Monday, April 15, 2013

The Fabulous Queso Diego Cheese Club



Larry Stein (Treasurer) speaking at the third meeting

These folks have really got it together!  

And they did it all in just 2 years!

Ricki (our Cheese Queen) received this note recently from the treasurer of Queso Diego, Larry Stein:

Hi, Ricki,

It all started about 3 years ago when one of our home brew club members gave a presentation on cheese making.  We then bought about 20 of your kits and books, and over the next 6 months a bunch of us started making our own cheese.

Now the Queso Diego Cheese Club just celebrated our 2 year anniversary.  We have over 60 paid members and meet every month.  There's over 150 on our e-mail list.  Last year we managed to get Cheese included in the food competition at the San Diego County Fair for the first time.  We recently had a two page article in Culture magazine.*

You can check us out at "www.QuesoDiego.org."

I was just browsing your web site, thinking of making a gouda for the fair, and thought I'd drop you a note.

Thanks,
Larry Stein


We did, in fact, check them out and realized how exciting this is.  Imagine if there were clubs like this all over the country and all home cheese makers could easily participate ...




Chris Banker (President) and Ringo Firefly (Vice President) (Photo by G. Claassen of Curds and Wine,
a San Diego retailer carrying New England Cheesemaking Supply Co. products)




This is the information from their website "About" section:

Queso Diego was founded in January 2011 as a club for San Diego’s cheese and cheese making enthusiasts. The goals of the club are to provide opportunities for cheese makers to network and share knowledge, to organize meetings and events for educational and social purposes, and to promote the art and craft of home and artisan cheese making in San Diego County and surrounding areas.

Meetings are held monthly on the third Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm.  The meeting location varies each month and is posted on this website and sent out in a meeting announcement to the club email list.  Most meetings focus on a featured discussion topic and are led by members and local experts.

Annual membership dues of $20 per year are requested and are used to cover the costs of running the club, along with materials and cheese samples for meetings. Paid members receive a membership card, which entitles them to discounts we have negotiated at local businesses.  Guests are always welcome to come check out a couple of meetings to determine if the club is a good fit.  Additional membership and payment info is available on the Membership page.

We maintain an active email discussion list, which serves as a forum to discuss cheese making and ask questions.  Please use the form below to join the email list.  (Click Here)

Second year anniversary "cake"


I love forums so I joined by simply choosing a nickname and providing my e-mail address.  Immediately I had all kinds of info available to me - recipes, local events, interesting articles, etc.

If you are thinking about starting a club of your own, here's the advice Ringo Firefly (Vice President) gave to Culture Magazine in the article she did for them:

*From Culture, Winter 2012

Ready to start your own cheese club? Here's how:

  • Rally your cheese-loving friends, then find fellow enthusiasts by placing a post in a grocery store, on Craigslist, or with local cheese vendors.
  • Appoint a board of officers to share the responsibility of organizing and planning.
  • Charge dues immediately, and keep them at a reasonable level so the amount is negligible compared to the benefits offered. A lot can be done with only $20 to $25 annually per member.
  • Find a regular meeting location. Playing musical chairs with new venues can become tedious.
  • Keep costs down by asking members to participate in potluck-style meetings.
  • Establish member discounts with local businesses to give the membership value. This also integrates the club closely with community businesses.
  • Hand out membership cards when dues are charged. Club membership cards also serve as a means to advertise the club. You will find yourself discussing your club quite often in conversation.
  • Use social media for administrative networking. Google forums work great for meeting RSVPs, as well as for holding votes/elections.
  • Initiate multiple points of contact and social media (e-mail, website, Facebook, Twitter).
  • Mix social and educational topics at meetings.
  • Have heaps of fun establishing and meeting your fellow cheese tribe.




  • Chris Banker, President at a holiday party




    First New Year's meeting


    The best way to contact the club is to email the club officers.  They can be contacted at officers@quesodiego.org.

    For specific inquiries, the appropriate club officer can be contacted. The current club officers are:

    President – Chris Banker – president@quesodiego.org
    Vice President – Ringo Firefly – vp@quesodiego.org
    Secretary – Anna Kearns – secretary@quesodiego.org
    Treasurer – Larry Stein – treasurer@quesodiego.org

    Website
    Facebook 
    Twitter

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