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Shaft's Cheese & Co. Celebrates 25th Anniversary; Andrea Whitfield Shares the Details

Shaft's Cheese & Co. Celebrates 25th Anniversary; Andrea Whitfield Shares the Details


ROSEVILLE, CA
Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

There is nothing quite like witnessing a category-defining company reach a milestone in its journey toward excellence and success. With the first half of 2024 in our rearview mirror and the remainder of the year presenting a host of opportunities, Shaft’s Cheese & Co. is celebrating its 25th anniversary with all the joy and passion that the cheese trailblazer is known for.

Andrea Whitfield, Marketing Director, Shaft's Cheese & Co.“Shaft’s Cheese & Co. began in 1999 with a serendipitous discovery. Founder John ‘Jack’ Gibson was offered ‘past date’ blue cheese, and after just one taste, he knew it was something special. He got to work sourcing the best ingredients and finding the perfect conditions to age blue cheese—which just so happened to be in an old mine shaft on his property!” Andrea Whitfield, Marketing Director, shares with me. “In 2024, we are excited to celebrate this momentous milestone with our customers and industry peers.”

Shaft’s success has been based on six principles that the team continues to pursue today: tradition, elegance, family, artistry, innovation, and community. During the past 25 years, the company has defined and refined these principles, elevating its performance, dedication, and deep commitment to the cheese category.

As we celebrate Shaft’s anniversary, the team is joining me for a series on these tenets, beginning with tradition and elegance.

Shaft’s Cheese & Co. is celebrating its 25th anniversary with all the joy and passion that the cheese trailblazer is known for“For Shaft’s, tradition is truly part of our guiding principles and creates the foundation for what we do. We are continually looking back at how we were founded and what has always made our products unique as we look at the future,” Andrea expresses. “When we speak about elegance, we are talking about creating an experience elevated in such a way that it feels thoughtful and intentional.”

I love how these principles exist as living, breathing tenets, constantly pushing the company toward its full potential. With that in mind, I ask Andrea how each principle has evolved over the past 25 years.

“Shaft’s is deeply rooted in tradition, but we also consider ourselves innovative. Tradition and innovation can seemingly compete with each other, but finding the right balance of the two has been essential to our recent growth,” Andrea shares. “This is seen in the evolution of our brand, from the new labels and packaging to the products that extend outside solely cheese, and also how we reach our end customer through thoughtful digital marketing.”

Shaft’s Cheese & Co.'s success has been based on six principles that the team continues to pursue today: tradition, elegance, family, artistry, innovation, and communityIn addition, Andrea notes that things have certainly changed, but it’s been important that Shaft’s customers still have the same trust in its products.

“They know whatever they get, it is going to elevate a meal, charcuterie board, drink, or creation,” Andrea adds.

When it comes to elegance and its evolution, Andrea explains that there has always been an inferred elegance to a specialty cheese.

“But what has changed in the last 25 years is how we are able to reach our end customer. We can create content such as recipes, charcuterie arrangements, and entertaining tips that you can receive via email, the website, and social media. There are so many other ways now for us to inspire you and make a lasting impression of our brand,” Andrea instills.

Each principle aligns with and elevates the company’s vision through products, processes, and branding. Take tradition, for example.

“Our Founder was one of the first to start aging blue cheese and create a retail product here in the United States. Most blue cheese companies age their blues around four months; we age ours for a minimum of one year and also have a two-year product. The tradition of aging has stayed with us and our process for the last 25 years! Our most recent product, the blue cheese stuffed olive, even uses a naturally cured olive that takes 10 months—versus standard olive processing in a lye solution over 10 days,” Andrea details.

As Shaft’s Cheese says, “Some things do get better with age.”

I certainly do agree.

Shaft's Cheese & Co.
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