Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo, co-owners of the popular Fairfield and Greenwich Cheese Company shops, reflect upon their 10-year journey in the cheese biz, their accomplishments, and how far consumers have come in their appreciation for delectable fromage.
In May of 2009, armed with a passion for cheese, a retail and a catering background, and a desire to fill a void in the local food landscape, Laura and Chris introduced Fairfield Cheese Company at 2090 Post Road in Fairfield, serendipitously adjacent to Harry’s Wine & Liquor Market. Their mission was clear; to offer the area’s best selection of cut-to-order, artisanal and farmstead cheese from both here and abroad, in addition to an array of small batch handmade charcuterie and specialty food accompaniments. The formula proved successful, and thus, Greenwich Cheese Company opened 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 of the company’s popular Cheese School they have built over the last 10 years, “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.”
Laura and Chris take their craft seriously and are both (ACS CCP), a certification that only a few hundred people have nationwide. They, along with their staff, who are also CCPs, continue to grow their knowledge of the craft, travel extensively abroad and throughout the country, meeting with cheesemongers and industry elite. They find joy in learning more about the craft, tasting cheese, and bringing back the best cheeses for their customers.
It’s been an exciting first decade. Fairfield Cheese Company has been touted in Food & Wine magazine as one of “Laura Werlin’s Top 5 Cheese Shops in the U.S.”, named as a “Top 5 Places to Buy Cheese in the US,” by Food & Wine Magazine, included in the Nov/Dec 2016 edition of Eating Well Magazine as one of the “8 Must Visit Cheese Shops”, bestowed The Snail of Approval from the CT Chapter of Slow Food USA in 2014, recognized as a “2016 Best Attraction in Connecticut” from Yankee Magazine for their Cheese School, and continues to garner numerous “Best Of” awards and accolades from regional news outlets and readers’ polls.
The shop also earned a listing in the recently published Oxford Companion to Cheese. “This book is the definitive guide to cheese and was co-authored by industry experts, scientists, cheesemakers, mongers, and writers,” beams Chris, “We were among the 50 shops listed worldwide. A true honor.”
Friday, May 3, 6-9PM
The Loss of Deliciousness: An Evening with Mateo Kehler of Jasper Hill Farm
What will the next ten years look like for cheese lovers? Mateo Kehler of Jasper Hill Farm to talk about the importance of eating raw milk cheese cheese how these cheeses are a direct reflection of the people, the animals, and the landscape in which they are produced and if we don't consciously choose to eat them, the food and the community that created it will cease to exist.
This class will be followed by a Jasper Hill Farm cheese reception and open bar. All profit from the class will be donated to The Oldways Cheese Coalition.
Two Roads Brewing Company, Area Two, 1700 Stratford Avenue, Stratford, CT
Saturday, May 4, 12-3PM
Anniversary Cheese Fest
Meet the producers, enjoy a spectacular cheese tasting and wine from our neighbors at Harry’s.
10% of our cheese sales will be donated to The American Cheese Education Foundation
Raffle, t-shirts, giveaways, and more!
Fairfield Cheese Company
2090 Post Road Fairfield, CT 06824
Greenwich Cheese Company
154 East Putnam Ave Cos Cob, CT 06807