Jesse Watlington ACS CCP
Jesse Watlington started his career in the food industry over 10 years ago while working at various restaurants around East Tennessee. The majority of those years he spent working in the all-natural food business. While working in the Specialty Department at a local store called Greenlife Grocery, Jesse began dreaming of one day having his own specialty food store where he could share his knowledge and passion with the community he loves and calls home. Upon discovering how vast and amazing the world of artisan cheese is, he decided to immerse himself in the culture. During this journey, he was fortunate to learn from some of the leading cheese professionals in the world, ranging from educators, producers, farmers, cheesemakers and authors. In 2012—in its inaugural class—Jesse earned the title of Certified Cheese Professional® from the American Cheese Society. After a rather serendipitous chain of events, he was able to start Bleu Fox Cheese Shop with Brittany, his wife and business partner, to fulfill his dream of spreading love for thoughtfully produced and delicious cheeses, and specialty foods.
Owner • Marketing
Brittany is our behind-the-scenes, design and social media guru. She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Interior Design and proceeded to work locally for several years before crossing over into graphic design. She was on the marketing team as the lead store graphic artist for Whole Foods Market for several years. At Whole Foods, she was exposed to the food industry in a whole new way when she got to attend the American Cheese Conference where Jesse participated in the CCP examination. She was amazed to discover a whole new world of cheese she never knew existed. Not only was it a delicious experience, it was fascinating and humbling to hear the stories and see the effort producers put into their little cheeses. Brittany wanted to share what she learned with everyone she knew, and so the seed for Bleu Fox Cheese Shop was planted there. Brittany and Jesse aspire to educate and share their love and passion for cheese in the community they call home. In 2015, their family grew when their daughter, Amelia Bleu, was born, and their son, Henry Fox, was born in early 2017, both of whom inspired the name for Bleu Fox Cheese Shop.
Sam Weathers, ACS CCP
Sam loves cheese! While working in a pizza restaurant in his late teens, and later moving on to a sushi bar, he developed a deep love for food. Seven years ago, he started his journey with cheese, cultivating his passion by learning the history of cheesemaking and which food pairings to combine for optimal taste. This quest for knowledge took him to Wisconsin where he toured dairies and creameries in a week-long study at the Center for Dairy Research. In 2016, he earned his Certified Cheese Professional® certification in Des Moines. After that, he worked for Sequatchie Cove Creamery for a year, mastering everything from the milking processes to the art of making and aging cheeses. Sam has visited various cheese shops in the US, France, Spain and the UK, and had begun dreaming of establishing something similar in Chattanooga. He is delighted to be a part of the Bleu Fox Cheese Shop team and can't wait to share his passion and love for cheese with Chattanooga. Outside of his career path, Sam enjoys playing music and taking care of his pets.
ACS CCP Certification
Did you know that you can become a Certified Cheese Professional™ (CCP)? A CCP® is a person who has successfully passed the American Cheese Society (ACS) Certification exam. The exam demonstrates extensive knowledge and competencies within all domains of the cheese industry, and that individual is dedicated to continuing their professional development. The ACS CCP® Certification is a mark of excellence and achievement that reflects a commitment to the best possible care for cheese and service to those that love it. To be eligible for the exam, an individual must give documentation of 4000 hours work experience minimum in the cheese profession during the past six years. The exam evaluates candidates’ knowledge and skills required to perform specific job activities related to working with cheese from the time it leaves the creamery to the time it is tickling our taste buds. This
is very elite group of only 900 individuals in the country. Jesse Watlington participated in the inaugural class in 2012, and Sam Weathers obtained his certification in 2016. We believe having two of just nineteen individuals in the entire state of Tennessee demonstrates the high standard of comprehensive cheese knowledge that will allow us to serve and educate our community in a exceptional way. For more information click this LINK