Loleta Cheese, beloved by generations of Humboldters, is changing , and not for the better. As you know, they were bought last year by a Bay Area chef who immediately introduced THREE lines of cheese. It apparently hasn’t worked out too well.
I’ve been in the habit of buying their cheese for birthday presents for years Last month I wanted to buy for two birthdays but I couldn’t get their website to work. So I drove to Loleta and picked out two identical piles of cheese to be shipped, one to Florida, one to Minneapolis. The last time I did this was at Christmas. When the nice clerk gave me forms to fill out, I told her, “Just do it like last time -you have the addresses”. No, we don’t, she told me. The new owner DELETED ALL THE CUSTOMER FILES.
What kind of bozo would do that?
We filled out the forms- this was on Friday, April 28 at 2pm according to my receipt. As I was leaving she said the cheese would be shipped out on Monday, It was all picked out and ready to go but, no, it had to wait four days to be shipped. Not impressive.
All the next week, I looked forward to hearing from my cheese-starved relatives that they had received their cheese. Hearing nothing, I called Loleta Cheese. on May 8. I reached the same nice lady. She said my cheese had just been shipped THAT DAY. When I asked why it took so long, she said they had been out of one of the selections. They were not. I had picked them out myself. All were present. I didn’t argue with The Nice Lady but I will no longer entrust Loleta Cheese to mail anything for me. Just sayin’
I hope Loleta Cheese survives. Several people rely on it for employment. But when you lose your customer service, you’re on the way to closing. When I write anything critical about this business their friends and relatives spring to their defense. Loyalty is great, but customer service is better. We should have both.
The ‘new” cheeses are not very good, The citrus is particularly awful. They are selling a “blue cheese” made by Pt Reyes Cheese that is just okay. It’s not real blue cheese. Say a little prayer for this company and let’s hope they can survive on the summer trade in grilled cheese sandwiches. Everyone wants to try them once. After that, do they have a real business?
Loleta Cheese Factory is way behind in property taxes. When a factory does not support the community, why support the factory?
Interesting! I think the new owner has made some big mistakes.
I will just add that I received a call from two former employees confirming what I posted. Made my day.
You comments are spit on. It does not take a genius to realize that Loleta Cheese is no longer manufacturing the cheese they sell. The grilled cheese sandwiches? Ok for the average Geore Foreman grilled sandwich maker but not enough to inspire a following. Sad. I give this business less than 12 months before they close.
We are in agreement, but I should note that they still claim to be making most of their cheese on site.
Lolita Cheese is crappy. I would love to support a local company but thier cheese has terrible flavor and texture. I have tried it many times over the years hoping it would improve but it still sucks. My advice to them is to hire a cheesmaker from Wisconsin, they make good cheese there and I buy imported cheese from Europe as well as cheese from the Midwest.most west coast cheese sucks, Tillimook and Cypress grove are the only notable exceptions I’m aware of.
Wouldn’t it be great if Cypress Grove had a visitors’ center?
Cypress Grove is a clown show selling cheese made from curd they import from Mexico, if you look into it. Humboldt Fog is almost 100% Mexican curd. They market it as locally made though. The only local milk they use is from their own dairy, which mostly goes into the fresh cheese products. The Mexican curd comes frozen on pallets, is thawed, and packed into molds. If the curd batch doesn’t taste good, they use it anyway. My problem with it is that they are so quiet about their curd sources, leading the community to believe it is all produced here and is a local product we can all be proud of. Seems deceptive.
Approved without researching. Bill, you’re responding to a post made back in May.
Loleta Cheese never seemed to have the unique cheeses of other cheese factories. I am particularly impressed with both Rumiano Cheese in Crescent City and Rogue Creamery in Central Point, Oregon. Rumiano makes a great Papato Cheese (pepper corns in a dry jack) and Rogue has a big assortment of Bleu cheeses. Rumiano is one of the few places where you can buy 5 year old extra sharp cheddar; most cheese factories are 3 years or younger, but you have to go to their cheese store in Crescent City to get 5 year old cheddar.
I LOVE the Rumiano cheese store, small as it is. One of the few redeeming features of CC. Must try Rogue Creamery.
Next time you go to Rumiano, plan on lunch at Vita Cucina (101 at Front St) The owners worked at Mustards Grill in St Helena and Stars in S.F. First rate cuisine.
I will! Last time I was there they were just a shop.