Did your New Year's resolution(s) involve opening a cheese shop? If so, then this is for you: Food by Hand Seminars announces an intensive course for food entrepreneurs - Becoming a Cheesemonger. The five day program will take place June 15-20th, 2009 on the campus of the University of Portland in Portland, Oregon.
"Interest in artisan foods is growing tremendously in the United States," says Heidi Yorkshire, director of Food by Hand Seminars. "But selling those foods is a craft in itself. European shopkeepers are connoisseurs of their products and have wonderful skills like how to age cheese, or how to cut meats for the demanding home cook."
The problem comes, she points out, when a novice wants to break into the business. "If someone wanted to learn those skills in Europe, they could sign on for an apprenticeship at a local shop. Unfortunately, few Americans have that option. These classes are intended as a kind of advanced apprenticeship, a way to learn the core skills."
The cheesemonger seminar will take place over a five day period and will be taught by instructors including expert local cheesemonger Steve Jones, who has extensive experience in all sides of the cheese business. Additional elements of the course include developing a business plan, working with distributors, developing a retail environment and financing - all skills critical to becoming a cheesemonger. "We'll also eat lots of good food and taste wines and beers with cheeses," notes Yorkshire.
Heidi Yorkshire is a food and wine writer with 25 years of experience in the business, and is currently restaurant reviewer for the Willamette Week in Portland. She knows a bit about cheese herself: several years ago, she explored the possibility of starting a cheesemaking operation in the Portland area. While the business plan didn't end up penciling out the process was, in effect, her own extended seminar on the world of making and selling cheese. Becoming a Cheesemonger is a great opportunity to learn from pros like Yorkshire, Jones and others who really know what they're talking about.
The Becoming a Cheesemonger course costs $2299 and the fee includes instruction, meals and tastings as well as accommodations at the University of Portland. For more information or to register contact:
Heidi Yorkshire Food by Hand Seminars 503-335-3155 heidi -at-foodbyhandseminars-dot-com