Tomales Bay Foods

Development team for a wholesale food retailer


"The team is consistent in their work and responsive, and they do a good job despite the high-effort nature of their tasks."

Vanessa Chang
Director of Marketing

About Tomales Bay Foods

Tomales Bay Foods, home of the Cowgirl Creamery, distributes over 250 different cheeses from more than 50 cheesemakers and importers. Additionally, they have sourced charcuterie, crackers, and cheese accompaniments.

The Challenge

After working on the Cowgirl Creamery, Vanessa, the new Marketing Director at Tomales Bay Foods, asked us to maintain the website, a WordPress application, after being the target of hacking. Not being PHP developers, this was in itself a challenge. In addition, they wanted to build the Library of Cheese, the Library of Charcuterie, and The Pantry. These are 3 collections of producers, each one with a collection of products and a description of each one. They needed to be filterable to allow users to find the products of their liking.

The Solution

Maintaining the WordPress application was easy. The hard part was to build the Library of Cheese, the Library of Charcuterie, and The Pantry. Tomales Bay Foods had 3 spreadsheets with the information they collected from the different producers and tried their best to normalize the information but it was not enough. Also, the spreadsheets were continuously updated by the different producers causing denormalization and other data-related problems. So, we proposed to grab those spreadsheets periodically and process them with a script to convert them to a format that we could use in the WordPress application. With all that information processed, it was easy to understand how to build the solution, which consisted of building a bunch of pages with special templates that used those processed files.

screenshot of the app

The Outcome

The WordPress app was periodically updated and backed up. The Library of Cheese, the Library of Charcuterie, and The Pantry were completed on time meeting the client’s expectations.

"They inherited a system that had a lot of flaws in it, and they've done a good, consistent job of making sure that things run, despite how high-maintenance those efforts can be."

Vanessa Chang
Director of Marketing