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January in Richmond, Virginia

manufacturing in richmond virginia

Manufacturing an invention in the United States is similar to finding a needle in a haystack: it's very rare and rarely doable.  Before I found Eco Supply Center in Richmond, Virginia, I had spent four months cold-calling cabinet makers and woodworkers all over the country.  Despite a handful of manufacturers who were excited by the Grotto, I couldn't find anyone who would take the time to include a specially designed cheese humidor into their workflow.

Often, I would receive the response, "We only make a certain kind of cabinet," or, "We don't have enough manpower to take on the project."  It's apparent why businesses are easily convinced to move overseas for manufacturing: the infrastructure just does not exist here.

Eco Supply Center labored with me for months, refining the design of the Grotto, and making space in their work flow. After a successful first holiday season and launch in November 2016, I took a trip to visit their warehouse in Richmond, Virginia this January.  It was time to plan for the year ahead.

ecocuts manufacturing in virginia

There is something very satisfying about producing my invention in the states. The Grotto is an American-born idea, fueled by a passion and obsession for specialty cheese and everything it represents: local and regional agricultural economies, sustainable farming practices, high quality milk, humane treatment of dairy animals, and the pure joy and wonder of the subtle variety between each batch of cheese.  

In some way, I felt obligated to produce the Grotto on similar terms.  If the Grotto stores regional, specialty cheeses, shouldn't it also reflect the same values as the dairy it houses? Some would say this was overtly romantic, or unrealistic, but there are real business benefits from manufacturing in the states: management of quality level, small batch production, and control of intellectual property.  And there are the personal relationships, finding people to work with that you can trust, and who value a sustainable future of manufacturing.

cheese box for storing cheese

I am grateful to grow with Eco Supply, and hopefully together we can keep the Grottoes regionally and American made.  

cheese cave for your counter

Stephan, a skilled carpenter and woodworker, was brought onto the Eco Supply team to assemble and finish each Grotto before it is picked up by the fulfillment center.  His attention to detail is essential to quality control.

cheese preserver made in usa

The CNC, a computer programmed cutting machine, prepares the individual panels of the Grotto.

cheese grotto cheese cave

how to make a cheese cave

how to build a cheese cave

 

5 comments

Joseffina Andersson

Hello,
I want to purchase an order from your company to our store in Finland.I want to know if you can ship here and accept credit card as a form payment.
Await your reply back asap.
Thank you

Yours

Joseffina Andersson

Jessica Sennett

Yes, the costs are the challenge. But the benefit is that one doesn’t have to purchase at incredible scale of inventory, which one has to do when producing overseas. There is less room for error and loss in that circumstance. Thanks for the kind words! We are going to try our best to keep manufacturing here always.

Cheri Wolff

P.S. I happen to also love cheese, unabashedly.

Cheri Wolff

I can so appreciate your attention to detail and your passion to search with conviction for the ideal. So glad you found
Anthony and the crew. You are all in good hands, maker hands and maker hearts.

Genevieve R Depa

Bravo! I applaud you and your efforts! I support and value ‘grown, made, produced’ locally. I think it is too often the cost that undermines efforts to sustain made in America? Best wishes for a successful 2017!

Jenny

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Shipping Details

Hardware

If you have purchased cheese hardware from our Grotto collection, it usually takes us 1 to 3 business days to ship your order, unless otherwise listed on the respective product page.

Cheese Orders

As the cheeses are a fresh product, we want to ensure the quickest transit time as possible, so your order arrives in the best possible condition.  Express shipping costs range from $25 - $55 depending on the package size, delivery window, location and carrier. We ship Mondays only each week, and orders must be placed by Thursday the week prior to be included in Monday's shipments.  If you purchased a cheese subscription with a set shipping schedule (Meet the Makers or any Gift Subscription), please refer to the respective product page for the fixed shipping schedule.

Please note: cheese ships from our cheese warehouse and hardware ships from our hardware warehouse. If you are purchasing both hardware and cheese, there will be a shipping charge for the cheese portion of your order.

International Orders

We are sorry, but we aren't legally allowed to ship cheese across the US border!  We can, however, ship our hardware from our Grotto collection worldwide.  Please note that the shipping costs options you see at checkout do not include customs, duties, and taxes which will be billed to you upon reaching the border, and will be an additional expense.  Those costs vary from country to country, but we recommend calculating at an additional 20% charge. If you refuse the package due to these additional fees and the hardware is returned to us, we will be able to issue a refund minus the outbound and return shipping costs.