More cheese, exciting flavours, new experiences – the slogan for the re-vamped version of the Oxford County Cheese Trail- says it all. The new and improved Trail, which officially launched in September 2015, delves even further into Oxford County’s rich dairy heritage and provides visitors with expanded opportunities to explore and savour its flavours.
To give the Trail a fresh feeling, we decided it was time to give its logo a facelift. In our search for something new, we looked to the past for inspiration. And where better to do so than the Ingersoll Cheese and Agriculture Museum? This Oxford County institution and Cheese Trail favourite has been preserving the history of cheesemaking in the area since 1977. During a recent visit, curator Scott Gillies graciously allowed us access to the museum’s storerooms, which harbour invaluable artifacts that illustrate Oxford’s cheesemaking heritage.
Among them was a tiny dress, covered from skirt to collar with an array of colourful ribbons. The ribbons were awarded to Tom Aicken, a champion cheesemaker from Oxford County. Between 1947 and 1955, Aicken won a total of 54 ribbons, which his wife proudly sewed onto a dress for their two-year old daughter. The dress is a testament to Oxford County’s ability to produce award-winning, artisan cheeses – then and now.
As we continued our search through the storerooms, we came across a set of stamps used for local cheese products. In the past, these stamps were used by local cheesemakers as a way to brand their products and assure customers that their cheese was hand-crafted with care. The symbolism of the cheese stamps struck a chord – like the cheesemakers of the past (and present), we have taken pains to create a Trail that will satisfy and delight. And just as cheesemakers choose only the best ingredients for their product, we have scoured the County for the best artisans and vendors in the hopes of crafting an unforgettable experience for those who try the Trail.
With minds full of metaphor, we selected the Tom Thumb New Cheddars stamp from the Ingersoll Cream Cheese Company collection at the Museum as our model. The product stamp from this former company – like our cheddar cheesemaking heritage – is old, but the revised Oxford County Cheese Trail is ‘new’ and while we may be small, we are big on service and experiences.
The final product is a visual representation of what we want the updated Trail to be – a reflection of Oxford’s past and a symbol of its future as Canada’s top dairy destination. To be on new trail items, events and more sign-up for our newsletter.