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Thoughts from the Director of Operations

When I first started working at Artisanal it was just a job for me, as I was out of work and needed something to do. I had just recently moved back to the city and wanted to work, and had been informed about this new company which was in the opening stages and was looking for someone to handle all calls for the office. Having over 10 years experience working in the hospitality industry I thought I would give this a try. At the time Artisanal was still setting up operations and working on getting the website ready to go live. There was a lot of behind the scenes work which I was a part of and assisted in setting up. I had thought I knew cheese, I did know what it was that I liked, which was the typical cheeses one found in many stores, Kraft singles, Velveta, and Finlandia Swiss.
10010 thumb Thoughts from the Director of Operations

When I was asked what my favorite cheese was I would say Swiss cheese, I always had to have it on my sandwiches. Well let me tell you almost 6 years later I now know when someone asks me what my favorite cheese is, I can not answer this simple question. I have grown and expanded my taste and knowledge for cheese. I am unable to just choose one cheese as a favorite. We have so many cheeses that I have learned about and enjoyed over the years and there are so many new cheeses coming in that I have yet to learn about. Although I still sway towards the Mountain style cheese, and I feel is a must have on any cheese plate, I also enjoy many other great cheeses that I have experienced in my time with Artisanal such as, Epoisses, Abbaye de Belloc, Vacherin Mont d’Or and Tomme Fermiere d’Alsace, just to name a few. But I have learned that even for each season some cheeses are better then others, and that the animals grazing and eating habits also make a difference in the flavor and texture of the cheese. So with all the great options I can not just pick one.

From being a novice of cheese I have grown and now feel confident talking about the varieties of milk types, textures, sizes, shapes, and tastes of the different cheeses that we carry, and can compare and match up to spark the taste buds. I still look forward to learning more about the many cheeses that we sample and taste to see if we are able to include into our line.

I will say that working at Artisanal is not just a job as it once was, for me it is an exciting part of my day. I get to learn as I work and being part of the team I get to see all the cheeses that come in and leave our facility.

Please look for my next blog entry where I will be able to tell you some stories of the years working at Artisanal Cheese.

-Gerald Hylla
Director of Operations

Spread the curd!
  • more Thoughts from the Director of Operations
Posted by Gerald

31 Responses to “Thoughts from the Director of Operations”

  1. janet yan Says:

    Gerald knowing you for about 15 years you a very hard worker and can probably run this place with your eyes closed i hope that your top managers treat and respect your for the great person and the knowledge that you have for your job.

  2. Billy Bon Says:

    I agree why settle on one favorite cheese when there are so many. Some taste better than others depending on the time of year, what meal you prepared or what type of wine you choose to drink. Either way you can't go wrong with cheese the more choices the better!

  3. Donna Barron Says:

    Knowing you all our lives, there is one thing I can certainly say about you, you are a very dedicated worker. I know that you give one hundred and ten percent of your all to this company! And I do know you know cheese!

    I have purchased from you, in your beginning stages of the company.

    You have helped me to not be afraid to pick and choose! To try something new! To be different! I loved sampling the different cheeses, you helped me to over come my fear, of just staying with the same old same old!

    I just love the parmesan!!! Now don't hold me to WHICH one!

    The more choices the better!

  4. Ann Hylla Says:

    You have taught me alot about cheeses. I realy didn't know there were so may cheeses out there. I only knew about what you get in the grocery stores. Since you started working hrae at this company you have taught me about the different types of cheeses and how they are made.

    It is very nice to learn from you and to get to taste the different kinds of cheese.

    You showed me not to be afaired to try new things. Thank you for that and for teaching me what the cheeses are made of. Like goat cheese, and the different kids of cow cheeses.

  5. John Says:

    It is true when you grow up with limited access to cheese you think you know much, but as you develop a taste for great foods you do learn about the vast amount of cheese there is to enjoy. I am always changing my opinion as to what my favorite is.

  6. Dolly Ou Says:

    What exactly is cheese anyway? But honestly, I was surprised when I learned that there are over 400 types of cheese. I was never a cheese lover and still after working at a cheese company I still can't stand cheese. I guess I'll never learn but hey, it was fun learning about cheese from people who love cheeses. We should have a cheese motto like "Got Cheese?" lolz

    BTW I was forced to comment on this blog =-=

  7. Dolly Cho Says:

    Such a great article. I am so interested in cheese.

  8. Susan Mei Says:

    I respect your work ethics- Opening up to new things (especially tasting them). This is a really important attitude in a work environment. What makes your work even better is that you enjoy what you do while learning about new types of cheese.

  9. Dolly Cho Says:

    Such a great article. I am so interested in cheese

  10. Iris Chueng Says:

    I agree with Dolly Cho. She is so intelligent. I think she is god. You know what goes really well with cheese. Beer.

  11. Iris Cheng Says:

    I don't think about cheese much; the most I ever think about them is whether to get Kraft or another brand (like Sam's Choice or Pathmark or Shop Rite) or whether I should get American or Swiss or Blue Cheese or Cheddar. I've never really every thought about other types of cheeses, especially those unknown to me, like the epoisses. I've never even heard of that cheese before.

    After reading this, I wonder how many types of cheese are out in the world. Although it seems like common sense, it never comes to mind: that the diets of the animals really affect the cheeses that are produced by the animals themselves.

