Hap-Brie Trails, Connie!

Connie Lawrance, Wheatsfield’s Cheesemonger and Cheese Buyer since 2010, celebrates her retirement from the co-op! Below she shares a few of her favorite memories from her tenure and what the future has in store for her.

The American Cheese Society Convention in Des Moines, July 27-30, 2016. Together, Nan Bonfils and I attended four days immersed in cheese sampling, cheese discussion, cheese sampling, cheese classes and more cheese sampling. The closing event featured over 1000 choices in cheese and charcuterie, it was overwhelming and extraordinary! And yes you can eat too much cheese, but rarely is this a problem.

The First Cheese Fest, Oct 16-21, 2017. Nan Bonfils was the Cheese Assistant and we planned with other department managers for samples twice a day for four days with every department featured plus a grand local tasting on Saturday. When our cheese order came in the week before it was a huge pallet and the cooler was stacked from floor to ceiling with wooden boxes – it was very exciting! Cheese puns were painted all over the store and we had contests and even cheese video screenings. It was wonderful seeing the overwhelming interest and support from the members.

What I enjoy most about working here at Wheasfield is the interaction with members and regular customers. Through the years I witnessed the birth and growth of children, new and old relationships, and people moving in and away. It made my job fun learning everyone’s favorites and learning a whole lot about how everyone approaches their cheese choices

As far as future plans, my husband Gary and I are moving after 31 years in Madrid to Prole, Iowa. It’s an unincorporated area just off HWY 35 and 92. We’ll have 20 acres and an easier to maintain house. We will be close to my son’s family with four grandkids, yet still close enough to see my daughter’s family here in Ames. She has two active boys and will be attending many soccer games here.

I was very active in 4-H growing up and when my own children were home. Now the four grandkids in Winterset are all involved in 4-H. That’s one area I will be rejoining, they have goats! Now I can be around them without the responsibility of their care.

I have also been a belly dancer, instructor, and troupe leader almost 20 years now. My troupe is very active in performing at farmers’ markets, wineries, and new last year – Renaissance Fairs. I also create leather costumes and other fun things and will continue to both perform and vend at regional fairs. Come see us next season! We will be at the Faire near Saylorville – The Des Moines Renaissance Fair in May and September.

I have very much enjoyed working at Wheatsfield, the atmosphere, the mission, the cheese! It has been a great 11 years, thank you to all who were part of it!

Picture collage of Connie over the years!

Connie is passing on the cheese mantle on to Danielle!