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Twenty-nine team members at the Kroger Co. and Murray’s Cheese have been named Certified Cheese Professionals (CCPs) by the American Cheese Society (ACS) after having passed the 6th ACS Certified Cheese Professional Exam, which was held in July in Des Moines, Iowa. There are currently 740 ACS CCPs in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Through an exclusive partnership, Kroger offers Murray’s counters in hundreds of stores nationwide.
Thanking the Cincinnati-based grocer “for their support of our team members across the country,” Rob Kaufelt, owner and president of New York-based Murray’s Cheese, noted, “The ACS has taken tremendous steps to create opportunities for growth and enhancement among cheese professionals.”
“The level of understanding and professionalism that ACS CCPs bring to the industry benefits everyone from the cheesemaker to the consumer, and elevates an already thriving artisan cheese industry to an entirely new level,” said Nora Weiser, executive director of Denver-based ACS.
This year's Certified Cheese Professionals from Kroger and Murray's Cheese are as follows:
- Audrey Aponte, Murray’s Cheese, New York City
- Jean Bollinger, Kroger, Cincinnati
- Janice Bonner, Kroger, Nashville
- Lisa Calkins, Fry’s, Phoenix
- Christine Clark, Murray’s Cheese, New York City
- Liam Devlin, QFC, Kirkland, Wash.
- Zach England, King Soopers, Littleton, Colo.
- Chad Farmer Davis, Kroger, Cincinnati
- Ashley Fisher, Fred Meyer, Portland, Ore.
- Adam Goddu, Murray’s Cheese, New York City
- Denise Graziani, Kroger, Michigan
- Daniel Helm, Kroger, Louisville, Ky.
- Seth Johnson, King Soopers, Littleton, Colo.
- Sara Knickerbocker, Dillons, Wichita, Kan.
- Nathan Larsen, Kroger, Columbus, Ohio
- Stephen Lindley, Murray’s Cheese, New York City
- Becky Nawrocki, Murray’s Cheese, New York City
- Wendy Reichenbach, Ralphs, Los Angeles
- Spencer Riggan, Fred Meyer, Salmon Creek, Wash.
- Ezekial Rodriguez, King Soopers, Littleton, Colo.
- Patrick Rooney, Dillons, Wichita, Kan.
- Diane Rudolph, Kroger, Atlanta
- Sabrina Simpson, Murray’s Cheese, New York City
- Timothy Stauffer, QFC, Kirkland, Wash.
- Meghan Stone, Kroger, Cincinnati
- Greg Trevino, Fred Meyer, Fairbanks, Alaska
- Douglas Vaughn, Kroger, Cincinnati
- Marta Zubar, Kroger, Michigan
Last year, 20 Kroger and Murray’s associates received the prestigious credential.
The first and only exam of its kind, the ACS Certified Cheese Professional Exam was launched by the ACS in 2012 to encourage high standards of comprehensive cheese knowledge and service for all areas of the industry. Testing includes such topics as raw ingredients, the cheesemaking process, storing and handling cheese, marketing and communications, nutrition, regulations, and sanitation.
Kroger employs 431,000 associates at 2,778 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia.