Cheese To Make People Happy
Loan from CEF helps launch delicious cheese business
Growing up on the Western Slope, Teresa St Peter was exposed to farm life working in small shops, but eventually ended up in governmental affairs work. Looking back on her work experience, her partner at the time asked, when were you most happy? And she replied – when I was working in a cheese shop. She decided to change her career course and worked in catering for a few years before she had the idea of starting her own cheese business.
“It’s not just about selling cheese, but working with people who are passionate about it and made happy by it,” says Teresa.
Working with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Teresa was able to sort out her cash flow and expenses and put out a letter to potential lenders. The traditional banks wanted personal lenders to guarantee their loans, and Teresa was not in the position to do that at the time. Her mentor from SBDC then recommended seeking funding from Ours To Own partner Colorado Enterprise Fund.
Colorado Enterprise Fund came through not only with a loan to start her business, New World Cheese, but also individualized support and resources to help Teresa with business management. Today New World Cheese is a popular Denver destination, and was named Best Cheese Shop on Denver’s A-List.
Apart from the business, Teresa is also passionate about supporting and growing the cheese community. She offers classes on cheese pairings, history, style and cooking to local Denverites, attends cheese conferences around the country and is co-chairing the upcoming annual American Cheese Society Conference. “Cheese people are weird but I love them,” laughs Teresa.