Preserving Cheese Traditions with Cheese Grotto

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Together we can turn an age-old industry on its wheels... and give cheese the preservation it deserves.

For the last eleven years, I have worked as a cheese monger and cheese maker, and to this day, the most common question I get is, “How should I store my cheese?” That’s because most of us (including me), at some point, have opened up the fridge to find a once delicious wedge of cheese turned grossly unappetizing and utterly inedible. So to stave off the untimely death of innocent cheese wedges everywhere and offer comfort to enthusiasts who love them, I came up with a game-changing home storage and preservation solution that blends my passion for cheese with innovation.

I call my revolutionary invention the Cheese Grotto and it’s my shrine to the almighty curd. We launched our company exactly 12 months ago (November 2nd, 2016!), and were immediately featured in The New York Times, Saveur, Vogue, Epicurious, NPR, and more. More importantly, we had to race to keep up with the incoming orders and sold out our first run last November. This overwhelming demand confirmed that our home storage and preservation device was resonating with cheese lovers everywhere. It inspired us to get to work creating our newest model - the Grotto Fresco (more about that below) - so we can help even more people who care about their cheese.

By supporting this campaign, you'll help us make Cheese Grotto  available worldwide and help us fund our first, limited-edition run of the Grotto Fresco. You'll also help us continue building our online community for all the cheese nerds out there.

How does the Cheese Grotto work?

Drawing from both ancient cheese wisdom and contemporary technology, the Cheese Grotto allows you to create an optimal cheese storage climate right in your own kitchen. The Grotto is designed to be enjoyable to use, beautiful to look at, and durable enough to last a lifetime.

1. Control humidity

The clay brick is submerged in water for two minutes, and then placed in the bottom of the Grotto.

 

2. Wedges and wheels are stored directly on the shelves

3. The ventilated back panels allows for breath-ability.

4. Removable shelves make for easy cleaning between cheese feasts.

5. The Grotto fits in the fridge for long-term storage...

6. ...or on a counter for presentation and entertainment. Some cheese aficionados also store their cheese for its duration at room temp.

7. Cheesemaking Pro-tip: The Cheese Grotto models are non-electric, but they can be stored in a cellar for cheese making projects at home!

The story behind the new model, The Grotto Fresco

Birch wood has been traditionally used in cheese preservation for hundreds of years. Its bark has been wrapped as a belt around soft cheeses for even ripening and added woodsy flavor, and has been made into barrels for the aging of Greek Feta. It’s also been used during the smoking of Idiazabal cheese. Most importantly, birch has been used as shelves for aging in caves. Its tight surface is slower to absorb and release moisture, making it excellent for long-term storage. The finished birch featured in this model is sustainably-made, and non-toxic. The finish on the birch makes it mold and stain resistant, both in the interior and exterior.

The Grotto Fresco has a smaller footprint of 7 inches by 9 inches with a height of 8 inches, making it the perfect size for the metropolitan cheese lover with a smaller refrigerator who loves entertaining on the weekends. Shelving heights accommodate just about any cheese.

It features a bio-based, non-toxic, anti-microbial floor made of linseed oil which helps naturally regulate any mold growth and the genuine leather tab makes for an easy grip on the sliding door.

The back panel is breathable, making for a perfect climate for simple, long-term storage of wedges and wheels of cheese in the refrigerator. For more advanced preservation for the true connoisseur, check out the Grotto Classico, available in the rewards section for $350.

My Cheese Philosophy

Cheese - a live, fermenting product - is complex and nuanced. Its final quality relies on the soil, the grasses, the health and breed of the dairy animal, the way the milk is handled, the way the curd is set, the microflora (both ambient and purchased cultures), and its method of preservation. Over the past 11 years, I have been obsessively devoted to the craft. I continue to travel around the United States and the world with an unceasing curiosity on the diverse nature of specialty, artisan cheese. Cheese making is a transformative, alchemical process from start to finish, from land to table, and gives meaning to milk's romantic alter ego as "liquid gold."

This notion of cheese terroir is not solely a turophile's indulgence. At its heart, it’s not about snobbery or elitism. Rather, it is about local agricultural economies that sustain themselves from ecologically sound practices of land and animal management that can power an entire regional economy for hundreds of years. Through my professional travels, I have shared in farmers' solely unique styles of cheese. There's a world of difference between a goat milk tomme from the Alsatian hills and a sheep milk tomme from the Larzac plateaus. There are reasons behind these differences: the natural climate, the terrain, and the traditions of the locals.

Our company is growing to be the authority on cheese preservation knowledge and information. Our products and our online community are an active hub for regional cheese thinking, and can change our agricultural landscape into something more holistic.

We produce the Cheese Grotto in the United States for that very reason: to emulate these values of the specialty cheese industry at large and to promote manufacturing systems that support our domestic communities.  In that way, we can see, smell, feel, and taste a direct, positive impact on our local economies and on the health of the environment that surrounds us.

Sincerely,

Jessica Sennett, Founder

Support. Score Exclusive Rewards. Preserve the Curd.

Choose from a selection of our quality rewards, made exclusively for this campaign.  Get your holiday shopping done early!


French Fresh Cheese Making Video Tutorials -$25


Beautiful Mind the Rind Cheese Photography by Sarah E Crowder. Mounted on Styrene (Framing Optional) $75

2 Foot Long Sustainable Cheese Server with Handles.  Comes complete with a soapstone piece for recording your cheese selection, $200.

The newest model, the Grotto Fresco, customized with your initials, $250

BIG THANK YOU TO:

Degistibus Cooking School

Eco Supply Center

Eco Cuts

Women You Should Fund

Luminary Media

Sarah E Crowder Studio

Direwolf&Co

Without you, we'd be nowhere...!

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Project FAQ

  • How will the campaign money be used?

By supporting this campaign, you'll be helping us fund our first, limited-edition run of our newest model, The Grotto Fresco.  You'll also help us continue our online community building for all the cheese nerds out there.

  • The Grotto sounds cool, but I need more info on how it works before I purchase one.  Where can I find more information?

Please take a look at our Insider's Guide to the Cheese Grotto, which goes into full detail about our original model, The Grotto Classico.

  • Where do you manufacture your product?

We manufacture our product in Richmond, Virginia. The Grotto is made by EcoSupply and the clay brick piece is made by Lee Hazelgrove Ceramic Designs.

  • How do you source your materials?

We prioritize sourcing materials that are natural, green, and good for the environment.

  • What is your exchange policy?

You can exchange any unworn, unwashed or defective merchandise by first contacting info@cheesegrotto.com.

  • What is your Return Policy?

You may return most new, unopened items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. We'll also pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.).

You should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).

  • Can you ship internationally?

YES, we can!!  There will be additional shipping costs, however.  Please email info@cheesegrotto.com with your exact address and we will provide you all the information you need to pledge to the campaign.

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