Meet Your Maker

Posted on May 6, 2014

Craig Hageman will be taking over the reins at Alemar this summer. Here’s a chance to get to know him a little bit:

Craig has ties in Mankato: his Mother grew up here, and he still has a number of uncles and aunts around, not to mention his grandparents. He grew up in the Cities, and figured out at a young age that he wanted to work in the culinary arts.

This took him to Chicago, where he spent a few years at Le Nomades, a renowned French-inspired restaurant. It was also where he met his future bride Olivia.

The two decided to make a jump westward to the San Francisco Bay Area. Craig rose through the ranks, ultimately achieving the title of Sous Chef at Rivoli in Berkeley. He loved to cook–still does (I can vouch for this, part of his interview was to cook me a meal, and it was all splendid).

Craig and Olivia were wed in 2012 (just down the road at Morgan Creek Vineyards), and the two talked about moving to Minnesota to raise a family. We began talking almost two years ago, and over that time, it became clear that this was a good fit for both of us. Craig could stay in the world of food without the hours of a chef, and I was convinced he could become a better cheesemaker than me.

The Hageman’s moved out in September, and Craig started October First. The couple became three when Asa, their little boy arrived last December. Despite this particularly harsh winter, they are in the process of buying a house and settling in for the long haul. I couldn’t be happier or more convinced this partnership will thrive and stand the test of time.

So look for Craig at the Farmers’ Market, the Cheese Festival or an in-store “demo”, and welcome him home!

P.S.–That’s Craig on the left having a beer with Andy Hatch from Uplands Cheese.

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