Author Topic: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store  (Read 6803 times)

Offline Manchego

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USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« on: July 04, 2010, 01:25:21 PM »
Hello Everyone,
I have placed a couple of orders through this company(New England Cheese Making Supply Company, abbreviated NECMSC hereafter). I found their shipping to be fairly prompt(I think they shipped out within 48 hours, via USPS priority) and fairly priced. I feel that their prices on the items I have ordered are pretty fair (I think I have seen lower prices on some cultures elsewhere, but I chose NECMSC due to shipping costs being lower, thus lower net cost in the end).

The only real complaint I have about this company is their customer service(at least via email, I have never called them). I emailed in a couple of questions to Ricki, she did respond but gave very short responses- did not answer questions fully(at least one question had several parts- she answered less than half of them, each part was short and should not have taken more than a short sentence or two), did not provide any explanation at all(I kind of had to pry a little bit- hence sending a couple of questions). She was quick to refer me to kits(I was new at the time) instead of providing any real recommendations, I got a general sense that she is way too busy to sit down and properly answer my email questions. Looking around on the web, I have seen that other people have had this experience as well(though I cannot speak for them).

It wasn't bad enough to lose me as a customer. Her prices and selection made up for it. However is was not good enough to make me loyal. I do plan to try dairy connection and thecheesemaker in the near future, but not abandon NECMSC altogether(Unless these other companies give me compelling reasons to).

On the whole, I can certainly recommend this company(With caveat) if you do not need any complicated recommendations. I cannot recommend it if you need help picking things out- or are very sensitive to customer service.


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Offline MarkShelton

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2010, 02:30:52 PM »
I tend to get most of my supplies from thecheesemaker. All of his prices include shipping. Plus, I live in an adjacent state, so shipping is usually pretty quick; once, it came the next day, though it was just sent as first class.
He also boasts the best personal service, which I agree with. I haven't had many problems, but once I had an issue with rennet, and he sent me out a sample of a different kind at no cost. I also get regular e-mails (I'm not sure if I had to opt-in to this or not) with recipes and advice. Usually it's after a purchase; he'll recommend a recipe that works with a culture I just bought.
If his selection isn't quite what I'm looking for, I'll look around, but for the most part, he's pretty good.
I am constantly in awe of the very first people that consumed these things, despite how funky looking and smelling they had become.

Offline Manchego

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2010, 04:16:59 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion. After reading your post, I decided to take another look at his site (I am actually on his website right now). I don't know how I missed that shipping included in the price bit  :o
I have not been to his website in some time but now that I shop around I am actually very impressed with his selection. I am even more impressed with how much starter you get for your money! (50 dose of DS for $10, why have I been buying single serve sugar packet size portions for a dollar each!?!?!)
I think thecheesemaker has a new customer(Of course plan to check out dairy connection as well)!!

(I love that trier on his site too...)

Offline Nitai

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2010, 04:44:28 PM »
Steve also gives his actual cell number on the site so you can reach him. I have gotten him on weekends. I have been tending towards Dairy connection these days. They have always been patient and helpful too, and have a bigger selection.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 01:07:45 AM »
I've actually had good service with both Steve and Vicky. Jim Wallace at New England gave me good technical advice previously, but you just can't move on to serious cheese with these mystery packets and this selection.

As soon as I realized I need very specific advice and to choose cultures with a wider selection of characters  - I moved on to a professional seller. I want to choose the behavior, growth speed, texture, color and aroma of my cheese and having a selection of 10 types of Geo or 10 types of PC or B.Linen or Rennet - is what makes my cheese unique and what makes me a better cheese maker. A pro seller also ships it overnight with cold pack because these cultures must remain COLD.

So my current favorite is The Dairy Connection. Their technical support is FANTASTIC and their selection and prices are great. A worthwhile tip: If you want something that isn't on their web site - do not despair. Email them and most likely they actually have it and can ship it to you.


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Online Boofer

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2010, 02:23:52 AM »
A pro seller also ships it overnight with cold pack because these cultures must remain COLD.

So my current favorite is The Dairy Connection.

I've bought cultures from New England Cheesemaking Supply Store, Dairy Connection, and Leeners and none of them came with a cold pack. I guess that classifies them as amateur sellers, huh?  ???

