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March 19, 2015

Living in a 'digital dairy era'

Local food blogger's tips on social media for cheesemakers

Food Dairy
03182015_MmeFromage Tenaya Darlington/

Local food blogger Tenaya Darlington stands outside Di Bruno Bros. cheese shop.

We are living in a "digital dairy era," according to local food blogger Tenaya Darlington, a.k.a Madame Fromage, who teaches food writing at Saint Joseph’s University

Darlington explains that people use the Internet to find pairing ideas and learn about the different cheeses that they buy. She argues that cheese and other artisan product makers should learn to connect with eaters through marketing.

Think of social media as the night sky – you’re a point in it. By reaching out, you connect to others and build your own constellation.

Think about how to connect to your future eaters. They’re digital, they’re visual. This group, more than ever, is interested in learning about where their food comes from. They love craft beer and interactive experiences, like tastings and hands-on classes where they can be makers. Most know nothing about farm life; they’ve grown up eating processed foods, and they’re in search of authentic experiences and products.

The cheese connoisseur also stresses the importance of distinguishing artisan cheese from commodity cheese by giving it an identity through memorable naming and innovative packaging.

Darlington started the blog in 2009 after moving from Wisconsin to Philadelphia. 

Read Darlington's full post on her blog and view the PowerPoint slides from a related presentation she gave at the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) conference in February.