PA Cheesemakers Adopt New Business Models to Attract New Clients

Pennsylvania cheesemakers have been forced to seek out new ways to spread the word about their blues, semisoft, tangy and block cheeses.

Sue Miller, president of the Pennsylvania Cheese Guild and owner of Birchrun Hills Farm in Chester Springs, said the main clientele for most of the state’s cheesemakers are restaurants, farmers markets and retail stores. Since those outlets have taken a hit because of COVID-19, cheesemakers, too, are grappling with the economic fallout.

Restaurants are operating at a fraction of their usual volume. Farmers markets are not faring better, with some staying closed this season and some opening later than usual. And while food stores like Stamoolis Brothers in the Strip District are open, they aren’t offering cheese samples because of the virus-related safety concerns. As a result the cheese sales are down.

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