If you’ve been around for a while, you may already know how the Cheese Therapy Box came to be. It’s a story (and an approach) we continue to feel strongly about because, at the end of the day, it’s just about good cheese and good people. And good people (that’s you) supporting good people when times are tough.
Good Cheese, Good People – Why It Matters
Research shows that helping others, helps us to feel good. And it can have an even higher effect when you’re starting out not feeling so great. And that was us in 2020.
When the bushfires struck we were working hard on our growing business, supplying cheese to savvy Australians who wanted European-style cheeses. But the bushfires brought everything into sharp focus for all of Australia. Little things mattered less, but big things became much more important. In January 2020, one of our incredible cheesemakers, Milawa Cheese Co, reached out to us – they’d lost all their summer trade because of the bushfires. They were facing financial ruin. They needed help.
We could have gushed our empathetic condolences. Told them how sorry we were, and talked about our own struggles. But instead we knuckled down and thought about ways that we could help. And that led to the first Cheese Therapy Box
This isn’t to toot our own horns. In fact, we just did what anyone would (if they could). We did what Milawa would have done for us, if the roles had been reversed. But it did feel great to help. And other Australians, our incredible customers, agreed. They bought the Therapy Box – in fact, we were inundated with orders. And it worked – Milawa made it through the difficult 2020 and are still producing beautiful cheese today. And that incredible feeling made us want to do more.
So, when other cheesemakers came to us facing the new problems from COVID-19, we knew our Therapy Box was here to stay. And with each new version, we’d sell out – month after month after month. Because good people supporting good people, can go a long way to fixing what’s wrong with the world.
Of course COVID didn’t play favourites. And it wasn’t just the cheesemakers who struggled under the effects of the pandemic – it was all Australian artisans. It was the coffee farmers and roasters, the wine growers and producers and the chocolate makers – all those people that we work with every day. The people that create the beautiful products that let cheese shine (and make life worth living!). Since January 2020, our Cheese Therapy Box has helped almost 20 small cheesemakers. It’s kept hundreds of people employed. It’s given the average Australian a real, tangible way to help. And that really does feel great.
And our other boxes give us a way to help the other producers as well.
Who are our makers?
Of course, we also want to ensure that the producers that we’re supporting don’t just make good products, but are good people themselves. And this is true across the board.
Milawa Cheese Co
David and Anne Brown founded Milawa Cheese Co in 1988. They were inspired to put down roots in a rural community where life was slower and ‘more real’ than city life. 30 years later they make all their beautiful cheeses from local goat and cow milk producers.
Julian and Dianne Benson of Apostle Whey use only milk from their herd of Aussie Red / Jersey cows to craft their cheeses. And every item they produce is a labour of love that combines their twin passions for sustainable farming and artisan produce.
With a tagline like, ‘Good for our sheep, good for the planet, good for you’, you know the people at Grandvewe are doing something right. We love how they treat their sheep, too. They only milk their ewes during the period when they naturally lactate and then only once a day during that time. ‘The rest of the year, they live an idyllic, leisurely life in the country – grazing 40 acres of organically-farmed pasture with their tails intact.’
Zentveld’s Coffee in Byron Bay has been paving the way for good coffee by good people since 1993. And during that time John and Rebecca Zentveld have proved that you can develop a sustainable, viable local coffee industry that Australians will love to support, even against the much cheaper produced coffees of the world. Today they continue their efforts to grow beautiful coffee in a particularly sustainable and ethical manner.
Family is at the heart of good people. And the family behind Brockenchack Wines takes that very seriously. In fact, the name is made up of the four grandkids names and their vineyard and business is actually the answer to Trevor and Marilyn Harch’s yearning for a legacy to pass down through the generations.
These producers are good people. And we could have chosen any of the producers that form part of our Cheese Therapy Boxes and all our other offerings here at Cheese Therapy. Because they’re all good people. And we are proud to be working with them and supporting them every day.
Australians supporting Australians into the future
Are we coming out of the woods with COVID? We really hope so, but we just don’t know. But, at the end of the day, we’re not going to change… well… anything. For us, it’s important that we always continue to support the small, artisan and traditional producers. These are the people who move slow to create something wonderful. Who believe in people and sustainable practices. And who are just good people – plain and simple.
Supporting them through our business is just one way we can help. And getting those beautiful products on our (virtual) shelves just makes good sense.
Good cheese, good people – we’ve got them both! Shop the online store today to support our artisan makers. Tastes good and feels good, too.