Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo, co-owners of Fairfield Cheese Company, will open Greenwich Cheese Company at 154 East Putnam Avenue in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich, CT, on December 11, 2014.
Building on the success of Laura and Chris’ popular Fairfield Cheese Company, which opened in 2009, the new location will carry on the tradition of offering the area’s best selection of cut-to-order from larger wheels, artisanal and farmstead cheese from around the world and artisanal cheeses from here in the US, in addition to an array of small batch handmade charcuterie and specialty food accompaniments.
Laura and Chris take their craft seriously and are both the only retail owners in Connecticut to be American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals (ACS CCP), a certification that only a few hundred people have nationwide. Adding to the talented team is Greenwich store manager Kevin DeFreitas who brings 15 years of cheesemongering experience to this new endeavor and has worked with such industry pros as Ken Skovron from the Darien Cheese Shop.
Touted in Food & Wine magazine as one of “Laura Werlin’s Top 5 Cheese Shops in the U.S.”, and named “Best Cheese Selection,” by Connecticut Magazine in 2011 and 2012,Chris is excited to bring that same commitment to product quality and seasonality which made the Fairfield location such a huge success to Greenwich. “Like Fairfield, Greenwich is a sophisticated market and its residents demand quality and variety,” he explains, “We are determined to bring to the forefront many outstanding, but perhaps lesser known, hand-crafted cheese and food products.”
“We’ve had a lot of success in Fairfield because the shop and our cheesemongers are approachable and we strive for impeccable customer service.” Says Laura, a 20-year veteran of the retail industry, “We offer high quality and well curated products and great service in Fairfield and we are excited to bring our expertise and energy to Greenwich. Our reputation has grown locally as well as nationally, but we most enjoy being a neighborhood shop and staying involved with the community.”
Education has always played a major part in what Laura and Chris bring to the table. Greenwich Cheese Company will be offering a series of cheese classes and private tastings, furthering enhancing one’s experience. Did you know that artisan small batch handmade cheese has a lot of variation? When cheese isn’t mass produced everything affects the final product – terroir, animal breed, seasons, what the animals eat and when, etc… It makes the artisan cheese world exciting and never boring. This is why tasting and trying cheese is so important. “Never buy artisan cheese unless you can taste it,” implores Laura.
Laura and Chris travel extensively, both abroad and throughout the country, meeting with cheesemongers and industry elite, always eager to learn more about the craft itself, as well as taste and bring back the best cheeses for their customers. The duo works closely with local food establishments, creating top-notch menu offerings for such local favorites as Martel Bistro, Rive Bistro, Artisan, Grey Goose, Brick + Wood and Saugatuck Craft Butchery.
Greenwich Cheese Company is located at 154 East Putnam Avenue Cos Cob, CT and will open Thursday, December 11, 2014. www.greenwichcheese.com
Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo’s favorite holiday cheese picks:
Laura: Wabash Cannonball from Capriole Farm in IN. Amazing slightly aged goat cheese with a wrinkly ash dusted rind. I love its creaminess, lemony flavor and its perfect match to crisp Loire Valley whites. It is reminiscent of classic Loire Valley goat cheeses but made in the USA. Marcel Petite Comte Firm alpine style, raw cow’s milk from France. I never get tired of this cheese. I love it’s nutty, fruity deep flavor and its versatility. It is great on a cheese plate and a powerhouse in the kitchen. Think gratins, fondue, grilled cheese, mac & cheese.
Chris: Mt Tam from Cowgirl Creamery in California. Bloomy rinded triple cream cow’s milk cheese with a decadent, lush creaminess and a pure butter flavor. Challerhocker Raw, alpine style cheese from Switzerland. I love the bold assertive flavor that melts away into a brown butter finish.