Sweet Grass Cheese's Development and Growth Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1139 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Marketing

¶ … Sweet Grass cheese's development and growth over the years, focusing on planned and unplanned occurrences that grew their business. In addition, it discusses challenges and opportunities that they, and other small businesses, have to face. Lastly, the future challenges of Sweet Grass is discussed.

Handcrafted Cheese from Georgia?

Sweet Grass Cheese's Development From the Early Days to Today:

Desiree Whener didn't start out to become one of America's finest cheese makers; she simply evolved into the position. Wehner and her husband had started off with an interest in veterinary sciences that led them to the management of several large dairy operations. They tired of this type of dairy business where the cattle rarely spent time in their more natural pastures, and instead decided to open their own dairy farm, where their cows could graze on rotated pastures, and quality was preferred over quantity.

This unplanned effort took them on an entirely new venture. Instead of utilizing the traditional method of feeding and milking cattle, the Wheners used a New Zealand method of pasture rotation. Cattle were allowed to graze on rich, fresh pastures rather than being fed dried grains.

A cheese-making lesson for her home-schooled son and a sampling of goat cheese at a dairy conference and Desiree unexpectedly begin to think about expanding their dairy product line up. This was a planned decision that began with a discussion with her husband, as well as the purchase of 13 goats for a milk supply, creating Sweet Grass cheeses. Her first year in the cheese business, Wehner received immediate accolades.

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She knew that her goal wasn't to produce the most cheese, but she wanted to produce the best. With that in mind, Wehner sent a sample of her cheese, the first year, to the American Cheese Society competition, hoping to get some constructive criticism from the judges. To her surprise, she won third place.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Sweet Grass Cheese's Development and Growth Over Assignment

Although her entry into the competition was planned to be a way of improving her cheeses, unplanned benefits were reaped. Her third place win gave her notoriety and word of mouth business. Wehner realized what a powerful marketing tool these competitions were, especially in the high quality gourmet category her cheeses fell.

In addition, Wehner cultivated a relationship with Raymond Hook, a cheese expert based in Atlanta. She also hired Jean Marc Maisonnaire, a cheese maker form the Pyrenees in France, to work with her for a short period. All of these activities were conscious efforts and when paired with the unconscious efforts of adding her daughter and son-in-law to the business, they helped grow Sweet Grass cheeses from a roadside farm stand to a $350,000/year business.

Problems and Opportunities the Small Businesses Face:

There are a multitude of problems and opportunities that small businesses face, as Wehner discovered with the creation of Sweet Grass cheeses. One of the most daunting challenges is distribution. Wehner's first distribution efforts consisted of a roadside farm stand, at their farm, where locals could buy her cheeses. Farmer's markets too offered a fairly inexpensive distribution channel.

The second problem many small businesses face is limited capital for marketing. Wehner conquered this dilemma by using word of mouth marketing as an effective tool to growing her business. By taking part in prestigious cheese competitions, and winning those awards, Wehner was able to build her business quite successfully. High quality restaurants became frequent customers, as did caterers and other farm… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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