The Artistry and Inspiration Behind Sequatchie Cove Creamery’s Unique Cheeses

By | Charcuterie, Cheese, Dairy, Gourmet, Gourmet Cheese, Local, What Chefs Want

Nathan and Padgett Arnold, founders of Sequatchie Cove Creamery in southeast Tennessee, are the driving forces behind an artisanal cheese venture that encapsulates passion, creativity, and a profound connection to the land. Their journey into the world of cheesemaking is a captivating tale of love, innovation, and dedication to preserving the essence of their region. From humble beginnings to becoming an award-winning creamery, the Arnolds’ story unfolds as a testament to the transformative power of inspiration, both local and global. Through their intricate process of crafting unique cheeses, the Arnolds pay homage to their surroundings while embracing flavors and techniques from around the world. Join us as we talk with Padgett Arnold and delve into the narrative of Sequatchie Cove Creamery.

What led to the creation of Sequatchie Cove Creamery? How did the idea to start making cheese originate for you and Nathan?

Padgett: We took a unique path from our original backgrounds. Back at the University of Georgia, I was studying horticulture with the aim of becoming a specialist in edible crops. Nathan and I connected through shared interests and found ourselves working at Crabtree Farms, an urban farm with a strong commitment to sustainable agriculture and community access to food. This was during the late 90s in Chattanooga.

During that time, we met the Keeners, and Nathan joined them at Sequatchie Cove Farm to grow their produce program in 2003, while I remained at Crabtree. While Nathan was at Sequatchie Cove, he became increasingly drawn to working with the farm’s animals and exploring ways to add value to the operation.

The question arose: How can we create sustainable livelihoods for multiple families on this small farm while meshing well with its existing enterprises? The notion of cheese came into play, along with the concept of adding value to the farm. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation, but that’s the journey that brought us here.

Let’s delve into your sources of inspiration. Where did you find the creative spark for Sequatchie Cove Creamery?

In 2004, a trip to Italy left a lasting mark on us. At an international farming and food festival, we were exposed to a diverse array of foods that planted the seeds of inspiration. It was there that we encountered new cheeses, particularly French alpine varieties.

There was a period that Nathan was traveling a lot, making contacts through the American Cheese Society and learning as much as he could through these contacts. He also studied cheesemaking in France, which became a huge source of inspiration for our own creations. He adapted the unique techniques and essence of those French cheeses and blended them with the distinct character of Tennessee’s Sequatchie region.

Cheese making is both scientific and artistic. It’s not just a wheel of cheese, it’s a work of art. Our cheeses have aesthetic appeal that resonates, particularly among chefs.

Ok, let’s talk about these cheeses. Take me through them and what makes them so special.


Our first cheese, the Cumberland, is a simple and rustic Tomme, inspired by the French Tomme de Savoie. It offers buttery and earthy flavors, complemented by a tangy grassy note and subtle hints of macadamia nut. Chefs love its versatility – it can be grated onto pizza, used as a substitute for gruyere, Havarti, or cheddar, and it’s even “kid friendly.” Its natural rind boasts a distinctive gray and white spotted appearance that makes a statement on a cheese board. With a long shelf life, it’s very kitchen friendly as well.

Search Item #91165 


Coppinger is our top-selling cheese and demand is really driving production. Demand has been going up and up.

It is a Southern take on the classic French Morbier, Coppinger is a semi-soft washed rind cheese with a striking layer of decorative vegetable ash in its center. The velvety elastic paste is savory with notes of fresh grass and smoked meats, making it ideal for the cheese plate or melted into any dish.

This is a another very versatile cheese and it blends well with a lot of flavors Try it melted on a burger or as the ultimate grilled cheese; it’s also great as a substitute for raclette.

There is a bit of an education curve here with Coppinger, and people sometimes think with the ash line, that this is blue cheese. It is not. That unique line through the center is an ash line, that doesn’t change the flavor at all. Beyond being visually interesting, the ash line mellows out the tanginess and smooths out the finish.

Chefs are drawn to the Coppinger for its visual appeal and versatility.

Search Item #91166 

Shakerag Blue

Shakerag Blue was just recently added to the What Chefs Want offering, so it is now available to your customers!

Shakerag Blue’s colorful name is derived from both the beautiful Shakerag Hollow known for its wildflowers and rich moonshining past.

It is a crumbly yet dense, blue-veined cheese wrapped in local fig leaves which have been soaked in Chattanooga Whiskey. It matures gradually in our cool room and the slow ripening process yields a mellower flavor profile and creamier texture. The flavor isn’t overpowering, it is much more delicate, in fact, often people who don’t enjoy blue cheese, enjoy Shakerag Blue. It crumbles well for salads and steaks and deserves a prime spot on the cheese board.

I am actually the one who harvests the fig leaves to wrap this cheese. We store them in food-grade buckets, submerged in whiskey until we are ready to wrap the cheese. The fig leaf wrapping does mean that our scalability is limited by leaf availability. Occasionally, we experience production pauses as we await the readiness of fig leaves.

It is a very labor-intensive process, but the chefs go nuts for it.

