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Produce Business

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American Food & Ag Exporter

Cheese Connoisseur



Great Idea For A
Last Minute Christmas Gift

Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit, December 18, 2009

Even as Bill Gerlach was writing, we were in the midst of a transformational project: The launch of a new magazine named Cheese Connoisseur.

Known as “The Magazine of Tasteful Living,” Cheese Connoisseur is a “hybrid” magazine, having both a business-to-business circulation and a consumer circulation much along the lines of a publication such as Wine Spectator.

It grew out of our experience with DELI BUSINESS magazine as we saw the market for specialty cheese zoom and consumers focusing on specialty cheese much as Americans once began to focus on fine wines.

Of course, don’t think that we are neglecting our friends in the produce industry. We know an opportunity to both help the industry and delight consumers when we see it. As such, we frequently include “pairing” pieces demonstrating to consumers how fresh fruits and vegetables can be paired with specialty cheese to create a taste sensation. These include pieces such as:

Pears: The Perfect Pairing

Strawberry Fields Forever

An Apple a Day

Blue Heaven — A Divine Match for Salads & More

And yes, yours truly writes a regular column in Cheese Connoisseur. Recently we wrote one interesting little piece on the recession and the nature of luxury. The piece is titled, “Indulgence in Small Bites”.

Although a deep recession might not seem like the ideal time to launch an upscale consumer lifestyle publication, we viewed the challenge much like that of training to play basketball while wearing ankle weights. Yes the recession holds us back but launching in this environment will make us all the more prepared when things turn around and we operate without the hindrance of a down economy.

As it happens, the hindrance has been slight. We started with small tests in high-end supermarkets selling the magazine at cheese counters in select units. Now, on the strength of the sales of the magazine, those same chains rolled it out to hundreds of stores, new chains picked it up and, before we knew it the magazine was being sold alongside national consumer magazines at venues such as Barnes & Noble and Borders Books.

It is a beautiful magazine, chock full with stories of travel and epicurean delight. It is really perfect for any foodies or aficionados of “tasteful living” who may be on your gift list.

With each gift subscription, we send out a lovely gift card announcing your gift and, of course, the four quarterly issues mean your generosity will be remembered all year long. You can send out a gift subscription by using this web form here.

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