Our History - About igourmet.com - Our Philosophy
A Century of Tradition, the Technology of the Moment
Charles Chesman with son, Fred
igourmet.com, a leading gourmet food Web site, is the product of cutting-edge 20th century technology. But Spencer Chesman, the company's president and CEO, can still remember his grandfather Charles Chesman's stories about the cheese-importing life in the early 1900s and it was far from high-tech.
"They didn't even have refrigerated container vessels back then-or any kind of specialized ships for importing perishable foods," says Spencer. "You had to bring cheese in on passenger liners. To keep it cool, they would just put it down below the waterline, as far as possible from the boilers."
The future of igourmet.com, Tucker Chesman
Despite the technological limitations of the times, Charles Chesman's importing company grew to become one of the largest cheese importers in the United States. His son Fred, Spencer's father, joined him in the business and continues as that company's president to this day. In the early sixties, Spencer's mother, Marsha, founded International Gourmet as a catalogue-based retailer of imported cheeses.
In 1997, with the advent of the Internet, Spencer launched igourmet.com and with it, the third generation of the family's involvement in the imported food business. Over the years, the family has developed close (and in many cases exclusive) partnerships with Europe's best small-scale producers of fine gourmet cheeses and foods.
Spencer with sister Tracy & father Fred Chesman
The company's mission is to provide delicious, high-quality gourmet products to North American consumers at the lowest possible prices, with all the speed and convenience of the Internet. The company also aims to be North America's personal gourmet shopper. With its depth of expertise and long history, igourmet.com is uniquely able to sample the best examples of each gourmet item and bring its customers only the "best of the best." In addition, igourmet.com is a premiere resource for gourmet food information. The online store includes detailed product descriptions, recipes and serving suggestions to educate consumers about fine foods.