$9,627
pledged of 40.000 $pledged of 40.000 $ goal
77
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 4 2014 11:55 AM UTC +00:00
Jessica SennettBy Jessica Sennett
First created
Jessica SennettBy Jessica Sennett
First created
$9,627
pledged of 40.000 $pledged of 40.000 $ goal
77
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 4 2014 11:55 AM UTC +00:00

About

We are cheese people. We make it, we teach people about it, and now we have designed the products to help people store and age it - in their home. We know everyone has had that moment where they reach for a piece of cheese stored in a fridge drawer or on a shelf only to find it covered in mold, stinky (not in a good way) and inedible. As cheese aficionados we have spent the last year thinking about this problem and designing our first line of products: the Cheese Grotto and its little sister, the Cheese Safe. Our main question has been: 

How can we enhance natural cheese appreciation once it has left the cheese counter? 

For thousands of years cheese makers have used large caves to do just that, and now the Cheese Grotto is taking that concept, once reserved for only a select few, and is bringing it to the public. 

The Cheese Grotto is derived from the giant walk-in cheese caves that age the best cheeses around the world!
The Cheese Grotto is derived from the giant walk-in cheese caves that age the best cheeses around the world!

What are the Cheese Grotto and the Cheese Safe?

Meet the Cheese Grotto, (available for pre-order at the $250 and above rewards), it is the optimal cheese storage unit for the fridge, cellar, or cupboard.  It is essentially a cheese cave for the home. We are taking old world technology into the modern age and rescuing your cheese from the back of your fridge. 

The Cheese Grotto, in use!
The Cheese Grotto, in use!

The Cheese Safe is Cheese Grotto’s little sister - already a standard way of storing cheese in Europe, the Cheese Safe is a wood and screen box that allows you to optimally store cheese on your counter-top - no refrigeration required. 

This is the Cheese Safe.  Height: 5 inches, Length: 7 inches, Width: 7 inches
This is the Cheese Safe. Height: 5 inches, Length: 7 inches, Width: 7 inches

More About Our Products

We designed the Cheese Grotto to stay at an average of 75% humidity, the ideal state for preserving without drying cheese out or causing it to excessively mold. It has an adjustable air flow system that allows the cheese to breathe, preventing any premature ammoniated flavor development. Because of this technology, Cheese Grotto™ can store both cut and whole pieces of cheese, with no extra packaging, both in the fridge or in a cool cellar. It’s the perfect solution for anyone that cares about their food.

 Conceived by cheese maker and affineur Jessica Sennett and designed in conjunction with an engineer and an industrial designer, the Cheese Grotto™ has a vaulted ceiling to keep condensation from dripping on contents by directing any droplets to the sides. Removable Corian® trays can be used as cutting boards and serving platters. The front and sides of the unit are made with glass for easy viewing of the contents. The bamboo top and bottom provides a sophisticated, eco-friendly aesthetic, making Cheese Grotto™ a welcome table addition in both residential and commercial environments. Cheese Grotto™ has a dual use as an optimal storage unit and a cheese aging unit for the fridge or cool cellar.  Its humidor and air flow systems allow the user to adjust the humidity level of the unit for optimal cheese preservation and ripening. 

Cheese Safe
Cheese Safe

Not yet available in the US except for the occasional antique, we are re-introducing a European tradition of storing cheese on your counter, with no need to refrigerate.  This simple concept with a wooden frame and screen has been proven effective for hundreds of years and is still used today.  We are offering prototypes of the Cheese Safe exclusively at the $75 and $150 reward level!

A little bit about our Rewards: 

We created rewards with the cheese supporter and cheese lover in mind. From our specially designed digital and print products to an opportunity to pre-order the Cheese Grotto itself, we want to make caring for your cheese easier.

We are hosting the first of a series of awesomely cheesy celebrations Friday, 11/21 in honor of the launch of our Kickstarter campaign. The event is currently sold out but don’t fret, we will be hosting an even bigger bash once we successfully close the campaign. Guarantee access to the event by donating at the $50 and above level!  

