"I learned a huge amount in a short space of time and feel a new confidence moving forward with my business.

You, as a teacher and group leader, were professional, helpful and patient with my endless list of questions; the arrangements were excellent and your willingness to provide assistance with every possible query was remarkable and hugely appreciated.

Please also pass on my sincere thanks to Laurent for his openness, honesty and good humour over the week; I feel privileged to have had access to his experience, skill and depth of knowledge.

I feel honoured to have been part of the first iteration of The Big Cheese and have no doubt that the course will become an unmitigated success."

-Hugh Nicholas
Cheese etc, Australia


Who is it for?

Exclusively for cheese shop owners and managers, this program combines practical information that managers need to run their business and train and manage staff, as well as provide outstanding customer service and keep the cheese in their care in perfect condition.

Intimate class size encourages networking and exchange of ideas and best practices among peers, thus enhancing the classroom experience.

Based on the expertise of two generations of family-run cheese retailing that now encompasses 15 shops in three countries, the course is taught by a trio of cheese experts: Laurent Mons, Meilleur Ouvrier de France François Robin, and American cheese expert Sue Sturman.

Prerequisite : appropriate experience and/or completion of Cheesemonger Essentials (formerly named Essential Foundations for Cheese Professionals).

The program:

  • Business essentials : cheese selection, inventory management, cost and profit margin calculations, understanding & selecting refrigeration equipment, paper selection, labelling…

  • Staff training : sensory analysis and cheese sales, nutrition and fat content…

  • Client services : cheese board presentations and cheese recipe development, including costing out, prep planning, food safety, presentation…

  • Cheese care : receiving, evaluating, storing, inventorying, case setting…

  • One week residency/5 days of training (40+ hours) Balance of theory and experiential learning

  • Classroom sessions alternate with hands-on work in the Mons shops and the preparation labs.


  • The Big Cheese: A Manager’s Toolkit costs 3,000€. This includes classroom work, hands-on ateliers, lodging during the course and all meals. It also includes ground transportation between the Academie and Lyon.

  • If taken as a suite with either Cheesemonger Essentials or Affinage: The Art and Science of Maturing Cheese, tuition for the combined courses is reduced.

  • Payments may be made by PayPal or by Bank Transfer.

  • Your 50% deposit will be due immediately once we have approved your application. Your balance will be due in full 2 weeks prior to the start of your program.

  • Class size limited to 6; minimum 3 enrollments required for the course to be held.

Dates :

February 10-14, 2020

October 19-23, 2020