The premise of the Formaggio Kitchen Cheese of the Month Club is pretty simple – each month, I pick a selection of cheeses to mail out to club members across the country. At the heart of the program is our love of sharing our favorite cheeses with customers passionate enough to sign up for our regular deliveries. For most, this means three different cheeses per month and for Connoisseur Club members, it’s four cheeses and a pairing condiment.
Although the Cheese Club is a lot of work, I get to be a bit of a hero each month – I send a personalized collection of our finest cheeses to every member!
Mid-month, I get together with Kurt, our lead cheese buyer, to pick the club cheeses. First and foremost, we pick cheeses that are showing their best at that particular moment. We also consider seasonality and we aim to have a nice diversity of flavor, milk type and texture.
Lastly, we consider what cheeses we’ve recently sent to prevent any redundancies and to make sure people get the broadest possible exposure to our amazing selection.
Sometimes, we’ll make a selection based on a theme – Italian cheeses, for example, or spring goat cheeses when the weather warms up. Usually, our selection includes a cheese from each of the most common milking animals – cow, goat and sheep. From time to time and frequently in our Connoisseur’s Club, we include a blue cheese, which people usually love (if you’ve never had a well-made blue cheese, it’s a real treat). After thinking about all these factors, we make our choices.
Once the cheeses are picked, we have one more decision to make – the condiment for our Connoisseur members. We carefully consider the cheeses we’ve picked, and select a condiment that makes them shine.
After selecting the cheeses, it’s time to cut them into half-pound pieces for shipment. At times, this means cutting hundreds of pieces of cheese. To keep the cheeses in their best condition, I cut them as close to shipping as possible and wrap them in our special cheese paper. Each piece of cheese is given a label, indicating the cheese’s name, milk type, and where it’s from, and then carefully packed with cold packs to keep it at the proper temperature during shipping.
With each shipment I include descriptions of each cheese along with serving recommendations and often a recipe or two.
My goal is to get people looking forward to receiving our packages each and every month and the best sign of a successful cheese club is the feedback we get. Lucky for us our customers have plenty of good things to say about the club and many renew their memberships each year.
I invite you to join the club!
Adam Centamore is in charge of Formaggio Kitchen’s mail order operations, is a passionate student of wine and is a Queso Royale winner (he’s famous at the shop for his amazing ability to find unusual pairings for cheese!).