Two magical worlds colliding, creating something beautiful. Cheese...and Technology
Posted at 11:00 • 8 July 2019 • Richard Simpson
Back at day dot of The Cheese Geek, sat around a kitchen table surrounded by cheese, we tried hard to nail down why most people still only ate cheddar and Brie. Our overarching aim was very clear - we wanted more people to eat better cheese, and have a bloody good time doing it. This looked great on paper but how in practice were we going to make this happen? Cheese has been around for donkey’s years (since around 6500BC, since you’re asking) ...the hard bit has been getting more people to feel connected with it on a deeper level. With over 750 varieties of cheese being made in the UK now though, it dawned on us the time was ripe for this to change. “Bring in tech (and more cheese)” we said triumphantly.
The modern cheesemonger
We have never been more blessed with the technological opportunities we have today. Phones constantly within reach, on demand products and services, streamlined apps, personalised purchasing journeys, subscription software...great cheese just needed the right tools to get it in the mouths of more people.
And there we have it, a pairing that nobody in their right mind would put together. But that’s what we’re doing. Cheese and technology, or as we now know it: Cheesetech.
our cheeseboxes in action
What do we mean by Cheesetech?
On the surface, it means our amazing website that gives a great feel for what we’re all about and makes purchasing cheese easy. It also means our amazing delivery tech that ensures all cheese is received in perfect condition, just how it should be. And it is our wonderful app, the first of its kind, that means great cheese can now be ordered with a few clicks, in a few seconds, from absolutely anywhere.
But if you lift the bonnet, you’ll see the engine we built that makes The Cheese Geek tick. We called her CASSIE, and she is the really hardcore tech.
CASSIE manages all of our orders, logs our customer preferences, knows what is in season and holds our cheese universe. She holds a multitude of data points on each - from the basics of what style or strength the cheese is, all the way through to the month it tastes best and how our customers have rated it.
Great, I hear you say, we have a database which holds...data, and you’ve given it a name. Well that’s just the start. The magic happens when we ask CASSIE to allocate cheese.
The Magic happens when we ask cassie to allocate cheese"
When I say ask, we click a button that prompts her to pick up each Cheesebox that’s due for delivery that day and ask a bunch of questions. Things like:
- Has the subscriber had this cheese before?
- Is this cheese in season?
- Does the overall box have a balanced selection?
- What order should these cheeses be eaten in to maximise enjoyment?
- Has the subscriber ‘bespoked their box’ (requested no blue cheese for example)?
- And much more!
Technology with a human touch
Our Cheese Whisperers give the allocation the once over, checking that CASSIE is doing the right job but also adding in that human element that no amount of tech can bring:
- Has a cheesemaker just called us to say they have a batch that is just out of this world?
- Do we know that a certain batch is taking just that little longer to ripen this week and needs more time?
- Will this cheese just go a little too gooey in transit as there is a heatwave this week?
So, we have the perfect collaboration between tech and ninja cheese instinct, and hey presto, we have perfectly balanced, unique selections for cheese lovers across the country.
start your cheese subscription
What does the future hold for cheesetech?
At Cheese Geek HQ, we love CASSIE mk1. But CASSIE mk2 is going to blow our socks off. The next phase is to use customer ratings as part of the allocation process...as a subscriber, if you’ve rated, say Tunworth 5/5 (why wouldn’t you, it’s a worldie), CASSIE will rummage around the data and pick out the other 1000 people who have rated Tunworth 5/5. She’ll look at which other cheeses these 1000 people have rated highly and allocate your next Cheesebox with this data in mind. Mouth wateringly smart. Tunworth not in season right now? No problemo...because CASSIE knows a whole bunch of cheeses that fit the same profile as Tunworth...so we know you will probably love them too.
As time goes on, CASSIE will continue to become smarter. She’ll have more and more data points to call on and more customer ratings to assess. The more we feed her, the quicker and more effectively she will work. Ultimately, this means that subscribers should enjoy their cheese even more, because they are getting cheese delivered (cheese they had probably never even heard of before, and would certainly not have known to pick out from a line-up) that fits with their taste profile. And that’s what we’re here to do. Get more people enjoying great cheese. Our groundbreaking, unrivalled tech, is what makes those dreams come true.