Some people will go to grate lengths for a world record — no matter how cheesy.
Just ask Rob Tremblett, who runs the Bayview Valu-Mart. On March 24, along with other Loblaw-affiliated grocery stores across the province, his store took part in an attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records mark for most wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese broken simultaneously.
“It’s exciting for the company, it’s exciting for the store, and we sold a lot of cheese that day, I can tell you that,” he said. “It was really, really fun.”
In all, 305 wheels of cheese were cracked in as many stores, breaking the previous record of 176, set back in 2008. When it comes to being a part of going for the record, Tremblett says the idea was sprinkled over him by a new addition to Loblaw’s corporate team.
“We brought a new guy into the Loblaw company, originally he’s from New York and he’s quite the cheese connoisseur to say the least,” Trembett said. “He knew Whole Foods originally held the record, so they went after it and cracked 305 wheels at once, all at 12 o’clock.”
There is a proper method to cracking the cheese, and Trembett had one of his employees do the honours, so his name would go down in the history books.
“You have to use these special knives,” Trembett said. “You put a wedge in the middle, then a wedge in each side, and once it’s scored you flip it over, and you literally push in the middle and it cracks perfectly in half.”
But if you think you like the cheese factor, you don’t come close to one woman who was in attendance. Trembett said he had a record-setting sale when an elderly Italian lady bought — ready? — 450 pounds of the cheese.
“I had to give her an Italian hat because we had some nice display stuff and she says ‘I’m Italian, I’m 95 years old, I spend all this money, what do I get for free?’ ” he said, laughing. “It was priceless. I said ‘do you want some bread? Do you want some oil?’ She says ‘no, I want that hat.’
“I said ‘you can have that hat, if that makes you happy, you can have it.’ ”
The comical moment, Trembett says, was one he has never seen the likes of in his life.
“Typically 50 or 60 pounds is $1,000,” he said. “Never in my life have I seen one person buy that. I’m married to an Italian, so my father-in-law would have a half or a quarter of a wheel in his freezer at all times.”
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