Sweet Cheeses’ Journey Towards the SDGs and Community Impact

With a passion and love for cheese, Heather aspires to share her wealth of experience in the world of cheese with her local community. Her goal is to “connect people with the right cheese at the right time”, emphasizing the importance of individual experiences. 

Sweet Cheeses was founded in 2007 after Heather attended her very first American Cheese Society (ACS) Conference & Competition in Burlington, Vermont, an annual event that celebrates delicious cheeses produced across North America. As an active member of the ACS, Heather frequently attends and volunteers at the event and regularly brings home a variety of special cheeses to share with her local community. In addition, Heather is also a Certified Cheesemaker, and has experience working at farmers markets, specialty food retailers and boutique cut-to-order cheese shops. Her experience in the world of cheese is extensive and she also holds credentials from both the University of Guelph and the University of Vermont, as a Cheese Educator and Judge.

Sweet Cheeses in action and its impact 

Heather’s daily routine at Sweet Cheeses involves a combination of retail, ordering, and receiving products, primarily from small local producers. By sourcing from local producers, she connects people to unique cheeses produced nearby, while supporting local businesses to grow and gain customers. From her market stall at the Guelph Farmers’ Market Heather shares stories about the origins of the cheeses she excitedly displays. The story behind the cheese, from the family farms, to the dedicated and innovative cheesemakers, Heather is dedicated to creating an experience for her customers rooted in supporting the local food system. 

As a local business owner herself, Heather is committed to supporting other local sustainability initiatives. When possible, she donates excess product to Community FEWD, a local social enterprise preparing free community meals served across Guelph. Recognizing the connection between water quality and cheese production, Heather also donates a portion of Sweet Cheese’s earnings to Water First, a nonprofit committed to improving clean water access in Indigenous communities. 

Globally, the cheese industry has a high carbon footprint with large volumes of these perishable products being flown around the world – in order for people to have an authentic taste. Through her knowledge of cheese and connections with producers, Heather wants her customers to see that they can access high quality and delicious cheeses made closer to home, without the big climate impacts. For example, one of her suppliers, Golspie Dairy, is producing authentic English style cheeses in Woodstock, Ontario. Gunn’s Hill is another local cheesemaker bringing the tastes of Europe to Southern Ontario, producing alpine cheeses. 

For Heather, Gunn’s Hill represents the kind of local success story she is working to support. These dairy farmers turned artisan cheese producers are crafting a high quality product, creating local jobs and demonstrating how artisanal cheese can be an important part of a local food system and economy. 

Sweet Cheeses and the SDGs

Fostering sustainability and community are at the heart of Heather’s business. On a journey to better communicate the purpose and impact of her businesses, Heather is exploring the connections between her business and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 


In the artisanal cheese industry, stories are important. For Sweet Cheeses, the retail cheese business is about connecting people to their food and providing the kinds of experiences that they will remember. 

Sweet Cheeses is a committed weekly vendor at the Guelph Farmers’ Market. Looking ahead, Heather is eagerly awaiting the completion of market renovations and opening of the new commercial kitchen space at the Market. With this increased capacity, she sees opportunities for cheese focused events where she can bring together cheese makers, customers and other partners to celebrate food and community.