Search Item #91934

As you continue to grow, how do you intend to maintain the authenticity and community-centered approach that has been integral to your creamery’s success?

It is important to us to be connected to agricultural raw materials. We never want to lose that local touchpoint.

Right now we are sourcing our milk from the only surviving dairy in the Sequatchie Valley. We really see our role as we grow as being about the cheese itself, but also about growing and supporting dairy in the region. We want to turn the ship around for the farmers – and the more we are able to grow, the more we are able to buy from the local farmers, making dairy farming a viable option for new farmers in the area.  

What would your advice be to someone just starting out?

Learn everything from people who can teach you. Really. Seek a mentor and learn as much as you can before you just jump in.  Start with a narrow focus. Study and understand someone else’s successful enterprise.  Fortunately for us, this industry has been a supportive and inclusive atmosphere and we’ve had people very enthusiastically cheering us on, but it is not an easy path.

La Mozzarella: A Journey from Italy to Your Plate!

By | Cheese, Chef's Feed, What Chefs Want

Buongiorno, food aficionados and culinary enthusiasts! Today, we invite you to join us on a delectable journey to the heart of Italy with La Mozzarella, where a passion for tradition and the finest Italian cheese can be delivered right to your kitchen.

Meet Lara Postiglione, the dynamic owner behind La Mozzarella, whose unwavering passion for the art of cheesemaking has shaped her journey from Italy to the United States. Lara has poured her heart and soul into creating a business that transcends the boundaries of just being another supplier.

The journey began when Lara and her husband, Rosario, arrived in the U.S. back in 2001. They brought with them an insatiable longing for the taste of authentic buffalo mozzarella cheese, a delicacy they had grown up cherishing in Italy.

Lara remembers the moment she tried mozzarella di bufala for the first time when she was a teacher in Italy.

“It was so amazing and I just couldn’t believe what I was eating,” said Lara Postiglione, owner of La Mozzarella.  “I told one of my students about it the very next day and he bought me a kilo of mozzarella the following week for my birthday. I ate it all in one day.”

Fast forward to 2001, when Lara and Rosario realized they couldn’t find any of the product in Chicago.  Recognizing this gap in the market, they embarked on a quest to introduce original buffalo mozzarella, natural, fresh, and steeped in generations of tradition, to the eager palates of the Chicagoland area. Now, La Mozzarella is available in 18 states and continues to grow. Through the What Chefs Want partnership with La Mozzarella, we are the exclusive distribution partner who can bring this taste of Italy to your restaurant.

A Standout Product & Philosophy

La Mozzarella’s philosophy is built on the principle of personalized service, where each customer is treated as the most important one. Lara believes that technical skill is essential, but it is her passion for what they do that sets them apart. The La Mozzarella team carefully listens to every chef’s unique needs, ensuring that the products they deliver are of the utmost quality.

“We are so grateful to have our customers and we are committed to giving them the best product, while also focusing on being kind,” said Lara. “Kindness is the most important thing and isn’t always common in the industry, so we make sure everyone on our team keeps that focus on kindness.”

Lara personally traveled through Italy, handpicking her Italian suppliers. She traversed various regions and visited numerous producers, ensuring that only the finest ingredients find their way into La Mozzarella’s offerings.

Mozzarella di Bufala

One of their proud treasures is the Mozzarella di Bufala DOP, made from the milk of Italian water buffalo, arriving in the United States within a mere 36 hours of being crafted in Campania. With a tradition dating back to the earliest days of mozzarella di bufala production, this cheese carries the esteemed “Denomination of Protected Origin Status,” safeguarding its authenticity and artisanal value.

The majority of fresh mozzarella available worldwide, including in Italy, is crafted from cows’ milk, resulting in a firmer texture with lower moisture content and a subtle taste. However, Mozzarella di Bufala stands in contrast, boasting an immensely flavorful profile, a luxurious butterfat richness, and a truly satisfying experience.

SEARCH ITEM # 32707Order by Wednesday and receive this made-to-order product, straight from Italy, 8 days later!


And let’s not forget about their Imported Burrata, lovingly crafted from cow’s milk in the heart of Bari, Italy. As burrata’s birthplace, Bari holds a special place in this cheese’s rich history. The name itself, burrata, originates from “burro,” meaning butter, a subtle reminder of the luscious creaminess that sets this imported delicacy apart from domestic alternatives. La Mozzarella was the first to bring burrata to both Chicago and Denver, and now you can purchase it for your culinary needs at What Chefs Want.

SEARCH ITEM # 26078 Order by Wednesday and receive this made-to-order product, straight from Italy, 8 days later!

Committed to Being the Best

What truly elevates La Mozzarella to greater heights is their commitment to delivering the freshest and highest quality product. Their experience of importing fresh Italian cheeses spans over 22 years, and they have mastered the art of multiple direct flights from Italy each week. With a seamless process that ensures each cheese is made to order and arrives within 36 hours of production, La Mozzarella remains unrivaled in the United States.

