ
It was 1974. At the time, efforts to establish joint-stock compaines were widespread in Turkey.
At the time, I was working at the foundation of Karacabey Commodity Exchange. The exchange commissary Mr. Metin, whom I′ve met on this occasion, encouraged me to establish a joint-stock company. With much enthusiasm, we established the company in 1975 and named it Sütaş.
Our goal was to become dairymen and be the only one..
(This story was compiled from the interview made with Sadık Yılmaz by Yılmaz Akkılıç, a senior journalist in Bursa, in June 2002 issue of Bursa Defteri Magazine)