KeHE Distributors recently announced that two of its employees, Regan Figueroa and Andy Fitzgerrell, are members of the inaugural class of the American Cheese Society’s Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluators™ (ACS CCSEs™). They join an elite group of 30 individuals who passed the first ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test™ (Technical, Aesthetic, Sensory, Tasting Evaluation) offered by ACS in July in Pittsburgh, PA.
“Regan and Andy’s commitment to developing their knowledge and skills in the assessment of cheese demonstrates that KeHE is serious about being a leader in the cheese category to its retailers,” said Peter Gialantzis, Vice President of Fresh Strategy and Operations. “This certification verifies a deep knowledge of the product itself.”
According to a press release, the ACS T.A.S.T.E. Test centers around determining cheese condition and quality, as well as evaluating cheese flavor, body, texture, and appearance. From finding and sourcing new products from top suppliers to supporting retailers in their stores with merchandising and category management support, the knowledge the KeHE Cheese team translates into a winning strategy for KeHE’s customers.
“In this fast-emerging fresh category, KeHE’s world-class team is a tremendous source of pride,” said Amy Kirtland, Executive Vice President of Sales, Fresh and Natural. “By constantly striving to be the preferred fresh, natural and organic, and specialty national distributor, we can partner with our customers to support their in-store execution through knowledge, trends, and guidance to drive growth far beyond the delivery dock.”
Brandon Barnholt, President and CEO, added, stating that, “As consumer tastes become more adventurous, having experts on sourcing, curating, merchandising, and executing a go-to market strategy level is key.”
Andy Fitzgerrell, Cheese Category Specialist, is also part of the ACS’ 2012 inaugural class of Certified Cheese Professionals® (CCPs). Thus far, only 25 professionals have earned this achievement. CCP® certification is the cheese equivalent to a Master Sommelier, which verifies a person’s cheese product knowledge and their skills around the execution of cheese programs, including merchandising, at retail.
Congratulations from all of us here at Deli Market News to Regan and Andy on this achievement!