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A big cheese connection

WEST PITTSTON – For being so good last year, the folks at igourmet.com are rewarding Dorothea with another trip to Walt Disney World.

They’re also taking Mahon and Piave with them to The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that starts Friday in Orlando, Fla.

Just so there’s no misunderstanding, Dorothea, Mahon and Piave are cheeses that will be sold at the festival that runs through Nov. 8. Visitors can sample them at the appropriately named “The Mouse Catch” kiosk in the Epcot portion of the theme park.

Lisa Griffiths, director of sales and marketing for the West Pittston-based online cheese and gourmet food purveyor, said this will be igourmet’s fourth trip to the festival.

“Last year we did Dorothea. It’s goat gouda with basil and potato skin,” Griffiths said.

It was the first time igourmet offered the cheese from Holland at the event and the response was “overwhelming,” she said.

The others, Mahon and Piave, are newcomers. Mahon hails from Spain and is the second most popular cheese after Manchego. Piave is made in Italy and shares the name of the Piave River.

Drink pairings will be offered with the cheeses: Heineken Beer with Dorothea; Martini & Rossi Prosecco with the Piave; and Marques de Caceres Rioja with the Mahon.

The venue provides access to potential new customers, Griffiths said. The festival is expected to attract 1.4 million visitors. The exposure could provide a much needed fourth-quarter boost to igourmet, whose sales have been affected by the economic recession, she added.

“Being visible is important,” Griffiths said.

And so is making connections. That’s how igourmet landed a spot at the festival that features crafts, concerts and more than 25 international marketplace kiosks serving food and drink from around the world.

An igourmet vice president who was in Italy to meet with a chocolate supplier met some Disney executives “who order from us,” Griffiths explained.

Igourmet representatives will be at the festival, “mostly staffing it on weekends,” she said.

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