Seymour company trying to break into the cheese spread market

Seymour company trying to break into the cheese spread market

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Smoky Mountain Cheese is the dream of Randall Mitchell who first began experimenting with different cheese spreads while in the Navy. Smoky Mountain Cheese is the dream of Randall Mitchell who first began experimenting with different cheese spreads while in the Navy.
In a non-descript metal building in the heart of Seymour, a 40 pound block of cheddar and American cheese is cubed. In a non-descript metal building in the heart of Seymour, a 40 pound block of cheddar and American cheese is cubed.
It is then placed in a 400 gallon cooker, seasoned and transformed into something quite different than just cheese. It is then placed in a 400 gallon cooker, seasoned and transformed into something quite different than just cheese.
What comes out is packaged, then stacked in a storage refrigerator, ready for shipment to Food City and Kroger stores in 14 states. What comes out is packaged, then stacked in a storage refrigerator, ready for shipment to Food City and Kroger stores in 14 states.
"We use all fresh ingredients, 100 percent natural, and it comes out as a spread," Randall Mitchell said. "We use all fresh ingredients, 100 percent natural, and it comes out as a spread," Randall Mitchell said.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

SEYMOUR (WATE) - How difficult is it to launch a new food label? Randall Mitchell knows because for the past three years he and his partner have been trying to break into the cheese spread market.

His product is Smoky Mountain Cheese.

In a non-descript metal building in the heart of Seymour, a 40 pound block of cheddar and American cheese is cubed, placed in a 400 gallon cooker, seasoned and transformed into something quite different than just cheese.

What comes out is packaged, then stacked in a storage refrigerator, ready for shipment to Food City and Kroger stores in 14 states.

Smoky Mountain Cheese is the dream of Randall Mitchell who first began experimenting with different cheese spreads while in the Navy.

"We use all fresh ingredients, 100 percent natural, and it comes out as a spread," he said.

The cheese spread comes in four flavors: original, jalapeno, chipotle and gourmet white.

Mitchell and an investor started the business in earnest in 2011. Knowing they had a good product, they figured it was just a matter of time before it took off.

They're finding that a good product isn't enough to break through.

"It's probably the hardest thing I've ever done. The food industry is very tough," said Mitchell.

Mitchell says competing with companies with deep pockets can be frustrating, but their heavy use of social media is paying off.

What is also paying off is his hiring of veterans.

"We are a service-disabled veteran owned company, and a lot of our employees are veterans," he explained. Mitchell wants to keep it that way.

So the next time you get the urge for a little cheese spread, check out the cheese spread with attitude.


Made in Tennessee airs each Friday on 6 News at 5:00.

If you know of a product we should profile for Made in Tennessee, send Gene Patterson an email or a Facebook message.

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