We first interviewed Kate Johnson, the founder of The Art of Cheese , a school for cheese making, in 2014 when she sent us her recipe for Chocolate Ricotta Mousse. Since that time, she has developed a unique program for the attendees of her classes in Longmont, Colorado. It’s called an “in-house certification” with levels achieved and certificates awarded. It is incredibly inspirational!
As her students complete a certain number of classes, they rise from the Bronze to the Platinum levels. And, when they receive a certification at any level, their picture appears on Kate’s Facebook page.
I asked Kate about her certification program:
The “in-house certification” idea really was just a fun way to encourage people to keep coming back for more classes and to have a goal to work toward. It was also a way to “bundle” classes so students could get a discount when they committed to a certain number of classes.
The levels more or less correspond with what I think are “beginner” classes (Soft Cheeses, Feta & Queso and Mozzarella/Ricotta/Burrata)- Bronze level; “intermediate” classes (Intro to Hard Cheeses, Brie & Cam, and Colby) – Silver level; and then “Advanced” Cheeses (Cheddars, Blues and Washed-rind cheeses) – Gold.
Once we had a number of Gold-level students and had added a few more class options, we added the “Platinum” level. Originally, I had envisioned that people would take classes in sort of this “order,” but many students start with advanced cheeses, take a soft cheese class, and then do an intermediate, so no order is necessarily required – just recommended. They get their levels based on number of classes taken, as opposed to which classes they’ve taken.
The prices for her classes are very reasonable:
3 classes = Bronze Level Package for $100 (save $17)
6 classes = Silver Level Package for $185 (save $49)
9 classes = Gold Level Package for $260 (save $91)
12 classes = Platinum Level Package for $350 (save $118)
If you think you might be interested in Kate’s program, she is offering a “An Evening with Three Cheese Makers” at the Haystack Mountain Creamery Education Center on November 17th at 6:30pm. She will have 3 of her Platimum level cheese makers there to speak about the “Trials and Tribulations of the Home Cheese Maker” and to answer questions. They will offer samples of their own cheeses. E-mail Kate for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-579-9537.
We will tell you more about these 3 advanced cheese makers in our December 1st Moos-Letter where they will be our monthly “Spotlight.”
For more about this Certification Program, click here.