Bringing people together for delicious and memorable experiences is inherent to us all in the industry, and that feeling especially runs through the cheesemakers at Shaft’s Cheese & Co. With a family-based stance in its storied cheesemaking history, the team dives deep into how this drives Shaft’s Cheese & Co. forward.
“We are all about bringing people together around great food and drink,” comments Jen Gibson, one of the Owners at Shaft’s Cheese & Co. “Our current team was born around the experience of enjoying our cheese together here at Shaft’s. We like to say some things do get better with age.”
Shaft’s Cheese was founded by John Gibson’s father, also known as Jack in the industry. The company’s prolific Blue Cheese offering was discovered by chance, as Jack Gibson was offered some pass-date blue cheese.
“It was an amazing cheese. He knew he wanted the milk and the cheese to come from Wisconsin, so he worked with a specific cheesemaker out there to perfect the formula,” John, an Owner, notes. “The next step was to perfect the aging process, which we do by controlling the temperature control and the humidity.”
This is done by rotating products biannually and ensuring taste is consistent and perfect for each order. Jack had originally created this craft in a mine shaft in the Cedar Ridge Mountains, thus giving birth to the company’s name.
“Our cheeses are uniquely aged for one to two years. The normal age of blue cheese is four to six months,” continues John. “That’s really, truly what sets us apart.”
The company’s Ellie’s Vintage 2 Year Reserve, named after John’s mother Ellen, is aged for 24 months. Serendipity is a five-layer offering including three layers of sharp cheddar and Shaft’s iconic blue cheese.
Also in Shaft’s Cheese’s repertoire is the Shaftini® stuffed olives, featuring a California Queen olive stuffed with Shaft’s blue cheese. A stunning spread across the deli department could only lead to delicious moments for the shoppers.
“We would picture possibly maybe a customer at the grocery store; they're preparing for a dinner party or a get-together with their friends and family, and they choose our cheese,” explains Andrea Whitfield, Marketing Director. “They serve it on a charcuterie board or a side dish, and it’s brought them all together…Truly, those are the experiences that we want our products to create for people.”
Curious to learn more? Check out our exclusive video above!