Professional Cheesemonger in the Applied Entrepreneurship Program (AEP)
My name is Lauren Stephenson, I am a South Bend native and professional cheesemonger. My business is all about bringing an experience to your table or event in the form of specialty cheeses and accompaniments. I have been in the business of specialty cheese and meats for a total of three years but have been integrated into food my whole life. I am incredibly passionate about eating well and supporting small local, domestic, and international makers. I can be hired for a number of experiences such as instructional cheese board building, focused educational tastings and pairings, as well as consultation and education for existing food service establishments to enhance current offerings.
Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a competition known as the Cheesemonger Invitational (CMI) in San Francisco, California. It was a three day event including two intense days of cheese education and presentations from renowned cheesemakers, distributors, and meateries. The third day was the cheese version of Cut Throat Kitchen that included a written test, taste test, smell test, as well as a judged pairing competition. There were 27 contestants, all of us being selected through an application process. We had a specific cheese assigned to us individually and with that we developed the perfect bite, beverage, and plate.
The information I retained and the global connections made at CMI are absolutely invaluable to me. Not only did I network with different mongers and makers but learned about the impact the dairy industry is having within global sustainability, as well as how age old practices from different parts of the world are being preserved.
LAUREN ON THE IMPACT RISE HAS HAD ON HER BUSINESS
“My time in AEP has really helped me to find the path I wanted to take and how to establish myself as a profitable powerhouse within the subculture that is cheesemongering and the local food scene. Similarly to CMI, AEP has provided valuable contacts and networking opportunities to those who can really propel a business in the right direction. Having the foundation laid to be aware of business and what it takes will give me a true upper hand in making sure I can continue to do what I love.”
Provide a contribution
Want to support Lauren's business and other businesses our entrepreneurs have started? Make a contribution to help students afford the necessary costs to be a part of our program. Contributions will go towards supplies, transportation fees, and tuition for our students.