GREENWICH, Conn. -- They may have soft and hard cheeses, but there is no hard sell at the Greenwich Cheese Shop, said co-owner Chris Palumbo.
"What people come to us for is our expertise," Palumbo said about their cheese education process. "We talk to people and find out what is right for them. There is a cheese for everyone."
Palumbo and co-owner Laura Downey opened the shop at 154 E. Putnam Ave. last December as they expanded from their first shop, the Fairfield Cheese Shop, which they opened in 2009.
Palumbo's background was in the catering business, while Downey had been involved with different endeavors. They first met when Palumbo was catering an event at a store where she was working. They struck up a friendship and a desire to strike out on their own.
Downey, who was raised in Europe, was familiar with the idea of small, speciality shops. Palumbo, with his background in catering, was knowledgeable about cheese. He also noticed something else: Fairfield had no full-service cheese shop in Fairfield.
In 2009, during the depths of the Great Recession, he and Downey opened the Fairfield Cheese Shop at 2090 Post Road.
"The time was kind of right for both of us," he said. "I don't believe we were scared, we were optimistic. It was kind of what the town needed, and we were well received there."
With the success of their Fairfield business, they started to look for a second spot and said Greenwich was perfect for them. It not only lacked a full-service cheese shop, but Greenwich also has a population who appreciate cheese, Palumbo said.
"We don’t try and go and sell large production cheese — that's not what we do," he said. "We try to get cheese from small farms."
They source about 50 percent of their cheese regionally, while the balance is European, he said.
There is a perfect cheese for everyone and for every occasion, Palumbo said.
"Each cheese has its perfect time and place and we try to find that.”
For more information on both stores, visit their website here .
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