Andy Fitzgerrell ACS CCP™ Bio
I ended up getting into cheese back in 2009 when we moved to Salt Lake City. I was working for Whole Foods at the time and when I transferred they didn’t have a spot in Produce. They asked me if I’d like to work in Specialty (cheese/coffee/chocolate/beer). I said “I like cheese” and that’s where I ended up. About 4 months after I got here, I ended up getting the buyer position for the department. It was all downhill from there. I was truly intrigued by what makes cheese, “cheese.” How it works, why flavors develop. The history of cheeses, etc.
In 2010 I left WFM and started working for a local specialty market: Caputo’s Market & Deli. That was the real catalyst for me. I was thrown in with a bunch of true cheese-o-philes. I had to learn quickly, because I’m competitive. I don’t like being the guy that doesn’t have the answer for a question. So, I was challenged in that setting and it was really fun. There was a great camaraderie amongst the crew. We all learned from each other. I returned to WFM at the end of that year and resumed a buyer position in a store. From there, I continued my networking and relationship building with producers within the specialty trade. In 2012 I was selected as 1 of 5 people within the region (29 stores at the time) to go take the inaugural CCP exam. I actually ended up studying with my friend, and former employer, Matt Caputo. We spent 7 months studying and meeting on a weekly basis. When it came time for the exam, we traveled to Raleigh, NC. Matt and I ended up sitting one person apart from each other when we took the test. We both finished early, and I got his attention with a *cough cough*. Matt looked over at me and I gave him the thumbs up with a questioning eyebrow. He returned the thumbs up with a smile. I then gave the international sign for “we’re having some whiskey in a bit” and he gave me a firm nod. It was a good day, and a great night. Ha ha.
As far as being a “cheese geek.” I don’t know. I don’t know if I am one. I don’t know if I’ll ever be one. I’m an appreciator of food. I do love cheese. If some people think that I am a reliable source for cheese knowledge, then I am honored. I didn’t set out to be an authority on this stuff. I just enjoy it, and I like sharing my love with other people.
I’m back working with Caputo’s Market. I returned in March of 2014. I really wanted to work with a locally-based/owned company. One that has deep roots within the local food community.
A “typical” day for me? That depends on which day of the week. I help run one of our stores 3-4 days week. On my other days, I work behind the scenes – photographing product for our website and/or in-house use. Designing press releases and flyers. Photographing events. I get to do a lot with my work week. It’s quite entertaining.
My thanks to everyone participating in my 2015 Virtual Q&A with Cheese Professionals. I hope all of you, my loyal readers, are enjoying this as much as I am…
Interviews will continue throughout 2015… sometimes, they will be “stand-alone” and sometimes they will be presented as round-table discussions with several Cheese Professionals answering the same question. Those participating include Cheesemakers, ACS CCPs™, Cheesemongers and Cheese Professionals and Experts who contribute to this Wonderful World we call “Cheese”.
List of 2015 Cheese Professionals.
List of all Cheese Professionals Bios.
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Taking the 2015 ACS CCP™ Exam? Please see my page on Tips for Studying for the Exam.