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Schuman Cheese Brand Manager Kareen Stephens Discusses Big Wins This Award Season

Schuman Cheese Brand Manager Kareen Stephens Discusses Big Wins This Award Season

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Schuman Cheese cleaned up during award season—earning accolades at the American Cheese Society (ACS) Judging & Competition, International Cheese Awards (ICA), Wisconsin State Fair (WI Fair) Dairy Contest, and the World Dairy Expo throughout the summer.

The Traditional Romano took home first place in the Open Class for Hard Cheese at the WI Fair and third place in the ACS Italian Type Cheeses category

From its Cello line of Italian-style cheeses and snacks to its Montforte and Yellow Door Creamery small-batch, artisan lines, Schuman Cheese racked up 20 awards and added to its already impressive proverbial trophy room—including a second consecutive year winning the coveted Grand Master award at the WI Fair.

I recently had a chance to talk with Brand Manager Kareen Stephens to learn more about the company’s award-winning offerings.

Q: Tell me a little bit about Schuman Cheese's recent wins at the Wisconsin State Fair's Cheese & Butter Contest: What does it mean to the company to take home top honors from the competition?

Kareen Stephens, Brand Manager, Schuman CheeseKareen Stephens: It is truly an honor for Schuman Cheese to be recognized among the best of what Wisconsin has to offer. Receiving the Grand Master recognition at the Wisconsin State Fair two years in a row is a reflection of our Lake Country Dairy team’s energy and motivation for producing the very best cheeses.

Our passionate cheesemakers work diligently each and every day to craft exceptional cheeses that delight consumers, whether they’re casual fans or true cheese connoisseurs. There is great pride and heritage in Wisconsin cheese making, so earning this recognition in the heart of America’s dairyland is that much more rewarding.

Q: Can you tell me a little about the Yellow Door Creamery brand? How is it unique? What differentiates Yellow Door Creamery—in terms of both product line and branding/marketing—from comparable cheese brands?

KS: Yellow Door Creamery is home to the most unique cheesemakers and chefs in the industry. The collaboration between our award-winning head cheesemaker and our culinary experts delivers a line of cheeses with unique flavors and blends that don't exist anywhere else, such as our new Mayan Cocoa Hand-Rubbed Fontina and our cave-aged, hand-smeared cheeses. Because of our one-of-a-kind offerings we often take a high-touch and more specialized approach to marketing, which means sampling and sponsorships play a large role in our efforts.

Q: What makes Yellow Door Creamery's Alpine collection such a uniquely deserving cheese?

KS: While our cheeses are inspired by the great cheeses of the Alpine region, we are by no means trying to recreate them. In fact, our goal is to make a uniquely American line with a nod to the Alpine tradition. Our head cheesemaker dedicates impeccable attention to detail to ensure the ingredients, the make process, and even the conditions of the cave where our Yellow Door Creamery Alpine cheeses are aged, are just right. All of these factors work in concert to deliver the unique flavor and texture of our various Alpine-inspired cheeses.

Yellow Door Creamery Fontina Cheeses took home a variety of awards throughout 2018

Q: How does the company plan on leveraging its award-winning quality to help its retail partners drive sales and court consumer interest?

KS: Receiving accolades from highly respected industry experts is quite helpful in gaining trust, especially among potential customers who are not familiar with our cheeses. In stores that carry our cheeses, we execute trade programs to ensure that consumers are able to find and experience our award-winning Yellow Door Creamery offerings.

Kareen tells me that Schuman Cheese’s Yellow Door Creamery line now includes some exciting new offerings for adventurous cheese lovers, including a new Mayan Cocoa Hand-Rubbed Fontina and Dijon Herb Hand-Rubbed Fontina.

For more on exciting product offerings—both new and time-tested—in the dairy, deli, bakery, and specialty food space, keep reading Deli Market News.

Schuman CheeseYellow Door Creamery

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