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Current owners, David Gremmels and Cary Bryant, bought Rogue Creamery less than ten years ago because the owner, Ignazio Vella, told them they’d have to if they wanted to sell his cheese for the wine bar they were planning to open. This offer, presented to almost anyone else, would have likely fallen on deaf ears. Fortunately, he offered it to David and Cary who were willing to trust their intuition about the creamery and take over one of Oregon's oldest cheese institutions. Rogue has a long history of cheesemaking, stretching back to the 1930’s. It is also a tradition peppered with “firsts”- Oregon Blue was the first blue cheese produced on the west coast, Rogue Smokey Blue was the first of its kind from the region, the creamery won an awared for the best blue cheese at the World Cheese Awards in London in 2003, and in 2008, Rogue Creamery became the first American artisan producer to export raw milk cheese to Europe. This recent development is a huge step forward, not just for Rogue but also for the larger artisan cheese industry. They are putting American cheeses on the map and also protecting the tradition of raw milk cheesemaking in the U.S. The creamery is back to its former glory if not beyond. David and Cary have worked in close partnership with Mr. Vella to ensure that they remain true to Rogue’s roots. Their success is apparent in the staff working there - many of the cheesemakers there today remember coming to the creamery as young children to buy a bag of warm cheese curds for weekend outings. Rogue Creamery is proof that in the right hands, a relatively small business can have a tremendous impact on its local community and a burgeoning industry.
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