At Black Radish Creamery, our obsession with good food and great ingredients is at the heart of everything we do. As culinary professionals with formal education and extensive experience in food, we've always been drawn to making creative flavor combinations with proper and sometimes novel techniques and meticulously researched recipes.
It all started in 2006 with an episode of Alton Brown’s, Good Eats. After a quick conversation about the direction of life and inspired to put food as our focus, we headed to New York and have never looked back. With the encouragement from Anne, who had recently graduated from The Columbus College of Art & Design with a focus on food photography, John enrolled and obtained both his A.O.S. (Associate of Occupational Study) and B.P.S. degrees from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, and Anne landed a job as a food photographer and stylist—first in a prominent New York studio and later joining John at the CIA as an in-house photographer.
We had a unique opportunity at the CIA to gain many perspectives as both student and employee and relished in every moment we had there. After culinary school, John landed a job as a cheese maker’s assistant at a local farmstead creamery. From that moment, we knew without a doubt that our destiny was cheese. As we worked, we fell more and more in love with the idea of cheese, and conspired to build a creamery that would not only allow us to combine our mutual love of food with our passion for science, but also share our most memorable and eye-opening experiences with others.
We went to work, honing our skills and learning everything we could about cheese making. We enhanced our formal education with extensive research. We took connoisseurship classes taught by the country's finest independent cheese makers and fromagiers, also including studies at the University of Vermont School of Artisanal Cheese. And then in 2011, we moved back home to Ohio to turn our dreams into reality.
Funnily, our first Black Radish Creamery product wasn't cheese, but it was created with cheese in mind. While planning our wedding, we set out to find fruit preserves that would complement the cheese plate we were serving at our reception.
Unable to find anything on the market that met our high standards, John hit the local fruit market and took to the kitchen. There he cranked up the Bruno Mars tunes and set about creating "Billionaire"—an intensely concentrated blend of strawberries, rhubarb, Beaujolais wine reduction, and organic vanilla bean that became an instant hit. He made a second batch the following week for his cousin's wedding, and so many guests asked for it, we decided to take it public.
We had a product name, but no name for the business! As homage to Anne, John named our business, Black Radish Creamery. Anne’s maiden name, Rettig, is a derivative of Radish in German. He chose Black as a nod to the infamous “black sheep” that always seem to stand out of a crowd, as we wanted our products to do as well. At our first farmers' market, “Billionaire” sold out in less than three hours, and continues to be one of our best sellers today.
After many hurdles and set backs, six years later, we laughingly still tell people who purchase our fruit preserves that "the cheese is coming!" and today, we're ecstatic to finally be in the process of moving into our state-of-the-art Granville facility that not only features a creamery, complete with aging rooms, it also uniquely hosts a versatile commercial kitchen that we have many plans for. Stay tuned! The cheese is still coming!
Our greatest desire has always been, and continues to be, to provide people with the kind of outstanding food that has fueled our biggest dreams and fondest memories—food made with love, science, and soul.
John & Anne Reese, creators of Black Radish Creamery