Nov. 29—Rogue Creamery, a landmark Rogue Valley business known for its artisan cheese, is asking people to submit anything they can — from newspaper clippings to old merchandise — to help with a documentary project celebrating the past 90 years of operations.
The creamery, known for its award-winning Rogue River Blue Cheese, began as Rogue River Valley Cooperative in 1933. Marguerite Merritt, Rogue Creamery "cheese emissary," said it's common for the company to celebrate its founding every five years, with a special project — like a beer to pair with cheese. But coming up on 90 years in business felt like something extra special, Merritt said, and executives hatched plans for a project on par with the occasion.
"It was inspired by the conversations that we've had with customers in our cheese shop," Merritt said. "People who come in and recall visiting the shop decades ago with their grandparents and experiencing the growth of our company over the years."
She was referring, in part, to the shop on North Front Street in Central Point that sells Rogue Creamery products, including a grilled cheese sandwich with blue cheese and honey.
With the distinction of creating one of the world's best cheeses and numerous accolades for company president David Gremmels under its belt, Rogue Creamery looks to create a documentary project. But what form it takes or the exact release date are not yet known, according to Merritt.
She said Rogue Creamery would like to put together a "video documentary of sorts," showing historical photos of the business coupled with narration by members of the community who have memories.
A "memories board" with photos and written stories of Rogue Creamery through the years could be posted in the cheese shop, as well.
Merritt couches much of the project with the fact that, "we don't know what we're going to get from the community in terms of response." That's why much of the final project product will be crafted around what Rogue Creamery learns from community submissions.
"We've learned so much about our history from these anecdotes that none of us ever knew," Merritt said. "We know that if a few people have taken the initiative to come to us and share this on their own, there must be more stories hidden in this community for us to hear. We want to let the community know we're interested in hearing the stories they might have."
Submissions can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to Rogue Creamery Memories Project, 55 S. Haskell St., Central Point.
Reach reporter Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.