If you know of a new cheese maker’s guild that has been formed and would like to connect with this larger group of guilds, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org
In Maine we have a Guild web site that offers a lot of information about the Guild, both for Guild members, non-members who might like to join, as well as for consumers who are curious about cheese making in Maine and perhaps where they can find some.
For consumers we offer an on-line map of all Guild members who are commercially licensed to sell cheese — this is a benefit of Guild membership, as well as a feature for consumers. Through that map they can see the closest cheese makers to their home, as well as to click through to any cheese makers own web site with more specific information including what cheese they sell and where they sell it.
The idea of a direct and easy way to get consumers to access information doesn’t line up with sub-menus and interior pages of our web site. At the same time we didn’t want the front page of our web site to be dominated with a Guild cheesemakers map. What we came up with instead is to purchase the internet domain “EatMaineCheese.com” and then to redirect all of those look-ups straight to the Guild cheesemakers map on our web site. Once they’ve used the map they may decide to explore the rest of the Guild web site, or not. And, with an easy to remember URL to give to people, we can print bumper stickers and other small give-away promotional material.
Cheese Guilds are not a new idea in the US, and there are many that have been active for years, if not decades. Some are more active than others, and there are still some regions of the US and Canada where cheese makers would like to form a Guild but have not yet been able to.
Meanwhile, for the past few years, representatives of active and forming Cheese Guilds have been meeting once a year for a breakfast at the American Cheese Society conference to discuss their work and figure out a meaningful and productive way for these Guilds to interact with each other, as well as with the “national Cheese Guild” aka the ACS.
Recently the idea of active collaboration between Guilds has been put forward, and this site represents one possible tool for that collaboration. This site seeks to be a way for any cheese maker to discover and explore the Guild efforts in their region, as well as elsewhere. At the same time Guild members can describe the work they do, their goals and timelines, and put forward ideas that could be picked up by other Guilds and/or the ACS that will increase the ability of all of us to produce more and better cheese.
All of this information will be generated by the people and Guilds themselves, and connections made through this web site are free to be developed elsewhere. The intention is not to ask for more work from the Guilds or ACS, but to collect, organize, and build on the information that already exists in these disparate areas. Hopefully this will inspire new information, new ideas, and ultimately new efforts in the cheese world. Thank you for visiting.