After a decade in business, Fairfield Cheese Company co-owners Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo are celebrating the store’s 10-year anniversary and reflecting on its many accomplishments.
Downey and Palumbo say the decision to open the shop in May of 2009 came from a passion for cheese, a retail and catering background and a desire to “fill a void” in the local food landscape.
The 2090 Post Road location, conveniently nestled next to Harry’s Wine & Liquor Market, has a clear-cut mission to provide the area with the widest range of cut-to-order artisanal and farmstead cheeses.
After a successful five years at the Fairfield locale, Downey and Palumbo opened a second location, Greenwich Cheese Company, in December of 2014.
“In the beginning, the goal was to bring the best artisan cheese and specialty foods to the Fairfield community. The second part of that mission was to teach people about them," says Laura about the store’s popular Cheese School, which was built over the past decade. “We realized that people were intimidated by cheese and cheese shops [likened to wine shops]. Knowledge boosts confidence and education has been at the core of everything we do and will continue to do.”
Cheesy or not, Downey and Palumbo take their craft very seriously. In fact, they’re both American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals (ACS CCP), a distinction recognized given only to a few hundred people nationwide. And in addition to earning countless awards, high rankings and seals of approval from high-caliber culinary magazines and establishments, the shop has even earned a listing in the Oxford Companion to Cheese, a recently published book Palumbo describes as “the definitive guide to cheese co-authored by industry experts, scientists, cheesemakers, mongers, and writers.” The shop is one of just 50 shops listed around the world, which Palumbo says is a “true honor.”
Downey, Palumbo and their staff are celebrating their first decade in dairy with two exciting events:
- The Loss of Deliciousness: An Evening with Mateo Kehler of Jasper Hill Farm: Friday, May 3 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Two Roads Brewing Company, Area Two, 1700 Stratford Avenue, Stratford
Mateo Kehler of Jasper Hill Farm will discuss the importance of eating raw milk cheese and how cheese is a “direct reflection of the people, the animals, and the landscape in which they are produced.” The class will be followed by a Jasper Hill Farm cheese reception and open bar, and all profits from the class will be donated to The Oldways Cheese Coalition. More information here .
- Anniversary Cheese Fest: Saturday, May 4 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Fairfield Cheese Company (2090 Post Road in Fairfield)
Don’t miss this cheesy chance to meet the producers, participate in raffles and giveaways and enjoy a spectacular cheese tasting. Wine from Harry’s will also be available, and 10 percent of the cheese sales will be donated to The American Cheese Education Foundation. More information here .
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