But it’s not about being the largest importer for Lara; it’s about being the best. Her ambition lies in serving you the most exceptional flavors and providing an unparalleled culinary experience. La Mozzarella cheese is more than just a product; it’s a testament to their passion, love for tradition, and dedication to sharing Italy’s gastronomic treasures with the world.

Drooling yet? Well if not, check out some recipes La Mozzarella shares, featuring mouthwatering ideas like a Burrata Pesto Burger,  Peaches with Burrata, Basil, and Raspberry Balsamic Syrup, and Mozzarella with Summer Squash and Olive Puree.

So, dear foodies, let La Mozzarella transport you to the sun-kissed hills of Italy, and let the delicious journey from Italy to your plate begin!

Buon appetito! 🧀🍕🍝

Search the What Chefs Want site for these products using item codes:

  • Mozzarella di Bufala – item 32707
  • Burrata – item 26078

Item of the Day:  Wixter Cooked Shrimp

By | Appetizers, Catering, Charcuterie, Cheese, Chef's Feed, Hors d'oeuvre, Item of the Day, Seafood, What Chefs Want

Wixter Cooked Norwegian Shrimp – Item 24152    


Perfect for the upcoming catering season!

Wixter’s succulent, white Shrimp are wild-caught and frozen at peak freshness. In fact, we are one of the few companies that do not add preservatives -including sulfites and phosphates – to its Shrimp. Providing 16 grams of protein per serving, as well as 30% of your daily value of calcium, Wixter’s sustainably sourced Shrimp are meeting the demand for America’s most popular seafood. Whether it’s an Etouffee, Shrimp cocktail, scampi, or your family’s favorite recipe, these American Shrimp are perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Item 24152 – 9 LB Case    

Item of the Day:  Goat Cheese & Honey Phyllo

By | Appetizers, Catering, Charcuterie, Cheese, Chef's Feed, Hors d'oeuvre, Item of the Day, What Chefs Want

Goat Cheese & Honey Phyllo – Item 02873    


Perfect for the upcoming catering season!

 The sweet flavor of wild clover honey paired with a fresh goat and cream cheese blend, wrapped in buttery phyllo pastry and brushed with a brown sugar crumble. Great for passed hors d’oeuvres and dessert plates. Contains soy, milk, and wheat. Requires baking for 4-6 minutes.

Item 02873 – 200 CT Case   

Item of the Day: Pinewood Boat

By | Appetizers, Catering, Cheese, Chef's Feed, Hors d'oeuvre, Item of the Day, Paper / To-Go, What Chefs Want

PETITE PINEWOOD BOAT 5.5X3.2 – Item 98198    


Perfect for the upcoming catering season!

Great for displaying a variety of items, our boat shaped bowls are an elegant way to make a statement at any event. Available in various sizes, they are multi-purpose and can be used either as a serving dish or food display. Made of pinewood they are biodegradable and disposable.


*We offer a variety of different sizes 2.8″x2″ up to 8.7″x4.1″

Item 98198 – 50 CT Pack

Item of the Day: Spicy Halloumi Cheese

By | Cheese, Chef's Feed, Dairy, Gourmet Cheese, Grilling Essentials, Hors d'oeuvre, Item of the Day, Retail Ready, What Chefs Want

Spicy Halloumi Cheese – Item 91375 

All the grilling goodness of original Kynthos Halloumi – now in a spicy version!

Fry it up and put in a sandwich for a spicy lunch,

cut into cubes and layer between peppers & onions and grill for a spicy meatless kabob,

or simply enjoy it fried on its own.

Item 91375 – 8.8 oz Pack  

Item of the Day:  Wooly Wooly Sheep’s Milk Spreadable Cheese Log

By | Charcuterie, Cheese, Chef's Feed, Dairy, Gourmet Cheese, Item of the Day, What Chefs Want

 Wooly Wooly Sheep’s Milk Spreadable Cheese Log

Wooly Woolly is a soft and spreadable sheep’s milk cheese log from Jumilla, Spain. This style of fresh sheep’s milk cheese is quite rare in Spain. The texture is akin to cream cheese, but more pillowy. Its rich, sweet, and mildly sheepy flavor is wonderful on its own, but also works well in any number of cooking applications. Crumble it over salads, stuff into pasta, mix into eggs, or simply enjoy on toast or a bagel to appreciate its unique flavor.

Item 30082 – 5oz Log 

Item of the Day: Vegan Cream Cheese

By | Cheese, Chef's Feed, Dairy, Gluten Free, Item of the Day, Products, Vegan, What Chefs Want

Vegan Cream Cheese

A message from Violife – 

We are a vegan-dedicated community based in the beautiful surroundings of Thessalonica in Greece. We’ve been committed to making amazingly tasting, 100% vegan, non-dairy, non GMO foods since the 90’s, in our production plant in Drama, and we are proud and humbled to be a favourite brand for so many Vegans, Vegetarians and Flexitarians in over 50 countries around the world.

We make great tasting vegan alternative to cheese products, and more… All our 100% Vegan foods are free from: dairy, lactose, GMO, gluten, nuts, soy, preservatives and cholesterol. So, you’re guaranteed allergen-free eating!

Item 28601 – 6.6LB Tub