Dear cheese lovers,
Earlier this month, Cheese Grotto celebrated its sixth anniversary. In November 2016, after more than a decade working in cheese and years of dreaming and planning and tweaking, I launched our original Grotto, the Classico.
Amid our hectic holiday rush, I’m reflecting on how far we’ve come as a company dedicated to sharing our love and enjoyment of artisan cheese with the world. Without the generous contributions of creatives, manufacturers, and retailers—not to mention the support of thousands of individual customers—our small business wouldn't have lasted past the first year.
I’m so proud of how we’ve grown and adapted since then. We developed three additional Cheese Grotto models and our line of cheese boards and servingware. We expanded our offerings to include award-winning artisan cheeses from some of our favorite domestic producers and a subscription program that makes learning about cheese and experiencing new varieties easier and more delicious than ever.
To make it happen, we expanded our team, which now includes our craftspeople and fulfillment staff in Ohio, our customer service and content folks on the East Coast, and a small army of cheesemakers and gourmet food producers. It’s a far cry from 2016, when I was a one-woman show, answering emails, coordinating with suppliers, and promoting the Grotto to anyone who would listen.
Building Cheese Grotto has been the most challenging and fulfilling work of my life, and my reward is a vibrant community of cheese lovers like you. But what strikes me is how much has stayed the same.
Staying small has kept us true to who we are. I’ve come to think of the challenges that come with being smaller than the competition as an asset, not a liability. A small business like Cheese Grotto can be agile, responding to our customers’ needs faster than the big guys can. We make a point to keep learning and take the feedback we receive from our customers to heart.
For a small business like us, customer service is everything. That doesn’t just mean answering your emails quickly. We want our blog to be the ultimate resource on all things cheese for you, our customers. We invest time and care into curating our subscriptions and gift box program so that every package you open has that personal touch. Our goal is to be the friendly, knowledgeable cheesemonger you wish you had in your neighborhood and bring that service right to your door.
Running a small business means building personal connections and forging real community, not gunning for rapid, unsustainable growth at all costs. Instead, one of our key markers of success is consistency: creating high-quality products, delivering top-tier customer service, and maintaining the relationships and supply chains that keep Cheese Grotto going.
Because we’re small, our message and our mission—championing American makers and sharing the values, rituals, and sensations of traditional cheesemaking with cheese lovers like you—has to resonate. Shopping with Cheese Grotto means not only supporting our mission, but also supporting the community of small businesses we rely on. When you shop small, your impact is multiplied throughout the supply chain.
This year, Small Business Saturday is November 26. We invite you to peruse our online gift guide, check out our storage gear and cheese subscriptions, and find something that will delight someone you love. We’re so grateful for your support now and all year round. Thank you for supporting small businesses like ours.
Yours in cheese,