For our first event we are partnering with our amazing cheese supporters some of whom include 61 Local, Artisan Geek, Consider Bardwell Farm, Cheese Notes, Cheese in the City, Vulto Creamery, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Mast Brothers Chocolate, Brooklyn Brine Pickle Varieties, SCRATCHbread and so many more! We can’t wait to reveal what the final Cheese Grotto Launch party line up will be. 

The Cheese Safe is available for preorder at the $75 and $150 level only 

The Cheese Grotto is available for preorder at the $250+ levels. 

We will be posting updates with images of the remaining rewards as we complete the designs with our amazing team (more on them below!) 

 Our Long Term Goals

We are introducing a complete line of complementary products for Cheese Grotto™.   Our products are modular in design, making them easy to produce in a variety of sizes for home and commercial use. We are currently working on a kit that will allow users to make bloomy rind cheese from start to finish with minimal hardware, as well as a higher tech model to be released in 2016.  Cheese Grotto™ looks to work closely with restaurant and retail cheese programs, highlighting cheese makers throughout the world and offering educational workshops and consulting.  And did we mention cheese parties??

Cheese Grotto's mission is to set a new standard for how cheese is eaten and stored.  We've established a framework that allows us to follow our passion for food traditions, innovative technology, and sustainable food systems. Developing food storage design and food kits are our ultimate vision for the company after several years.  

A peek into the Design Process

Jessica's First Drawing of Cheese Grotto™
Jessica's First Drawing of Cheese Grotto™

Animated Flavor Development Wheel of Bloomy Rind Goat Milk Cheeses, cheese styles similar to the Crottin featured above.  This wheel is included in the $25 reward package!

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Bloomy Rind Crottin Cheese Timelapse:  You can now age your cheese at home, you affineur!  A flipbook version of this timelapse is also offered as part of the bountiful $250 reward package.

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Supporters of the Project

Steven Jenkins, Head of the Cheese Department for Fairway Markets

Anne Saxelby, Owner at Saxelby Cheesemongers

Peter Henry, Marketing and Sales at Consider Bardwell Farm

Brad Jones, Program Coordinator at Cheese of Choice Coalition

Matt Spiegler, Author of the Cheesy Acclaimed Cheese Notes Blog

Vince Razionale, Marketing Director at Jasper Hill Cellars

David Liatti, Engineer and Owner of 61 Local

Advisory Board

Richard Gray, Consultant and Founder of ARICH, Inc

Heidi Raker, Founder of Raker Goldstein & Co

Max, McCalman, Award Winning Author, Keynote Speaker, and World Renowned Cheese Expert 

Cheese Grotto™ Team

  • Jessica Sennett, President: Jessica has extensive experience in producing small batch, craft cheeses. Her career has involved producing, selling, buying, advising, and instructing others in craft cheese production.
  • Oliviero Borgna, Head Product Designer: Born in Sardinia and a life long New Yorker, Oliviero has decided to marry his passion for traditional food systems and his background in industrial design for the Cheese Grotto™ project.  Be ready to see an incredible line of food storage products to be launched through our company!
  • Richard Gray, Sales and Marketing Strategist: Richard’s extensive experience centers on three areas of focus; meal delivery programs, nutraceuticals/functional foods and multinationals. Richard’s background includes experience in new product introductions, strategic alliance development, financing, logistics, vendor identification, CRM, reorganizations, developing back office programs and practices, and brand marketing across multi-channel environments. He is the acting national ambassador for getting the Cheese Grotto™ into every cheese lover's hands.
  • Heidi Raker, PR: Founder of Raker Goldstein, Heidi has over 30 years experience working with start-up through Fortune 500 companies. She has niche expertise as a story teller, working as a brand ambassador who translates marketing messages into news. Heidi designs and manages media relations, social networking and grass roots initiatives for RG's clients, leveraging credibility, brand equity, sales and profits. She has successfully represented numerous food and beverage brands, restaurants, health and nutrition organizations and consumer products makers.
  • Billy Burgess, Video Director: An award winning film-director who distributes his own line of films through his company The Druid Underground Film Festival, Burgess will be directing a series of Cheese Grotto™ short films, unveiling the mystical truths behind our product line!
  • Janelle Miau, Animator: As a 3D animator and teacher at The University of the Arts, Janelle has always been interested in the meeting place between food, animation and the imagination.  Through her company Ignorami Studios, Miau is the creative talent behind Cheese Grotto™'s interactive cheesey platforms.
  • Ashley Quinn, Brand and Strategy Consultant: Ashley has been a designer and strategist since 2002.  Her work revolves around design, technology, and art with a heavy focus on science literacy and environmental activism.
  • Andy Gillette and Ashley Quinn: Andy Gillette is the calculating web developer behind the Cheese Grotto™ website.  In collaboration with Ashley Quinn, their web design company We Less Than Three creates beautiful, user friendly websites that embody the Cheese Grotto™ aesthetic vision.

