The Good Food Awards launches its fourth year with a call for entries to American food producers across the nation, representing the best in tasty, authentic and responsible foods. Categories include: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, oils, pickles, preserves, and spirits. Entries are judged at a blind tasting with 150 food movement leaders. Entry period is open July 1-31 at www.goodfoodawards.org ($60 fee to cover cost of storing, sorting and transporting the entries). New and renewing members of the Good Food Merchants Guild receive one free entry.
Last night Maine Things Considered broadcast a story about the new wave of Maine cheese makers by reporter Jennifer Mitchell featuring soundbutes from Caitlin and myself. (I gave Mitchell several other names of people that she should talk with, but I’m not sure what happened with that).
In the broadcast piece I told a story about the cheese making history of Monroe, where I live, which she included in the broadcast piece, and after I got home from the interview I dug out a copy of the oral history that had been passed along to me when I started my cheese business in Monroe. I went ahead and typed it up and posted it to the Guild web site so anyone else can learn about “Skipper Cheese.”
Our June meeting took place in Whitefield at Barred Owl Creamery on Monday, June 17th from 10am to 2pm. We had a long discussion about marketing focus for the Cheese Guild moving forward. We invited a representative to the Maine Dairy Promotion Board to explain how they focus on promoting Maine dairy products, and to offer comments on the Guild’s experiences from the past and ideas for the future. A couple of key questions came up:
–Who are are present customers? How do we reach them?
–How do we reach other customers?
We discussed work that is needed on the Guild web site, on our printed materials, as well as in participating in events around that state that would benefit from adding cheese makers, as well as creating our own Guild events similar to the Open Creamery Day in October, and possibly resurrecting our Maine Cheese Festival event.
Please post your ideas on this issue here to continue this conversation.