Who Am I?
I am Ian Treuer and I am a Cheesemaker and a Cheesemaking instructor, I took it up as a hobby 7 years ago and it has become a major part of my life. It has led to the creation of my blog “Much To Do About Cheese” which chronicles my winding road to reaching “Cheesetopia”, teaching Cheesemaking classes for Metro Continuing Education in Edmonton and workshops for Grande Prairie Regional College. I also had to honour of being a Coordinator and a Judge for the first Canadian Amateur Cheesemaking Awards at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton Ontario in June 2015.
It wasn’t until I started to make cheese that I found out it is in my blood, my paternal great grandmother made sheep milk cheese in Austria and maternal grandfather was a dairy farmer in Quebec, who occasionally made cheese for his family. This is a fine cheesemaking tradition in cheese that I want to continue and share with the public.
I have a chance to live my dream to become a full time cheesemaker, and most importantly provide cheese connoisseurs new and unique cheeses. I plan to purchase an existing Artisan Cheesemaking Business that includes the land, the creamery with all its cheesemaking equipment; and a place for my family to live and help out when they can.
My goal and the goal of the our Cheese Business, is to produce quality handmade cheese that will one of the first to spring to mind when people talk of Canadian Cheese! In order to do this we plan to get the appropriate licenses so we can sell our cheese in all of Canada and beyond.
How will my Cheese help to make this happen?
I have partnered with a European Company that produces an enzyme that is derived from the Cardoon plant (Cynara Cardunculus), that would make the cheeses produced suitable for Vegetarian, Kosher and Halal markets, rather than using traditional animal rennet. This would help us produce unique cheeses that are not only safe for Vegetarians, but the resulting cheeses have a great herbal flavour in fresh cheese and unique piquant and umami flavours in some of the aged cheeses.
People are starting to get tired of their bland "supermarket" brand cheeses and are leaning towards "quality" rather than mass produced cheeses. I believe that we can help fill that need, with the cheeses that would be produced. By using the Cardoon Enzyme (Cynara Cardunculus), we can make our cheese stand out with flavour and quality, while exploring new markets within the Vegetarian, Kosher and Halal food sectors.
The Product line
Fresh Cheese – Chèvre or Fromage Blanc Style
Semi-lactic Bloomy Rind Cheese – In the style of Chaource or Valençay
• Washed Rind Cheese – Done in a Reblochon style with and without spruce straps.
Firm Cheese – (Josef) This Appenzeller style cheese, washed with a combination of wine and herbs, named after my paternal grandfather, has been a mainstay in my cheesemaking for the last three years; it would be my honour to share with the public a cheese that my family and friends have enjoyed for years.
If all goes to plan we can start making cheese by the end of February 2016, and have our fresh cheese and semi-lactic cheeses would be ready by mid month, and our washed rind cheese ready by mid April, our firm cheeses would be ready for December 2016. I know that we could produce between 250 to 400 kg of cheese per month and any cheese that has been dedicated to supporters would start to ship by end of March.
Have you ever wanted to make your own cheese? Well now you can, as part of the partnership with the European Company, I have been helping them develop cheesemaking kits for people who want to make their own cheese at home.
These kits would come with the following:
- Easy to follow instructions for several cheeses (Chevre, Gouda, Cheddar, Feta) using common starters like Buttermilk or Yogurt.
- Cheese moulds for both drained and pressed cheese
- Cynzime- this is the Cardoon enzyme (Cynara Cardunculus) which has been approved for commercial use in Canada and the United States.
We would be selling these kits as part of the business; these would be ideal for people who want to try their hand at making their own cheese and for impressing family and friends.
What would the Money be used for?
That is a fair question and here is what it would be used for.
Pay for initial start-up costs for taking over the business and operating capital, including:
- Purchasing new cultures, salt etc,
- Cleaning supplies & General Maintenance
- Transfer of Licenses from current owners to us.
- Paying milk deliveries, which is the most expensive part of the supplies
- Courses, so that I can be licensed to pasteurize my own milk and receive raw milk from Alberta Dairy
- General Operating costs - keeping the heat and lights on.
- Setting up a "Trouble Shooting" and support system for customers that may need help with the cheesemaking kits.
Risks and challenges
There are inherent risks in any venture capital opportunity. The degree of risk associated with this venture is mitigated significantly by my extensive experience in the cheese making sector and a thorough knowledge of this business. I will also be assisted by a senior executive who has extensive experience in this sector, including marketing, sales and business management.
The only risks that we can possibly encounter, are
1. Delays with government certifications, inspection and licensing. The worst case scenario could be the beginning of March, the latest when production would start. Once this happens we will have cheese ready for markets within 2 weeks, with new cheeses every few months, as they are ready.
2. I will have to re-establish my place in the cheese markets in Alberta and eventually the rest of Canada. I expect this to be a very positive and challenging venture that I look forward to.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)