Marketing cheese to restaurants

For the first time ever I have a surplus of cheese after the fair. My plan is working – upping production so now I need to find other markets. I still do not think I want to do farmers markets but would like to explore the restaurant scene. Do any of you sell to them? How does it work? I would love to hear your individual experiences, thoughts, suggestions etc

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  1. What seems to be most important (in my limited experience selling to restaurants and chefs are personal relationships and hand selling. Some chefs WILL go out to favorite farmers markets and buy cheese there, but most are SO busy that even if they know about your cheese and like it very much you need to put the cheese in front of them before they will consider buying it. Therefore it helps to routinely visit restaurants at times when they are not busy (3pm or 4pm often) and tell them what you’ve got, ideally with some samples to taste. In my experience they will never call you and order something directly.

  2. I agree with Eric – you have to contact the chefs directly and in person and stay on them. Alternatively, you can go through a distributor. Jasmine, dairy buyer from Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods, is looking to increase their offerings of Maine cheese. You can contact her at
    Good luck!

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