Celebrating the quality and diversity of artisan cheeses produced in California through partnerships, outreach and education.
We credit Clark Wolf, a renowned food consultant and former Bay Area cheese professional, with developing the original idea for a California cheesemaker’s guild. He realized there needed to be an organization that represented the plethora of cheesemakers across the state. It was 2006 when he reserved a URL (cacheeseguild.org) and gathered the forces of several local visionaries including Jennifer Bice, Jill Basch, Lynne Devereux, Juliana Uruburu and Laura Martinez. The group created bylaws, a website, and started soliciting memberships. Non-profit status came in 2008. John Mackey provided enormous support as a pro bono attorney. Maureen Cunnie provided enormous support in getting cheesemaker education off the ground in partnership with College of Marin.
As we celebrate more than a decade of service to California’s artisan cheese community, our Guild has blossomed into the foremost cheese organization in the State. Our hundreds of members represent the breadth of California from northern coastal counties to the southern border, from the Central Coast to the San Joaquin Valley. We form a collaborative community of makers, mongers, distributors, food writers, and food safety experts. Our cheeses are sold across the State and beyond. We host and participate in dozens of events and educational forums each year.
Anthea began working with cheese at Zingerman’s Delicatessen in Ann Arbor, MI, after graduating from college with degrees in Economics and French Literature. It became clear that she preferred Beaufort to Baudelaire, and what she thought would be a summer job behind the cheese counter turned into three years of eye-opening learning and tasting. She moved to San Francisco in 2007 and worked at The Pasta Shop in Oakland, CA, before moving on to manage the cheese program for the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses. She has worked with the California Artisan Cheese Guild since 2015.
2022 Board of Directors
Anastasia is the Cheesemaker for Stuyt Dairy Farmstead Cheese Co. which is located in the small town of Escalon, California. Anastasia has worked there since her parents started the company in 2015. Her father taught her the art of cheese making. Not only is Anastasia the cheesemaker, but she also cares for the cheese throughout its aging process, is a certified lab technician and wrote their Food Safety Plan.
Keith Adams, Wm. Cofield Cheesemakers
Keith is the Cheesemaker and Co-founder of Wm. Cofield Cheesemakers in Sebastopol. Dedicated to making British-inspired cheese from organic Sonoma County milk, Cofield has been in production for just over 3 years. Prior to that, Keith was the founder and is still managing partner of Alemar Cheese, based In Minnesota.
Tarush Agarwal, co-founder of Sach Foods
Tarush is the co-founder of Sach Foods- a mission-driven company featuring the world’s first organic, artisanal, and flavored paneer, a firm, fresh cheese with a creamy texture. Tarush Agarwal co-founded Sach Foods in 2019 along with his wife/partner, Jasleen. They were inspired and motivated by their rich cultural heritage as first-generation Indian immigrants. At Sach, Tarush fosters company growth through innovative distribution partnerships and a savvy direct-to-consumer strategy. In a relatively short period of time, Tarush has taken their small batch paneer concept from a kitchen to over 1000 stores while partnering with some of the nations finest retailers including Whole Foods, Safeway and others. Prior to starting Sach, Tarush worked in media and technology for over a decade; he has held leadership and management positions at various companies including Walt Disney
Kelley Levin, Communications Manager for sister brands Marin French Cheese Co., Laura Chenel, and St. Benoit Creamery
Kelley is the Marketing Communications Manager for sister brands Marin French Cheese Co., Laura Chenel, and St. Benoit Creamery. She has been in the food and hospitality industry for about 10 years and has been involved in the cheese community for much of that time. She has traveled both domestically and internationally, visiting dairies, cheesemakers, and specialty shops across borders. In her consumer-facing role she gets to share her passion for artisan cheese and dairy through digital and print outlets, in-person events, and community outreach. She is a Northern California native who loves bringing people together over good food and drinks.
Lindsey Mendes, Central Coast Creamery
Growing up in Hilmar, CA, Lindsey has always had a special place in her heart for the dairy industry, especially for cheese. She attended Cal Poly where she studied Dairy Science. Lindsey started working at Central Coast Creamery in Paso Robles, CA, while still attending Cal Poly. Upon graduating, she became their first full-time employee. Seven years later she is now the production manager/cheesemaker at Central Coast Creamery.
Karen Sims, Tony’s Fine Foods
My name is Karen Sims, I am an ACS Certified Cheese Professional®. My career has spanned over 30 years in distribution and the retail industry. I currently work for Tony’s Fine Foods, located in West Sacramento as an Inside Category Specialists, focusing on Cheese and Specialty items. I grew up in Marin county where I spent most of my life until taking my role with Tony’s over 14 years ago. My passion for cheese developed early in my career and has led me down an amazing path that I continue to grow and enjoy every day.
Luciana Villanueva, Gus’s Community Market
Born in Italy, Luciana’s roots began deeply entrenched in the culture of food. She currently serves as the cheese coordinator for Gus’s Community Market. After a robust career in sales/marketing, Luciana wanted to do something FUN and that is when the world of cheese was discovered. An ACS Certified Cheese Professional, Luciana loves exploring new cheeses/pairings and is continually inspired by our local cheesemaking community. Living la vita queso !!
CALIFORNIA ARTISAN CHEESE GUILD
Our Mission is Celebrating the quality and diversity of artisan cheese produced in California through partnerships, outreach and education.