So much about this past year was extraordinary, especially the community that formed around Monforte.
Some of the cheeses started to do what we were hoping for but the difficulties in the engineering seemed to escalate through 2010.We all know that startups are intense and uncomfortable, but I don’t think anyone could have forseen the number of huge problems we would face. It got so we all just wanted to have a week that didn’t cost us over $10,000 in unexpected expenses.
The dairy was designed to have three ripening rooms. This was to spread cash flow around and create more depth of product as well as better aging conditions. These rooms are the WHITE MOLD ROOM for camemberts etc., a BLUE MOLD ROOM, for roquefort and a waterbuffalo blue, and then my favourite, a WILD ROOM for cheeses that can hang out together and develop different molds. These are the cheeses we started with in Millbank and include Toscano, Piacere, and some new ones such as Saler, and Abundance. Most of these cheeses need a much longer aging process, and the advantage to having the other rooms is that the cheese is ready to sell much younger; even as little as 9 days for some cheeses.
We haven’t been able to get these two rooms ready to go yet, and therefore we have created an inventory of $300,000 worth of cheese in the wild mold room and this has put our cash flow in a tough postion.
Another problem has been having the time to pull in the grants that we have been approved for. There are three of them and the paper work is done on two, but now the waiting begins. The last two weeks have been spent doing cash flow analysis with our accountant and the projections look wonderful for the year. We sold $750,000 worth of cheese in 2010 without even picking up the phone, but the cheeses out of the white mold room just aren’t quite right yet.
We want 2011 to be a year where we can create more pleasure for you. The thought of making great cheese that curls your toes is all I want for 2011.
Thank you for the support and help, as always.