ARCHIVE

Cheese Board Collective: 40 Years in the Gourmet Ghetto

Exploring alternative ways to work in the food industry is a hot topic. Recently in San Francisco a sold out Kitchen Table Talks, a monthly panel showcasing local food folk, featured a discussion about successful edible enterprises that haven’t started the conventional route.

Two of the four panelists hailed from Berkeley. Three Stone Hearth‘s Jessica Prentice, whom I’ve previously profiled on Berkeleyside, talked about her cooperative kitchen model. Cathy Goldsmith represented The Cheese Board Collective. (San Francisco business reps in the mix: Caleb Zigas, who runs the kitchen incubator program La Cocina and Anthony Myint, the restauranteur behind Mission Chinese Food and Commonwealth, both eateries give big chunks of change to charity.)

Beyond the obvious culinary connection each business is unique. What they have in common? A desire to build community—of workers, artisans, and customers—around their real food ventures. Read more

Milky Whey: Following the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail

Sonoma and Marin counties—the Normandy of Northern California—are home to the most artisan cheesemakers in California, if not the country. The foggy, grassy north boasts some 22,000 acres of land dedicated to making cheese and fermented milk products. To celebrate this bounty, the Marin Economic Forum (MEF) just introduced the Sonoma Marin Cheese Trail map [PDF], the first-ever guide to local artisan cheesemakers.

Launched just in time for the fifth annual Artisan Cheese Festival, taking place this weekend in Petaluma, the colorful, informative map raises the profile of local cheesemakers, an important element of our vibrant local agricultural economy. Artisan cheesemaking is experiencing a renaissance as both long-time dairy families and new cheese entrepreneurs are milking the trend. The Cheese Trail map includes some outstanding local dairies, such as Bellwether FarmsPug’s LeapRedwood Hill Farm & Creamery, and Saint Benoît Yogurt. Read more

Domino’s Pizza and the USDA: The Bailout You Didn’t Hear About

Chalk up another victory for Stephen Colbert’s gut. Back in January, the touter of all things truthy declared Domino’s Pizza his “Alpha Dog of The Week” for a “game-changing ad campaign” to promote its new pizza recipe. Consumers had complained that the old formula tasted like ketchup-covered cardboard, a factor that presumably contributed to the company’s sagging sales.

So, Domino’s did two things: it reformulated its pizzas to contain nearly twice as much cheese; and launched an ad campaign which took the bold step of acknowledging just how awful its old pizzas were, while gushing about the “cheese, cheese, CHEESE!!!” that distinguishes the new recipe from the old one.

With the logos of Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Fannie Mae, Bank of America, and AIG on display behind him, Colbert applauded Domino’s “for joining the great American corporate tradition of screwing your customers and then having the balls to ask them to come back for more.”

Turns out that Domino’s had something else in common with these ethically challenged entities, aside from the dubious products they dumped on unwitting dupes. Read more