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Wisconsin Sweeps Top Three Spots at 2017 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest

Marieke Penterman of Marieke Gouda in Thorp, Wisconsin, with her USCCC Second Runner-Up Marieke Gouda Belegen; Mike Matucheski of Sartori Cheese in Antigo, Wisconsin with his Grand Champion Sartori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano, and Terry Lensmire of Agropur in Weyauwega, Wisconsin with his First Runner-Up Cheddar, Aged One to Two Years, at the Cheese Champion Reception in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Thursday, March 9, 2017.

Marieke Penterman of Marieke Gouda in Thorp, Wisconsin, with her USCCC Second Runner-Up Marieke Gouda Belegen; Mike Matucheski of Sartori Cheese in Antigo, Wisconsin with his Grand Champion Sartori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano, and Terry Lensmire of Agropur in Weyauwega, Wisconsin with his First Runner-Up Cheddar, Aged One to Two Years, at the Cheese Champion Reception in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Thursday, March 9, 2017.

Wisconsin cheesemakers continued their historic winning streak at the 2017 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, sweeping the top awards and 31 competition classes. With the title of Grand Champion Cheese going to Sartori’s Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano, Wisconsin has won top honors at the country’s three major cheese competitions over the past year.

Little Mountain from Roelli Cheese earned Best of Show at the American Cheese Society Competition in July, and Emmi Roth USA’s Grand Cru Surchoix won the 2016 World Championship Cheese Contest, marking the first sweep of this kind.

“This winning streak is a testament to the tradition, innovation and commitment to excellence that Wisconsin dairy farmers and cheesemakers exemplify,” said Suzanne Fanning, Vice President, National Product Communications, of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). “It’s further proof that Wisconsin not only makes the most cheese in the country, but the very best cheese, as well. This starts with producing the finest milk and maintaining the highest standards from the farm to the aging caves and beyond.”

Made by Master Cheesemaker Mike Matucheski, Sartori’s Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano is an original Italian-style cheese hand-rubbed with cracked black peppercorns. The contest’s award for first runner up went to Aged Cheddar from Agropur. Marieke Gouda Belegen was the second runner up.

With a record-breaking 2,303 entries from 33 U.S. states, the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is the largest technical cheese, butter and yogurt competition in the country. Wisconsin captured 60 percent of all awards, winning 184 awards total, including the top three titles, 62 Best of Class awards, 63 second place, and 56 third place awards.

U.S. Championship Honors for Montchevre

Montchevre claimed seven awards at the 2017 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest®. Hosted by the Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association, the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, is the largest technical cheese, butter, and yogurt competition in the country.

At the 19th biennial U.S. Championship Cheese Contest held Thursday, March 9 in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Montchevre received the following honors:

Class: Flavored Soft Goat’s Milk Cheeses

Best of Class, Truffle Fresh Goat Cheese Log

Second, Four Pepper Fresh Goat Cheese Log

Class: Flavored Soft Goat’s Milk Cheese with Sweet Condiments

Best of Class, Blueberry Vanilla Fresh Goat Cheese Log

Class: Semi-Soft Goat’s Milk Cheeses

Best of Class, Crumbled Goat Cheese

Class: Flavored Semi-Soft Goat’s Milk Cheeses

Best of Class, Apricot & Sage Crumbled Goat Cheese

Third, Candied Cranberry Crumbled Goat Cheese

Class: Hard Goat’s Milk Cheeses

Best of Class, Trivium (in partnership with Crown Finish Caves and Creamery 333)

A record-setting 2,303 cheeses, butters, and yogurts from 33 states participated in the 2017 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.

DAVIDsTEA Appoints Joel Silver as President and Chief Executive Officer

DAVIDsTEA Inc.’s board of directors has appointed Joel Silver as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of its board of directors, with both appointments to become effective on March 20, 2017. Silver will succeed Christine Bullen, who has served as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer since January 29, 2017 while the company conducted a formal search for a permanent Chief Executive Officer. Bullen will continue to serve in her prior role as Managing Director, U.S.

Maurice Tousson, Chairman of the company’s board of directors, stated, “On behalf of the board of directors, I am delighted to welcome Joel to DAVIDsTEA. We believe that his diverse experience with consumer-centric and lifestyle brands coupled with his leadership skills and track record of success make him an excellent fit to lead DAVIDsTEA. Joel’s background and skill set will be valuable as we capitalize on the opportunities to grow the DAVIDsTEA brand. We would also like to thank Christine for her contributions while she served as Interim President & CEO and look forward to her continued leadership as Managing Director, U.S.”

Silver added, “I am honored to join DAVIDsTEA as President and CEO. I look forward to working with the board, management, and passionate team members of this unique and exciting company as we work together to expand the business and realize the potential for DAVIDsTEA.”

Silver comes to DAVIDsTEA with over 20 years of consumer brand experience, having most recently served as general partner and a member of the board of directors of TrilogyGrowth, a venture capital fund he co-founded, which focuses on consumer-centric brands including Poppin, a modern office supplies brand, iStore, a Canadian-based retail and wholesale brand providing consumers with trendy and practical digital lifestyle solutions, and Indeed Laboratories, a Canadian-based skin care company with global distribution. Prior to TrilogyGrowth, from 2003 to 2011, Silver held several positions of increasing responsibility at Indigo Books & Music Inc., Canada’s largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer, most recently as president. In this capacity, Silver drove Indigo Books & Music’s strategy to build the general merchandise categories, including the launch of Indigo Kids and the doubling of the lifestyle categories. He also was responsible for significantly expanding revenues across all retail and e-commerce channels and helped Indigo Books & Music launch Kobo, its e-reading platform. Silver has sat on Indigo Books & Music’s Board of Directors since 2011. He also was a co-founder and the chief executive officer of SalesDriver.com Inc., an on-line e-commerce platform based out of Boston & Toronto that was sold to Carlson Marketing Group Inc. Silver began his career in brand management at Procter & Gamble.

Silver earned his bachelor’s degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada and his master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.

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