I know what the story is because I used to work there.
The code that you see on the box and 5 lbs. bags is not an expiration date. It is a "quality code". It is eight digits long. The first two are the month, second two are the day, the fifth number is the plant number, and the last three are the lot number. Line 1 has lots 001-016 and line 2 has lots 031-046. Line 4 starts at 090. Line 1 and 4 does shredded cheese and line 2 does diced, except on Fridays it does shred as well because Grande sells more shred. So if the cheese blocks were processed on 2/27/2013 on line 1 the code might read 02235001. The "23" instead of the "27"is because the cheese was made 4 days ago. So the product you ordered will always arrive with a code you think is past or bad, but really isn't. Don't ask me why they do what they do, I never made any of those types of decisions. I was stuck at the bottom. Grande fills the bags with nitrogen gas to prevent the cheese from going bad. Oxygen will make food go bad and Grande has less than 2% in the 5 lbs. bags. The FDA only makes food companies have less than 5% oxygen in each bag. Grande does not add an anti-caking powder to the di/shred bags. Other companies do and do you know what it is called? Cellulose. If you look it up you'll find out it is sawdust. You know the stuff from trees. Do you really want to eat trees? Of course nothing will stick together if you just coat it in sawdust. EEEWWW! If you don't believe me read the packages you buy in the store and look it up. Humans don't eat trees and that is why Grande does not put it in their product.
By the way Grande Cheese was started by the late Fillippo Candela and now his son John Candela owns it. Wayne Matzke is the president. He named it "Grande" which means grand in Italian which is where he was from. So the woman you dated with the last name Grande probably wasn't related to them at all and just lied to seem rich/important/better than everyone else.
I love their whole milk cheese and yes it is expenisive. Del pastio ricotta is great for cannolis. Grande does do a lot of hand holding.
Piacci is the retail brand of Grande and is sold in high end markets only. They told us that they were marketing the "life savors". The what? I was told this demographic of people make $200k+ range and will spend money on a leather chair instead of a cloth one (analogy). I replied, really? You mean to tell me I don't want to buy a leather chair just because I can't afford it? Sounds to me like the company just wants to sell to a bunch of rich snobs. The supervisor reply to me, no "life savors" because they savor life and want the best things in life. Talk about making me feel like a real turd in a toilet.
By the way, their coming out with an asiago blend in the di/shred department. Still in R&D though.
If your wondering why I left the company its because I was freezing all day and made only a dollar more than the new hires after 5 years. Also there is NO vertical movement within the company unless someone dies or retires. And then someone else gets the job because it was based on seniority only-not who was the best fit. Most people I spoke with had worked there for at least a decade and hadn't moved up the ladder.
Their products are good, sales reps great, customer service is great, but unfortunately not much else. Frankly, I don't care if they see this post. My old plant manager can kiss it!