Best. Business Card. Ever. (via Gizmodo)
Since printing its address and contact details on a slice of muenster cheese would probably do more harm than good for Bon Vivant, the Brazilian-based cheese shop hired ad agency JWT to come up with something better. And in every way possible, this miniature cheese grater business card is a much better idea.
So as not to also turn your wallet into a pile of shredded leather, the grater comes in a protective sleeve, which probably also helps to minimize the inevitable cheese smell from permeating your pocket. And that’s also why the garlic growers of the world should just forget about trying a similar gimmick to promote their product.
You can even see some video of the grater in action.
A unique opportunity for Bay Area folks who are thinking about opening a cheese shop: take a class at the Cheese School of San Francisco with Steve Jones, the man behind Portland’s Cheese Bar and winner of the 2011 Cheesemonger Invitational, as he gets into the nitty-gritty (and not so pretty) realities and economics of starting a cheese business:
The winner of the 2011 Cheesemonger Invitational in New York City was Steve Jones, the owner of Portland’s Cheese Bar. But the real test for any cheesemonger is creating profitable business. Here too Jones is a master. Steve will share with you the dollars and cents of opening and operating a cheese shop: Opening equipment and inventory costs, inventory control, controlling shrinkage, margins, staffing, invoice management, and alternative profit channels. If you are thinking of opening a shop, already have one, or are looking to start a cheese program at your store, Steve has the information you need to succeed. Please call (415) 346-7530 for more information.
Time: 9:00 – 5:00pm
I’d love to see a similar class offered on the East Coast (NYC cheese education centers, take note). Get your tickets now!
New Shop: The Cheese Traveler, Albany NY
Albany now has a proper cheesemonger, thanks to The Cheese Traveler, aka Eric Paul (blogging at http://thecheesetraveler.com/ and on Facebook), who opened the doors on his shop a few months ago with a soft launch and has been expanding the offerings of both cheese in the case and gourmet food products on the shelves. I recently had the opportunity to visit the shop while I was home for the holidays (I hail from 45 minutes south of Albany) and can happily recommend this shop to anyone in the region looking for cheese.
Eric has a solid cheese resumé, having spent time at Formaggio Kitchen (a training ground for many future cheese shop owners, including Vince Maniaci from the recently-visited The Cheese Iron in Portland, ME) as well as starting and managing the cheese departments for Albany coops before striking out on his own. Eric and the rest of the Traveler team are passionate and knowledgeable about cheese and happy to talk curds, give out samples and recommend pairings and platings with the customers ‘til the cows come home.
Located on Delaware Avenue, right next door to All Good Bakers bakery (a fortuitous matching if you’re shopping for cheese and bread), The Cheese Traveler carries both domestic and European cheeses and offers cheeses from affineurs and distributors like Rodolphe Le Meunier and Quality Cheese (Hostettler). I sampled several noteworthy wheels, including the Tome d’Aquitaine and herb-crusted Tome de Bordeaux, both from famed affineur Jean d’Alos, the Torta de Trujillo, a beautiful little puck of Spanish washed-rind ewe’s milk cheese (recently reviewed), the alpine Bergkäse Unterwasser, and many more.
In addition to cheese, Cheese Traveler will be offering a wide variety of complimentary products, including preserves, condiments, crackers, sweet treats, charcuterie and much more. The Traveler also carries organic, grass-fed beef and meats from Tilldale Farm. They’re also happy to cater events or do guided tastings.
So if you’re ever in or near Albany, check out The Cheese Traveler! The Albany Times-Union blogged about them back around their soft-opening, I like their suggestion of hitting the Traveler when you’re on your way to or from a movie at The Spectrum, one of the best indie movie houses in the region.
The Cheese Traveler
540 Delaware Ave, Albany NY (map).
11am-7pm Tuesday through Saturday; 1-6pm Sunday; closed Mondays.
