ACS CCPs™: 253 Strong, Representing 64 Companies

As the deadline to apply for the 2014 ACS Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam, to be held on July 29 in Sacramento, is approaching, now is a good time to take a closer look at the current ACS CCPs™. Quite often we are asked, “How many companies have CCPs on staff, and what types of jobs do CCPs hold?” Currently there are 253 CCPs across the United States and Canada, and these individuals work in a variety of jobs from cheesemaking to restaurant service.  There are 64 different companies that can boast of having a CCP on staff.

Even though the exam covers all tasks within the industry, the majority of CCPs represent the retail side of the industry. Both large and small retail stores are represented, and their locations are as diverse as ACS’s membership.  Here are some examples:

  • Lincoln Broadbrooks works at The Better Cheddar in Prairie Village, Kansas.  Lincoln is in charge of the cheese department and writes a regular column in The Kansas City Star, using his knowledge and experience to educate the community about cheese.
  • Husband and wife team Haley and Erik Aquistapace, of Aquistapace’s Supermarket in Covington, Louisiana, passed the exam together.  They use their knowledge to promote a wide range of cheeses in their newly remodeled gourmet cheese department.
  • Whole Foods Market has CCPs in many locations throughout the United States and Canada. Tonya Huffman works at the Whole Foods Market in Ann Arbor, Michigan and she is currently the only ACS CCP in Michigan. According to the Ann Arbor Journal, Tonya “is about broadening people’s horizons and having them try things that maybe they haven’t tried before.”

When thinking about retail, we can’t forget the CCPs that work in restaurants, from small independent businesses to larger corporate owned restaurants.

  • LeeAnn Zubay of Zzest Market in Rochester, Minnesota, has made a career of researching and finding the unique foods which she used to design restaurant menus. She is now using her culinary talents to bring over-the-top gourmet ingredients, including cheese, to Zzest’s café and to customers’ kitchens.
  • Cameron Smith, of The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, delivers cheese to diners using his unique cheese cart — a mooing cow name Faira — at this historic, award-winning restaurant.
  • Michael Cox of The Disney Corporation promotes cheese in Disney restaurants and also via private events. Michael is passionate about cheese, and he quite often provides cheese to movie executives and stars at opening night parties.

While the retail side of the industry is key to getting cheese onto consumers’ plates, we can’t forget the cheesemakers who produce the variety of artisan American cheese:

  • Nial Yager is a buyer/planner at Washington State University Creamery, and he has made many types of cheese in his 24-year career.
  • Katie Carter, cheesemaker at the new Sona Creamery in Washington, DC, brings her vast experience of opening and running creameries to this urban creamery just blocks from the nation’s capital.

We are excited about the diversity of ACS CCPs, and the applicants for the 2014 exam represent even more companies. There are still seats available for the 2014 exam, but as in past years, spaces are filling quickly. Are you interested in applying to take the exam? Click here!



Published on 11/21/2013