Cheese Grotto Testimony from the industry!

Max McCalman, advocate for artisan cheese
Max McCalman, advocate for artisan cheese

 "The most frequently asked question I hear is: 'How do I store my cheese?' The short answer is: '...in your stomach.' But seriously, cheeses taste better and last longer if they are maintained in proper conditions. The Cheese Grotto concept addresses this concern - offering one of the best environments for storing cheese." -Max McCalman on the Cheese Grotto.

Steven Jenkins, Fairway Markets
Steven Jenkins, Fairway Markets

"This century old device is the right and only way to store cheese." -Steven Jenkins, author of Cheese Primer

Risks and challenges

One of our main challenges moving forward is staying true to a three prong vision of sustainability while maintaining the affordability of our product line. Our funds will go towards forging relationships with producers and manufacturers so that we can ensure that all materials are made with integrity and will last you, the consumer, a lifetime!

Another huge element of getting our product ready for production is going to be heavily focused on testing the efficiency of each element of the design. Cheese Grotto is surrounded by the amazing community of New York based cheese makers and cheese retailers, who have enthusiastically volunteered to act as beta-testers for the product. The surveys received from all the lovely Kickstarter supporters who have received a premium Cheese Grotto prototype will also help us immensely. And then finally, Cheese Grotto plans to work with a local lab, who will test and certify the humidity levels, air flow, and cheese development over a couple of month's time frame. Our final air flow system will be extremely efficient, and adjustable!

After our $40,000 goal has been met, we will be ready to launch into operation. Our team will be compensated for their hard work, our materials and product line will be refined and finalized, we will have gotten the word out about our project, and we will be ready to speak with an investor. Our goal is to receive green investment and angel investment, so we can stay true to a sustainable food movement, and keep due diligence on our value based supply chains. Our business plan is ready to roll!

Simultaneously, we are planning to launch a lower priced model built simply out of wood and screen. It is called Cheese Grotto Cheese Safe and stores cheese at room temperature on your counter top....the way Europeans have stored their cheese for thousands of years!

These products will be sold through our website and through various wholesale avenues, requiring a very focused sales and marketing strategy as well as investor backing. At the beginning, we will be dependent on many sales channels that do not pay upon delivery, meaning that our cash flow will be low and investor capital will be essential. Eventually, we will develop our online resource so that we can work more directly with the consumer, you!

