Vermont is known for it's cheesemaking, so it's only fitting that a new piece of technology making life easier for its cheesemakers is Made in Vermont.
In a Weathersfield garage, Dave Sandelman is making a product that is revolutionizing an industry. Cheese making.
That's right, the screws, cables and cords are almost just as important as the milk. "When cheesemakers ask me the process of making the cheese, I really can't help them, but I can give them the tools to make really good cheese," Sandelman said.
Sandelman is a lifelong inventor who has 14 U.S. Patents, but it was while he was running an Inn with his wife a few years ago that he came across a cheesemaker with a humidity problem in his aging room. "It was suggested that I take a look at what he had," Sandelman said.
Sandelman told him you can't control humidity, but you can control the two variables that equal the desired humidity. "We went ahead, did a room and it worked out. This eliminates the need for someone watching a thermometer and adjusting values," he said.
Word spread of Dave's device like cheese on a cracker. The next thing you know, he sold the Inn and... "What started as a hobby is now, as you can see, lots of controls going on," Sandelman said.
"From day one this room has been fantastic and spot on where we wanted it," said Rick Woods with Vermont Farmstead Cheese in South Woodstock. The cheesemaker is one of the first users of Sandelman's system. "We set the box -- don't even worry about it," Woods said. "By controlling the temperature and the humidity in this room, it gives this white mold an awesome base to be able to grow."
A couple of years ago Sandelman attended an American Cheese Society conference in Rhode Island, and you could say his invention was well received. "I was treated as a celebrity, and had no idea. Everyone was coming up to say hi, shake my hand, and I was like, wow. I had no idea I made an impact in an industry like this," Sandelman said.
"I can understand why cheesemakers across the country are lining up to get this stuff in here, because it takes this piece of the equation right off the table for us," Woods said.
Box's are being shipped throughout the U.S. and Canada, but while the demand expands, don't expect any expansion from this Vermont inventor. His garage is just fine. "I'd like to keep it small and something I can control," Sandelman said.
It makes sense. Control is what Dave Sandelman does best.
Reporter Scott Fleishman: It's pretty much second nature to you now.
Dave Sandelman: Now it is, and just run through them.
Dave is now making for other businesses including people who make charcuterie. There's also been some interest from the cannabis growing industry.
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