Tim Healy: West Coast Cheese Peddler, Rogue Creamery Bio
My official title is West Coast Cheese Peddler for Rogue Creamery. I don’t have a typical work day, I work remotely from Portland and the creamery is 286 miles south– I’m either visiting retailers or restaurants, meeting with distributors, educational trainings and tastings or attending food shows, oh and traveling anywhere David (Gremmels) needs me to go.
I’m an Oregonian from a large family living in Portland with my wife Catherine, my daughter and son.
I got into cheese slowly. First, from the craft beer world where I spent 13 years at Bridgeport Brewing Co. The menu there featured Pizza and we used a lot of European cheeses to create unique pies. The original owners of Bridgeport, the Ponzi family started in the wine business before beer, and I went to work for them in 1997 opening and managing their wine bar in Dundee, OR. I would purchase cheese for our limited menu and had a little case for small format stuff to sell for local residents and wine touring groups to add to their picnics. Provvista Specialty Foods was my supplier then and they would bring cheese folks to meet me and see the wine bar, like Jason Hinds (Neal’s Yard) and Michelle Buster (Forever Cheese).
In order to be closer to my family (my daughter was just born), I left Ponzi in 2001 to join the folks at Provvista as their retail sales rep. That really launched my love of cheese. I owe that to owners Joe Guth and the fabulous Tom Kooiman. Provvista was a very special place; I met so many amazing food artisans from all over the world. I remember the day Ig Vella walked in with David and Cary to let us know they bought Rogue Creamery. It was clear they would carry on a great tradition, but also do exciting new things with Rogue.
During my tenure at Provvista, I was able to spend time, one on one with some of America’s best cheese makers and artisans, driving them to accounts to meet buyers. It was such a fabulous education. Provvista conducted weekly tastings and had a full time cook where the staff would eat together everyday, all the employees there had some food background. Funny thing is that Steve Jones and I started on the same day and are now both in the full on in the cheese biz.
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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