This week we will Follow the Path of Dominique Delugeau from Saputo Cheese USA Inc. Dominique dives into his journey within the world of cheese, and gives us a glimpse into his career path.
1. In two sentences, sum up how you got to where you are professionally.
Hard work and being motivated by a constant quest for knowledge.
2. What is your guilty food pleasure?
A rich ice cream with all the trimmings!
3. How long have you been at your current role?
Technically 16 years, but my job description changed slightly last year to include an international trade dimension to it. I am now also the liaison with all the International divisions of Saputo for Specialty Cheese.
4. What professional habit are you most proud of?
My contribution towards coaching younger associates and my involvement with the industry at large. I have been on multiple executive boards including WSCI (Wisconsin Specialty Cheese Institute), ACS (American Cheese Society), CIAA (Cheese Importers Association of America). I have been an Advisor to the CCC (Oldways Cheese of Choice Coalition). I also love judging in cheese contests to keep up with my understanding of new products and technologies from around the world.
5. What is your favorite cheese?
A good aged Comté from the Jura Mountains in France. I love its distinct and complex aromatic composition reflecting the rich micro flora of the terroir it comes from.
6. What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Training, teaching, and talking passionately about a product to close a sale when I am in front of a customer.
7. What surprised you most when you started working in this field?
The complexity of some of our business if you want to have a wide view of our industry. Complexity not only in the making of a product category itself (wide array of technologies and traditions) but also complexity in its commercialization (supply chain challenges, regulation, changing consumer habits…)Staying in step with the accelerating pace of change, can become overwhelming and certainly requires keeping a pulse on our ever-evolving environment.
8. What were your childhood career aspirations?
I did not really know what I wanted to do, but I knew what I did not want to do: be in the cheese business like my father…oh well…
9. How has your involvement with IDDBA benefited you professionally?
It’s nice to understand that some of the issues we encounter in the cheese business can actually be very similar in other businesses such as meat, bakery, and deli. There are great people and opportunities in our organization! The IDDBA show has grown to be an all-encompassing world event where people learn, network, and bring back ideas and inspirations for their respective businesses.
10. What would you tell an individual considering a career in the food industry?
It won’t be easy but go for it, food is fun, food is alive, food is what makes people bound.
*Editor’s note: If you know someone who could be featured for this blog series, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org