Sunday, November 04, 2012

Andy Hatch and Uplands Cheese. World-class cheese, great music, and smart local economic development

I really admire Andy Hatch and Uplands Cheese.

Check out the great story below about the demand for Andy's work.  Have you tried their Rush Creek Reserve?  Yikes!

And their amazing Pleasant Ridge Reserve has been named the nation’s top cheese by the American Cheese Society three years in a row - unprecedented professional recognition.

I get to work with Andy in Iowa County, Wisconsin.  Watching Andy combine family and business and music and those wonderful, wonderful cheeses is an honor.

Uplands Cheese is owned by the Gingrich and Patenaude families.  When I'm really lucky I get to share a venue in Iowa County where Mike and Carol Gingrich are sharing samples of their Pleasant Ridge Reserve.  

There is a lot of business wisdom from Andy in the article below.  It's never a straight line no matter what kind of enterprise you're in.  How you adapt, as Uplands Cheese did, is the difference between sustainable businesses and those that aren't.

You'll see how the drought hit their operations and the temptation to stretch the brand beyond what made it so great.

“It took a lot of self-discipline to not make cheese this year, watching your costs rise and your income shrivel,” Hatch said. “It’s tough not to say, ‘Well, we can make a couple batches on hay,’ but we didn’t.”

Andy and everyone at Uplands Cheese have created an amazing economic development story in Iowa County, Wisconsin.  Great cheese.  Great brand.  Great business wisdom.

This Wisconsin State Journal article was written by Jane Burns.  Oct. 31 2012

Much-anticipated Rush Creek Reserve cheese hits store shelves early.

"This year, Rush Creek Reserve lived up to its name."

"The much-anticipated cheese was on store shelves ahead of schedule this fall, pleasing the eager fans of the seasonal release from Uplands Cheese Co. in Dodgeville while helping to take the sting off a tough year at the company’s farm."

"You can’t believe the amount of emails and phone calls I’ve been getting in the last two weeks: ‘Is it ready yet? Is it ready yet?’” said Uplands cheesemaker Andy Hatch. “I think, ‘You remembered? Did you write it on your calendar?”

 Thank you Uplands Cheese and Andy Hatch!

Wisconsin State Journal story: Much-anticipated Rush Creek Reserve cheese hits store shelves early.  Written by Jane Burns.  Oct. 31, 2012

Uplands Cheese Company,  Dodgeville, WI.

Iowa County Area Economic Development

Point Five. The wonderful band Andy plays with.  I love their music.  -  "Point Five is an Americana Acoustic Band from Mineral Point that really rocks!",  Americana Gazette Magazine. 

My favorite Andy Hatch quote from the article - because it vindicates MY favorite way to eat Rush Creek Reserve...  “My wife treats it like a Haagen-Dazs. I’ll come home and she’ll be sitting there with Rush Creek and a spoon.”

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