We will work in tandem with the American natural cheese movement, which represents 62% of the market share of cheese sold in the US. Educational outreach will be key, and Cheese Grotto plans to design its products so that the benefits are transparent and easy to use.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    A Huge Thank You and your name engraved on our website

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    One cheese flavor wheel kit. Included in your kit is a digital copy of the bloomy rind cheese flavor wheel (as seen in the video) that can be used as wallpaper or a screensaver. Also included is a packet of high quality paper printed with a physical, rotating copy of the wheel for your wall or fridge!
    -A Huge Thank You and your name engraved on our website

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    One Cheese Grotto™ T-shirt, One VIP ticket to The Cheese Grotto™ Launch Party, and Everything Mentioned Above!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A HANDMADE Cheese Grotto™ Cheese Safe prototype and digital cheese log! The digital cheese log will allow you to document a cheesey photo, the name and origin, milk type, style of cheese, and the flavor/texture development over the span of the cheese's life.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A HANDMADE Cheese Grotto™ Cheese Safe prototype with a digital cheese log, One digital Cheese Grotto™ cheese and beverage pairing guide, and Everything Else Mentioned Above!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    One HANDMADE premium high tech Cheese Grotto™ prototype (featured in the video) and a beta-testing survey to let us know your thoughts about its performance!! This prototype is fully functional and of high caliber. Included with the prototype are a couple of back inserts so you can play with air flow! One digital cheese log to record the name, milk type, origin, style of your cheese, and photo so you never forget! One paper time lapse flip book of cheese aging (as seen live in the Kickstarter campaign!), One incredible logo embroidered fine cheese cloth bag, One Cheese Grotto™ apron, AND Everything Mentioned Above (note: Cheese Safe only offered at the $75 and $150 level)!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    One HANDMADE premium high tech Cheese Grotto™ (featured in the video) from the limited first run of production etched with your name and the batch number. This is a limited first offer and won’t happen again! Two VIP tickets to the next NYC or SF based Cheese in the City Supper curated by Jessica Sennett. This is a handmade, seasonal, and regional cheesey four course meal with pairings, AND Everything Mentioned Above (note: Cheese Safe only Offered at the $75 and $150 level)!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Two HANDMADE premium Cheese Grottos from the limited first run of production etched with your name and the batch number. This is a limited first offer and won’t happen again! Four VIP tickets to the NYC Cheese Grotto™ Launch Party. One private cheese making class based in the New York City area. You chose the style of cheese and Jessica Sennett will lead the way! AND Everything Mentioned Above (Cheese Safe is only offered at the $75 and $150 level)!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Cheese Aficionado Status for Life: A four part series personal cheese making consultation with Jessica Sennett that will cover everything you would need to know to make a variety of fresh and aged styles in your home, storing them all in your Cheese Grotto™. A three part workshop series of cheese pairing with beverages and other foods. AND Everything Mentioned Above (note: Cheese Safe is only offered at the $75 and $150 level)!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    The Cheese Grotto team will build a custom grotto with decisions on dimensions, engravings, and materials* left at your discretion.

    *terms and conditions apply. The Cheese Grotto team can build custom grottos out of bamboo, spruce, pine, maple, corian, glass, stainless steel, slate, marble, and other composite stone.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    The Max McCalman Cheeses of Europe Experience:
    An exclusive private tasting with Max McCalman, award-winning author, keynote speaker, and world renowned cheese expert. This perk is the most coveted we are proud to offer. It will feature an evening of exquisite wines complemented by a well crafted cheese pairing menu consisting of a series of courses at a an intimate space on the island of Manhattan, New York. Paying homage to the countries that invented the concept of storing cheese this dinner will feature a hand-picked and small batch selection of wines and cheeses presented by Maître Fromager Max McCalman and other experts of the craft. On top of this unique experience a larger premium version of the Cheese Grotto will be featured for your optimal restaurant dining experience. The Cheese Grotto team will build custom grottos for each of the attendees, with decisions on dimensions, engravings, and materials* left at your discretion, to guarantee cheese appreciation for your future evenings for decades to come.

    This perk is limited to 7 backers. Each backer will receive all of the above as well as a complimentary "Plus One" for the wine and cheese dinner.

    *terms and conditions apply. The Cheese Grotto team can build custom grottos out of bamboo,spruce, pine, maple, corian, glass, stainless steel, slate, marble, and other composite stone.

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Funding period

- (30 days)