  12. Gaetane Graham Says:

    Gerald, I enjoyed reading your blog. And, I definitely hope that one day, you can sit me down and go over some of these cheeses. I'm afraid that I'm a novice too and although I like cheese, I haven't been exposed to many. Any one in particular you would recommend to a novice like me?

  13. Dale Says:

    Gerald, I am impressed — you are right most Americans think kraft cheese as their favorite –an Italian American will think they are gourmet diners by eating provolone or locatelli — can't wait for your next blog

  14. John Says:

    You did talk about the different seasons that cheeses may be better in, do you have this list somewhere, or a section where one could find the sesons to which a cheese is better in?

  15. Brenda Awe-Zuniga Says:

    Gerald— I really enjoyed reading your blog. It was very interesting since I actually thought I knew a little bit more about cheese than the common American, Parmesan, Feta, Swiss, Cheddar, & provolone cheeses…LOL! What the heck is "mountain cheese"? Wow– I always figured you to be a "smart one", but now I know for sure! Great job…educational lil article….Thx sooo much 4 sharing! (Maybe we can all meet over some cheese and crackers sometime soon and discuss this yummy topic a lil more! LOL!)

  16. Lloyd Tapper Says:

    I enjoyed reading your entry. I never thought about the seasons of cheese or the eating habits of the animals as they make their milk. I can imagine much like wine, the making of cheese is really affected from the very beginning with the raw materials. I look forward to your next entry.

    I'm glad you have found your time at Artisnal to be educational. I think that is the best we can ask from a job.

  17. Ralphy Says:

    It's surprising to me that there is such a different variety of cheeses. Everything from the size and texture and taste are different, and it seems like something that would be very interesting to learn ( the different methods of making different cheeses that is). From this blog I can tell that Gerald really does have a newfound perspective on cheese making and such, and although I am pretty uninformed when it comes to these things I will say that your love for cheese is def genuine and educational.

  18. Leah Says:

    Swiss cheese used to be my favorite cheese too. It wasn't the best tasting cheese… so I don't know why it was my favorite. o-O

  19. Serena Says:

    i always choose swiss as the cheese when i go to subway cause the name sounds better lols?

  20. Robert Says:

    I'm inspired to love cheese after reading this blog. Thanks a lot!

  21. Ivan Says:

    Wow, i never imagined a blog solely speaking about cheese. But nevertheless, i agree about the difficulty of picking one particular cheese at the deli or wherever. There are too many cheeses out there to just pick one. i personally like cheddar but sometimes im in that swiss mood or mozzerella. Nice Job. Maybe your next blog can be about what kinds of crackers match with each cheese lol.

  22. Connie Says:

    I agree with you. If someone asked me what is my favorite cheese I wouldn't be able to answer them. – Connie

  23. Toby Wen Says:

    From reading this i can tell your a dedicated worker on what you do keep up the work and im sure you’ll inspire more people on cheese

    im inspired to love cheese after reading this blog. thanks dolly
    i also was told to do this and forced to say ^^

  24. Dawood Din Says:

    Wow this article made my mouth water. I guess I’m not that cultured in cheese. My idea of premium cheese is Polly-O singles. I mean who can resist rod shaped mozzarella? But seems like you have had the joy of tasting so many different kinds. Geez, maybe there’s an internship there for me? Don;t even have to pay me food….some cheese would do nicely. Maybe some crackers too.

  25. Christina Says:

    Gerald, I have read your experience and it seems to be an exciting enviornment. I have never liked cheese but after reading what you have wrote, i now will consider it. Keep up with the good work and enjoy the family that Artisanal had brought for you.

  26. juan miguel suarez Says:

    hey Gerald, i agree with you about after working in artisanal ,get little dificult to say wish if you favorite cheese!!!!! In artisanal we get the oportunite to get in contact with cheeses maker and see how much love and passion the put in there products in general no only the cheese and wine , the bread the honey!!!and everthing have little history i'm carrying with me!! and taste!and love it!!!god bless the cows!!!!

  27. Pete Says:

    You make your job sound fun, do you have any openings? It is always a good thing to beable to learn when you work, and to enjoy what you are doing.

  28. Cindy Says:

    Hi Gerald, I never knew there's so much to cheese……..I'll stick with what I know, kafts singles.

  29. Joie Says:

    Like so many people who have commented, there's no way I could choose a favorite cheese either.

    Until recently, I really had no idea about the world of cheese, especially when it comes to the incredible variety. I always felt kind of intimidated when I would pass the cheese counter at Whole Foods or the Coop where I used to shop when I lived in Vermont. I just stuck to one or two "safe" cheeses.

    When my husband got a job at Artisanal, all of this changed. I can't believe how many different cheese there are and how many of them I like. It's also surprising that I find myself pulled toward the "stinky" variety. They might look or smell a little odd, but they are some of the most delicious cheeses.

    Anyway, I want to thank the gang at Artisanal for becoming my ambassadors to cheese. My friends and family all make fun of me for how cheesy I've become since Josh has been working with you.

  30. Robin Williams Says:

    Having just left a notable 5star-5diamond Inn, where i was the "Cheese Guru" i am constantly trying to maintain my connections with the cheese world and am glad to have found this blog site. your blog was great and i look forward to reading more.

  31. Sandra Says:

    I am a regular customers and i can say that your company constantly find innovations on thousand ways to enjoy cheese. Keep it up!