Seriously, who have you bought from that packs with a cold pack?

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Offline iratherfly

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2010, 03:42:50 PM »
Sorry if this sounded a bit narrow minded or ridiculous to you Boofer, but Leeners, New England Cheesemaking and The Cheesemakers are all hobbyist suppliers. Nothing wrong with that for the first few months of making cheese, but as I matured, I found that their product range, pricing, mystery cultures (pre-mixed in-house) and support (which was decent but not exactly professional guidance) - just weren't good enough.

On top of this, yes, there is the shipping thing: When someone ships me a delicate temperature-sensitive perishable culture in an uninsulated cardboard box that is subjected to days in the heat of trucks and sorting facilities - it tells me something about how they must treat these cultures in their own shops (especially so when they insist on pre-mixing it to keep me from knowing what's in it so that I don't buy it directly from companies like Danlac or The Dairy Connection).

There is something very reassuring about receiving a professionally packed COLD cultures that should be kept in my freezer.  (and receiving them in original manufacturer's packaging). Heck, The Dairy connection wouldn't even ship to me stuff on Friday out of fear that it wouldn't make it through the weekend. Call me paranoid, but I like a culture dealer that has higher standards than the standards I have towards my cheese, not lower. To me this seems like a first rate, professional grade culture supplier (and their customers are indeed mostly commercial cheesemakers - from farmstead to factories).  Furthermore, I have gotten free advice, support and PDF technical spec sheets for every product I asked for.

I was actually introduced to them by referral from the people at Danisco-Choozit. Why get a re-packed, re-mixed Danisco products (Maybe Danisco, who knows?) from New England Cheesemaking if I can just get the original at the same or lower prices from the company that Danisco trust?

Offline Nitai

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2010, 03:51:09 PM »
I am still curious like Boofer, I never get an ice pack with my cultures from dairy connection. I even have a commercial account.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2010, 04:05:04 PM »
Surprized. I purchased several times and always arrived coldddddd. They actually didn't want to send it over the weekend because of it. Maybe you purchased something that wasn't sensitive like CalCl or Annato? By the way, I am not sure it was an actual cold pack in the box - it was packed cold into some insulated box and the stuff was separated in Ziploc bags inside to keep water beads off it

Offline Nitai

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2010, 04:07:27 PM »
I did get annatto, but I have also gotten LM57, TA61, yogurt culture, and LH100,


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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2010, 08:23:16 PM »
Sorry if this sounded a bit narrow minded or ridiculous to you Boofer,

Not at all, I'm just curious. That's why I asked.

the shipping thing: When someone ships me a delicate temperature-sensitive perishable culture in an uninsulated cardboard box that is subjected to days in the heat of trucks and sorting facilities

Uh, yeah, Dairy Connection shipped the following to me on May 26, 2010:
  • Aroma B Mesophilic
  • MM100
  • Propionibacteria
  • LM 57
...via USPS Priority Mail. No cool pack. Maybe it was dry ice and it just...went away.

I guess you're just lucky.

The cultures were in Ziploc bags.
 
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Offline Manchego

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2010, 08:57:59 PM »
I am just curious, when you received product in cold packs, had you ordered Lipase? How large was your order, perhaps they do this for larger orders. You mentioned having a premium account.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2010, 09:16:15 PM »
It was a large order, I had a pint of Annato, a pint of CalCl, MM100, MM4002, Fl-Dn, Geo 13, Geo 15, Geo 17, PC-VS, PC-Neige, LR3, KL 71, MD89 and PLA. I think maybe because many of these things are not on their web site and I needed to place a manual order after going back and forth and consulting with them. Maybe it was personally made? In any case it happened on my last 3 order, don't remember before that.

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2010, 09:53:03 PM »
A day or two of warm (not extreme) temperature isn't generally going to hurt a freeze dried (powdered) culture. The bacteria are not in an active state, so they are not as sensitive to short term environmental changes. Obviously the lack of food doesn't cause them any harm. Freeze dried yeast is shipped all over the world every day. After you get them, keeping them in the freezer will make them last longer by slowing down any natural die off.
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Re: USA - New England Cheesemaking Supply Store
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2010, 02:12:17 AM »
My cultures are in the freezer in vacuum bags. I didn't want them to accumulate any errant moisture in there.

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