Cheese Samples?? Any help?

Hi! Great site, I found it over at the forums. Been lurking, first post here and it has been a very valuable resource!

I have been honing my pizza craft for a few years in my home kitchen. And my wife and I have decided to go head first into the pizza making industry after a very good local buzz delivering to friends, family and acquaintances from home.

I have been using Grande as it is accessible and the only cheese I have used that tastes like the parlors back home in NJ. I have tried Bacio, Luigi and Assoluti with less than desirable results. All of the latter 3 being distributed by Roma…

I am curious to try Roma SD (or Classico and Original) and the Roma “Formaggio Premiato” brand (whose description leaves me with a hunch that it is their house alternative to Grande, not Bacio).

My issue here is my local distributor and restaurant supply will only accept orders by the case. I don’t have.the need for 60lbs of cheese yet. So I.was hoping to procure a couple sample purchases of each. I’ve reached out to the regional office sales manager but to no avail. And my restaurant supply store won’t break down a case.

Any advice for me? I appreciate it and thanks in advance!

You might try contacting a pizzeria in a close by town and see if they will sell you single blocks. I did this for a lady in the town 15 miles away. She would call me the day before I placed my orders to make sure I had enough to sell her.

I don’t/won’t put a damper on your sampling plan…great in theory…

But everything changes when you jump to a commercial operation, IMHBCO…

When you have signed your lease & taken possession of your operation, vendors will be falling over themselves to ‘sample’ you on everything the represent…

Home pizza making and commercial pizza operation are similar in some cases…othe not so…

Make your plan/work your plan…

Ehh, I already tried that and the ONLY place in the town that has a respectable NY style pie uses Bacio :frowning:

Yea, you know…it’s business. I get that. I was surprised because one of Roma’s Dallas sales reps called me back after my inquiry and informed me that he was in Winston-Salem… I was surprised because he offered to come to my house and bring me a sample, however, he was pushing Bacio.

When I told him that I was very familiar with Bacio and it wasn’t what I was going for, he got cold feet and told me to get back to him on Monday, LOL.

Such is life…

Not really the end of the world…was just trying to finagle a couple blocks of SD and the Formaggio Premiato to see if it was something that could replace Grande. I know for certain some of the parlors in NJ did in fact use the Roma brand cheese. I just don’t want to have 50 pounds of unwanted cheese in my house…

ANDDD… I’d like to avoid have to pass it off to a NEW customer base when I launch ops.

But like you said… work the plan!

Thanks a lot for the response guys!

Everybody says “just as good as Grande”, Why not just use the best and use Grande?

Well, I only want to try the Roma original house cheeses because a couple of the spots I grew up with did use them as opposed to Grande. (Even though many used Grande). And I have fond memories of the flavor of one in particular.

I want to roll it out to the lab rats and see what their feedback is. But…in the end, I may just end up going with Grande. Bacio is not even close, IMO.

We use Grande Whole Milk, and will not even play around with anything else.

Luckily I am located in Wisconsin, and my local Grande Rep stopped by with samples. I already knew I was going to use their Whole Milk mozz before he even came to visit.

A invited 20 random people who were already regular customers of our BBQ to come in for a taste test , I put out pizzas with all the different blends, and overwhelmingly everyone voted on the whole milk mozz.
yes there was interesting flavors and textures from the different products, but everyone kept going back to whole milk as their favorite, so that helped confirm my decision was correct.

You’re going to pay premium prices, but you’re getting a premium product. And my distributor will break cases for us too. They are a dairy specific distributor though.

You are over-thinking the product testing. It simply is not that important. If you want to open a pizza store you need to focus on your business plan, build-out, lease etc etc etc. When you have a location, have passed the health inspection and have hired a couple of employees to help ramp up to opening you will have plenty of time to grab a few samples and pick what what cheese you want to use.

Making good pizza is not rocket science and is far more common than having a good plan.

Too digress from my main point, your sauce and dough have more to do with the pizza flavor than the cheese does. We have also done blind taste tests using various cheeses (including Grande) and we never had even a majority choosing one cheese. I sure can not justify an extra $15000 per year in food costs for a cheese that does not get a majority vote. I would need to be able to charge extra for it and that is simply not the case.