About this project
If you love good food, and you are looking for vegetarian, kosher, or halal products, I have great news. We have the opportunity to make an award-winning farmstead cheddar that is made without animal rennet and is certified kosher by the Vaad Harabonim (Vaad Hakashrus) of Massachusetts.
Hello, Everyone. Let me start by introducing myself: my name is Mark Bodzin, and I want to thank you for taking the time to look at my Kickstarter campaign.
Allow me to give you a quick background on why I am doing this. I grew up adhering to kosher laws in a traditional American household. Food was something you ate, a basic fuel source for the body. It was generally very basic, tasty, but nothing all that fancy. Dinners would range from tuna noodle casserole to stew. American cheese and cheese wedges were the types of cheese I ate while growing up. It was only during a stay in Paris that I first discovered "good" kosher cheese. Unfortunately, when I got back to the States, I found it difficult to get my hands on any of the cheeses that I had discovered abroad. I just chalked it up to bad luck and figured I would enjoy good cheese only when fate dictated I could buy some. Fortunately, about 2 years ago I discovered Kickstarter and realized I could harness the power of crowd-funding (and the Internet) to make good kosher cheese available for myself and others.
I spent several months researching companies and their products, trying to find a high-quality cheese manufacturer that would work with me to produce a special run of kosher cheese made without animal rennet.
Ellen Fox at Shelburne Farms was willing to give this a chance, and I was on my way to starting this project. This process has taken months of my time (much more than I would have originally thought), but we are now very close to making this a reality.
Shelburne Farms is a non-profit education center that includes a 1,400-acre working farm and farmstead cheese operation. They make an award-winning cheddar from their single herd of Brown Swiss cows at their Certified Humane, grass-based dairy. If – and only if – this Kickstarter reaches its $16,000 funding goal can Shelburne Farms afford to make our batch of kosher cheese. If we are successful in finding enough backers, the farm will clean out their cheesemaking facility to prepare it for a kosher run, make our batch using a special microbial (vegetarian) rennet under the inspection of the Vaad Harabonim of Massachusetts, age it to perfection, then ship it promptly to your doorstep. I promise you that this cheese will be worth the wait. (To see the farm and meet the cheese maker go to 4:40 in the video).
Please tell all your friends and relatives, store shops and restaurants about this campaign. Whether you purchase one pound or forty pounds of cheddar or just donate to the cause, thanks for being a part of the good food kosher movement. -- Mark
Explanation of the Costs: You may be saying to yourself that $30 a pound seems excessive for this cheese. Well, the expensive part is the shipping, which doubles the cost of the first pound of cheese you order. (The more cheese you buy, the more you save on shipping.) Another component of the cost is the kosher certification. We will have a rabbi on hand the day of production, as well as the day the cheese is processed and packaged, and this increases the product cost. And finally, Kickstarter fees will add 10% to the final cost of your cheese.
All told, if you were to buy non-kosher, quality cheddar by mail order, your cost would be close to what you will be pledging here. I have run the numbers again and again, I think I have gotten the costs down as low as they can go.
I hope you enjoyed the video, and want to try some of this cheese, if you do, and want to help make this happen, please choose a funding level on the right side, and pledge. If you are not interested in getting some cheese, please tell your friends that might be... We just need to sell 1 days run, a mere 600 pounds of cheese. We can make this happen. And who knows, if we sell more, than perhaps we can make this happen on a regular basis... and maybe we can try this again with other types of cheese..Burrata anyone?
If you want more information on Shelburne Farms and the work they do, please take a look at their website. http://www.shelburnefarms.org
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for watching the video.
PS I must thank Croma Video of Collegeville Pa. for all their help with the video production. http://www.cromavideo.com/
Risks and challenges
The risks for this project are minimal. Shelburne has been making and selling cheese for years, and our Kosher/Vegetarian batch should not present any undue challenges. Shelburne has past experience with the use of microbial rennet, and a rabbi will be present during the production stages that are critical to obtaining kosher certification. Once the project is funded, Shelburne gets paid, your cheese gets made, and, once it has aged to perfection, the cheese gets sent to you. The length of the aging process can range from 6 months to a year and is determined based on analysis done on the day of production.
A friend asked what sort of guarantee he has that he will get the cheese. And here it is: unlike a tech start-up, the cheese is coming from a well-established company. We are not inventing anything. Shelburne has production, packaging, and delivery down to a science. We are not changing anything other than the kosher status of the equipment and ingredients. Once the cheese is made, your funds will go to Shelburne, and your cheese will be paid for. Worst case (and definitely not expected!), should anything happen to the cheese, I will pay for the Rabbinic certification and Shelburne will pay to remake the cheese. In that case, you might need to wait a bit longer, but you would still get your cheese. That I will guarantee.
MarkLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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