Cheese might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Reno, Nevada, but on a recent trip through the area, I heard from cheesemonger Courtney at the local Whole Foods about a new cheese shop that was opening in the neighborhood known as Midtown, an area just south of the main strip that is rapidly evolving into a little foodie mecca, with restaurants, boutiques and cafes opening up and down the block. It turned out that I was just a wee bit early; Wedge, A Cheese Shop was setting to open Tuesday the 24th, but I was flying out Monday! Fortunately, owners Peter and Laura were kind enough to invite me in to check out the space despite their being in the last-minute tornado of activities before the big day and the shelves and cheese cases still being set up.
Laura Conrow and Peter Burge, the co-owners of the shop, have deep roots in the West Coast food scene and have been involved with cheese on many levels, including, for Laura, as one of the organizers of the California Artisan Cheese Festival, and bring a deep knowledge of and familiarity with the cheeses of the region.
Wedge will have cheese, charcuterie and everything else you might need for a proper cheese plate in the Nevada desert or Sierra mountains. When I asked Laura about Nevada cheese makers, she said the state still had some catching up to do, especially when compared to the cheese strongholds of California and Oregon just across the border, but that there would be locally produced Mexican-style cheeses on the shelves and hopefully more in the future (aspiring cheese makers take note: Nevada is ripe for development).
Now open at 67 Irving Place in Manhattan, just off Union Square: Bedford Cheese Shop’s new location! The new shop is larger then the Brooklyn location and has a more expansive cheese chase to go with it, and features a similarly excellent array of European and American cheeses. As with the Brooklyn location, the selection of Swiss small-scale farmstead cheeses is particularly impressive (I’ve found Swiss cheeses there that I had trouble locating in cheeses shop in Switzerland last summer).
One of the first cheeses I picked up there on opening day was the Cazelle de St Afrique, an amazing little sheep’s milk puck of buttery, oozing, grassy goodness, pure decadence in a few blissful bites. from famed affineur Hervé Mons, it’s one to look seek out.
So head on over and check it out! They also have a range of charcuterie, pickled goods, breads, jams, mostardas, oils, and everything else that you might need to complement your cheese plate.
Bedford Cheese Shop, 67 Irving Place
(888) 484-3243; bedfordcheeseshop.com.
Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Ticket purchased for the 2012 Cheesemonger Invitational! Get yours here.
The official date for the 2012 Cheesemonger’s Invitational has been announced on Twitter! Saturday, June 23rd is the day, put it in your iCal. The official site is here but hasn’t been updated yet, you can also Like CMI on Facebook to keep up.
I attended last year, and suffice to say, it’s well worth the ticket price. Watching the world’s top mongers competing is a blast (who knew watching the likes of Anne Saxelby or Poul Price of Consider Bardwell wrap cheese could be so exciting), and the cheese spread last year — put together by Tia Keenan — was amazing.
Eater has a good piece on last year’s CMI.
China Daily looks at cheese in China and Le Fromager de Pekin, the first real cheesemaker/monger in Beijing. Run by Liu Yan, he discovered cheese while studying in France.
Finding fresh, French-style cheese in Beijing was a difficult mission until Liu Yan set up his grandly-named business, Le Fromager de Pekin, which concentrates on making the soft, pungent-smelling varieties that are so popular in Europe…Liu began on a small scale, producing brie and camembert-style cheeses, initially at his home and, later, at a factory in the suburbs of the capital city. Reaction was favorable, so much so that Liu began experimenting with other varieties that also received approval from the city’s cheese-loving gourmands
“The most popular is the Beijing gris, which is similar to a camembert, I don’t want to call it camembert, because it is not exactly the same, as the color and texture is different. Next, I will make a semi-hard cheese. I could easily double production if the demand is there but I don’t want to grow too fast, the most important thing is to keep up the quality.”
Cheesemonger, or frustrated emo poet?
Beecher’s opens their NYC location in the Flatiron district today. Above is the onsite cheesemaking facility, as seen from the upstairs dining room. There’s an excellent cheese counter, featuring an assortment of American cheeses and the array of house cheeses, including the Flagship, Flagsheep, Smoked Flagship and others. Coming soon, a NYC specific cheese, made and aged at this location.