Quick Takes: MN Cheese News

by mncheese on August 29, 2013

in American-Midwest,cheese festivals,cheese ventures,Cheese!,Tweets + News

It’s been an exciting summer for the Minnesota cheese community, with cheesemakers Keith Adams (Alemar Cheese Company), Jodi Ohlsen Read and Steven Read (Shepherd’s Way Farms) and Jeff Jirik (Caves at Faribault) taking home three awards from the American Cheese Society Annual Conference and Competition. The fun won’t stop when the weather gets cooler, though. Here are a couple things to look forward to if you’re a cheese lover in Minnesota this fall.

Minnesota Cheese Festival

The second annual Minnesota Cheese Festival is scheduled for Sept. 14-15 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, and if you went last year, expect to see some significant changes. The two-day event will feature timed-ticket entry to avoid last year’s long lines: Buy a ticket for either the morning or afternoon session each day. (No tickets will be sold at the door.) Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for kids ages 2-10 or $65 for VIP access.

Cheese nerds, all your local faves will be there – Alemar, Shepherd’s Way, Caves of Faribault, Holland’s Family Cheese, Singing Hills Goat Dairy and more. I’m hoping to snatch up a Brooklyn Slate cheeseboard and hear from members of the newly formed Minnesota Cheese Guild.

Redhead Creamery Kickstarter Campaign

In case you missed it, Colleen made a big splash at the ACS conference last month moderating a session called “From Fundraising to Friendraising: Leveraging Social Media to Turn Customers Into Investors.” Colleen, along with D.C. cheese shop owner Carolyn Stromberg (Righteous Cheese) and Virgina cheesemaker Gail Hobbs-Page (Caromont Farm), walked attendees through the ins and outs of developing a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for cheese-centric ventures. Little did we know at the time that Minnesota cheesemakers Alise and Lucas Sjostrom, who were in the audience, were about to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise capital for their new operation, Redhead Creamery.

I haven’t had the opportunity to meet Alise and Lucas in person, but they’ve been long-time supporters of C+C, and we’re thrilled to cheer them on as they bring artisan aged cheddar to Minnesota’s cheese-making pedigree. Funds raised in the campaign will help construct the Sjostroms’ new cheese plant and equipment, as Alise explains in her video. Consider supporting them by making a pledge.

New Cheese Shop Planned for Stillwater

Cheese blogger Chris Kohtz from Wedge in the Round is about to add “cheese shop owner” to his resume! As reported by my Heavy Table colleague, Chris is planning to open The Wedge & Wheel in Stillwater, a town on the eastern side of the Twin Cities metro on the St. Croix River. It’s an area sorely lacking an artisan cheese shop, and I’m eager to check out Chris’ selection to see if he’ll have any area exclusives. Stillwater is at least 45 minutes from my house (on a good day), so I won’t be abandoning my regular Minneapolis shops, of course, but it’ll be nice to have a relatively close cheese road-trip destination. And Stillwater also has an ice cream shop known for its gigantic cones, so double dairy bonus for making the drive!

We welcome updates and reader tips on Minnesota cheese news (and from all other states, too!). Send an email to mncheese (at) gmail (dot) com.

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