The Friday Gathering, a massive migraine and the quest to stay hydrated were all part of my Friday while I was in Quebec. I woke up at 4:30 AM to start my day, the room was pitch black and it was still too bright for my eyes. I had a massive migraine and had to go back to bed. I was not too happy because I wanted to make cheese and help out with the Friday Gathering at the Fromagerie, and Chef Shufelt was cooking smash burgers on a woodfired grill. How could I miss it, how could I miss a day of cheesemaking?Read More
Every once and a while an opportunity comes along that you just cannot pass up. So, when I had the opportunity to travel to Sainte-Élizabeth de Warwick, in Quebec and visit Jean Morin and his team at Fromagerie du Presbytère, it was so easy to say “Yes!” I am always trying to increase my cheese making knowledge and skill base, this would be an excellent trip to learn from people who have been making award-winning cheese and have their processes down to both a science and an art form. There would be a few events I would get to help out with as well as a few chances to spend the day making cheese.
We arrived in Sainte-Élizabeth de Warwick, after about 8 hours of travel, it was late at night and the town was quiet. The trip’s organizer, Jeff Nonay, had been to the Fromagerie several times. He is friends with the owner, so he was able to show me around the outside of the buildings before calling it a night.
Years ago I contacted the American Cheese Society to see if I could become a member. At the time the only option open to me was to become a “Cheese Enthusiast” member, now flash forward several years and I am now a full “Industry” member and I attended my first conference and brought home an award for one of my cheeses.
Every time I sit down to type out a blog post I get side tracked with a customer order, an email from my business partner or I am just too tired to type. They are good distractions to have from a business point of view, but not so much for the people who have been loyally waiting for an update on my Travels along the Winding Road. When I started this blog all those years ago under the name of “Pop-tarts and Schnitzel” who would have thought my rambles about food would turn to cheese making, to Much To Do About Cheese; now to being the cheese maker/co-owner of Winding Road Artisan Cheese. It is funny what journeys life will take you on.
Wow, where has the time gone? It has been 5 months since we started production at Winding Road Artisan Cheese and almost a year since we first were offered the opportunity to buy the facility. It has been a whirl wind of a five months, with an inclined learning curve and some lessons learned. We finally have our website up and running. I will be “tweaking” it here and there over the next few weeks when I can, mainly to add places where you can get our cheese. There is much more to share, but be sure to click on the picture of the webpage to go to Windingroadcheese.com. Read More
Marketing, determining costs per kilogram, tracking sales, inventory of product and supplies; these are all things that never crossed my mind when I was in my kitchen making one or two wheels of this or that, going on about how, if I could do this for a living I would in a heart beat! Dreams have become reality and the learning curve is steep but worth every step. I am blessed with a great business partner who not only is a friend but has become a mentor for the business side of things. I am learning that these items are important to bring our cheese to market and still be able to pay the bills, without his advice and collaboration I think things would not have gone as well as it has been.
I recently had a friend, who is a photographer, come out and do some promo pictures of me and more importantly of the cheese, so all the pictures in this post come from Ernest at Studio-E Photography in Edmonton.
It has been a long and winding road to get to this point in my cheese making journey, as of this past Monday, we have passed all our licensing inspections and we can now start making cheese. As I type this I am waiting for my first milk delivery of 400 litres of Organic Milk. Next week we up the delivery to 1000 litres. I am blessed in the fact that my long-suffering cheese widow wife has supported me through this transition from Government/Union employee to Professional Cheese Maker. I hope to be updating the blog more often about my first steps into Cheesetopia.
I want to thank everyone who has supported this page while I have prepared for this transition. We are working on getting a website setup for our Company and my blog will be made part it as well.
Lets Make Cheese!