By Michelle M. Sharp, Founder and Content Creator of Meet the Minnesota Makers

Are you a turophile? 

Do you know one? 

Kerry and Mike Jerred live full lives as turophiles in their educational business Forage to Fromage. 

Kerry, a Certified Cheese Professional, and Mike, who works as a Global Dairy Technology Manager for Cargill Animal Nutrition, create custom events that take you on a tasty tour of the delicious world of cheese. 

Both are graduates of the University of Wisconsin who grew up in our neighbor to the east. Minnesota, however, has been home for nearly 30 years, giving them lots of time to discover a plethora of favorite cheeses throughout the land of 10,000 lakes. 

Unique to their business is the fact that they Kerry and Mike don’t sell any cheese nor do they work for any of the state’s cheese makers. “We are super promoters and ambassadors of and for makers that we believe in—both their product and their mission,” explained Kerry. 

Mike, with his international experience in dairy nutrition, covers the forage part of their business. Forage in this case refers to all the elements of the animals’ diets. What the animal eats during which period of the year will impact the milk produced and the cheese created.

Kerry learned about cheese on the job at Coborn’s. She started there as a cashier, moved to the floral department, and eventually became the store’s first cheesemonger. “I’ve always been interested in how things are made. My love for cheese started with a love of making itself. I am fascinated by the art behind the science of cheese,” shared Kerry.

Kerry and Mike started Forage to Fromage in the summer of 2019. “Throughout my time at Coborn’s I saw people’s interest and sincerely plentiful questions about artisan cheese,” said Kerry. “I decided to pursue the education I needed to be able to educate consumers on this most delicious subject.” 

Through in-person and virtual classes, Kerry teaches people about cheese varieties and how to build a board for entertaining. For those who want to go behind the scenes, she also leads classes in fresh mozzarella stretching or to make ricotta and mascarpone cheeses. “I get to teach people how to play with their food in a way that helps them to better understand it. I love interacting with cheese lovers through the classes we’ve developed and introducing them to something new.” 

Class topics include artisan and farmstead cheese, wine, beer and cider pairings, and retail cheese case consulting. The best part of the classes is getting to tell the makers’ stories and watching people’s faces as they experience the cheeses together. “You see their eyes light up as they savor the taste. It’s such fun!” 

Kerry’s general advice for building a cheese board is: “Something old, something new, something stinky or interesting and something blue.” Applying this motto allows her to highlight a range of makers. “We have a passion for makers that are passionate. A well educated consumer is the goal for any maker. Our work connects interested consumers with talented local cheesemakers.” 

Cheese tasting classes include individual place settings per person with all cheese samples plus the additions that make the tasting complete: crackers, dried fruit, chocolate, nuts…whatever takes the pairing over the top. Forage to Fromage also includes the napkins, utensils, tasting sheets and pens to take notes. 

Some of her favorite Minnesota cheeses that she incorporates in her classes are: Redhead, Shepherds Way, Alemar, Caves of Faribault, and Cannon Bells. True to her Wisconsin roots, she also incorporates Marieke Gouda, Cady Cheese, Carr Valley, Landmark, Roelli, Deer Creek, Alpinage, and Uplands.

A turophile, in case you haven’t guessed, is a lover of cheese. 🙂

Kerry also shares her passion for cheese as the in-house cheesemonger at Maple Grove’s Love That Olive. 

Visit to learn more about their classes. 

Kerry will be one of three Minnesota Makers participating in the June 22 Taste Maker class at the Farm at the Arb Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Class participants will sample a variety of local cheeses for board building inspiration. 

Follow @kerryjcheesewiz on Instagram and @foragetofromage on Facebook for upcoming events.  

Visit or follow @meettheminnesotamakers on Facebook and Instagram to discover the food innovators who make Minnesota a tasty place to be! Meet the Minnesota Makers is a news site that connects you to the local food, farms, artists and artisans that make Minnesota thrive.




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