A Letter to Our Customers
Friends, vendors, and owners of restaurants.
Spring is officially here and the best part of May showers (and the occasional snowstorm) means that Monforte is on the move again. We're starting the year with a bang by reopening our white aging room which means a return of all the regular cheeses onto our roster. We also wanted to let you in on some of the things that have given us pause during the winter.
When we write these updates they're pretty honest about trials, tribulations and successes alike. This email no different but we can also say that Monforte is in an interesting place for 2019. Most of that has to do with both the staff we have in place and Ruth's role in the company but also with the changing trends of high-end cheese available to you.
As you may have started to notice, you have (or will be) getting calls and visits from the Matriarch herself concerning sales. Ruth has always been on the sidelines of selling but in order for our company to be successful, we absolutely have to push the amount of cheese that's being sent out our doors. The landscape both in terms of farmers markets (which used to be our bread and butter) and the retail scene has drastically changed in the last year. The later is because of the new CETA trade pact.
CETA means that you can buy incredible cheese from France and Italy at a price we can't even begin to match. The artisanal dairies in Canada knew this was coming. Although limited incentives were included by the Federal Government to try and help us make a profit in a different way the small producers knew that the new trade agreement would be difficult. Maybe even impossible for some of us.
The question at hand is a direct one and each and every one of you will have a hand in answering it...
"Does it matter if you know the person making your food?"
If the answer is no, you can go out today and find raw milk cheeses that are truly beautiful. And you can buy them cheap. We won't lie to you, they'll taste great too and they'll help your food cost.
But on the other hand, you've got women like Ruth, and the people she employs. Instead of being lured away by Globalism you can pick up the phone and talk to the women who's spent thirteen years fighting tooth and nail to grow her company.
We still believe in the local movement and the 100 kilometre diet, not just for it's connection to the people around us but because of it's environmental impact on the world. The idea of cheeses being shipped half way around the world was once a novel idea, especially when we didn't have anything similar to it in country. But now in Canada we're seeing a new and amazing industry growing to suit your needs.
One of the things we love is a call from a chef or a cheesemonger. It's not just because it's about sales, it's because we have a connection with the person on the other end. We're all in this together and that commitment is something that we try and honor each and every day. We aren't perfect but we like to think that we're always trying to be better.
This year we have a chef school grad and teacher taking over the management reigns at Monforte. Marc has been doing a fantastic job learning the ropes and helping to make great cheese. Steve continues to run our makes and grows every day. Heather, Nelson, and Monica keep the place running.
Our promise for this next year is to give you some of the best cheeses that we've ever produced. And to provide that with a personal touch that we truly believe we'll miss desperately when it's gone.