For the love of a good cheese and the dairy farmer – that’s how Rogue Creamery of Central Point, Oregon, got its start in 1933.  

Mcbride matti
Editor / Progressive Dairy

It was the height of the Great Depression, and producers in the Central Point area were struggling to make ends meet when opportunity created the first artisan creamery cooperative in southern Oregon. The geography proved a great place to raise dairy cows and almost 100 years later, Rogue Creamery is making the “world’s best” cheese.

Rogue River Blue

After purchasing Rogue Creamery in 2002 and learning from the “godfather of artisan cheese” Ignazio Vella, David Gremmels set out to make a new cheese inspired by the Rogue Valley that supported the creamery for the past century. Rogue River Blue was born of the milk from Rogue Creamery’s organic dairy, aged for months and wrapped in Syrah grape leaves and soaked in pear liqueur – available for first consumption nearly a year after creation. All the waiting was worth it – Rogue River Blue became the “World’s Best Blue Cheese” in 2003 and, after winning numerous awards over the past 15 years, was crowned “World Champion Cheese” at the 2019 World Cheese Awards.

Farm to tray table

In 2019, Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) director of food and beverage, Antony McNeil, came across a social media post from Rogue Creamery. Intrigued by the creamery’s commitment to sustainability – a Certified B Corporation, USDA Certified Organic and Certified Humane by Validus – and award-winning products, McNeil set the wheels in motion for a unique partnership.

Singapore Airlines launched a farm-to-plane program in 2018 with the mission to source food from local, sustainable farms. A fishery and indoor produce farm currently offer their products on SIA’s international flights – from harvest to tray table in less than 24 hours.


“Our goal is to work with vertical farms at all six of SIA’s U.S. gateways,” McNeil says. “Each farm can’t be more than 10 miles from SIA’s catering sites – we are committed to sustainability at each step from farm to plane.”

A trip West

Gremmels invited McNeil to Oregon for a tour of Rogue Creamery.

“We were able to visit the ‘cow palace’ and meet the cows and were absolutely taken with the quality of the product,” McNeil says. “We absolutely loved the sustainability aspect and were really impressed by Rogue Creamery’s use of technology – the use of artificial intelligence robots, RFID chips, etc. David [Gremmels] explained all the benefits and demonstrated how the entire dairy could be run from the apps on the dairy manager’s phone, which we found fascinating.”

Gremmels agrees. “It’s only fitting that the world’s best cheese be available on the world’s best airline,” he says. “To be the world’s best cheese, we need to be in the best cheese shops and restaurants in the world – Singapore Airlines has taken that to new heights.”

56662-mcbride-blue-cheese-1.jpgSingapore Airlines Chefs Antony McNeil and Ben Quang with Rogue Creamery president and owner David Gremmels. Photo courtesy of Singapore Airlines.

Blue in the sky

During SIA’s visit to Oregon, McNeil was able to sample an array of cheese made by Rogue Creamery.

“I think it’s a big deal that the first airline to feature this artisan cheese was hand-selected,” Gremmels notes.

Rogue Creamery now provides world-renowned Rogue River Blue, Caveman Blue, Blue Horn, Crater Lake Blue and Jefferson Cheddar cheeses on U.S.-based flights. Passengers can enjoy the Oregon cheese in business, first and suites classes.  

6.8 miles

“Planes fly 6.8 miles above us,” Gremmels says. “Singapore Airlines wants to establish a connection to the producers and the makers. Here at Rogue Creamery they’re meeting both – meeting those beautiful cows and seeing the milk they produce. I love that their [SIA's] commitment they have shows their passion for the best experience and combining those foods together on a plate that’s 6.8 miles above us.”

When it comes to establishing a relationship like Rogue Creamery and SIA’s, Gremmels emphasizes the importance of focusing on connection.

“Your connection to land, your connection to your herd and your connection to the style of sustenance you’re creating is essential,” Gremmels says. “When your business is conscientious of the environment and community, this provides value. By sharing this value through an experience like air travel, you’re providing passengers with a sense of connection. At that point, they become more than travelers – they become guests, part of a bigger and more meaningful story."