Since our original interview with Laura, she has opened a second cheese shop in Greenwich, Ct. Congratulations!!
Spaulding: Laura, congratulations on achieving the level of American Cheese Society’s Certified Cheese Professional. The Lady will be taking the exam this July in Madison and she is as nervous as a feline in a room full of rocking chairs… but I have faith in her… after all if her friend Brandon can pass, then… did I say that out loud???
Please tell us about yourself and your cheese journey.
Laura: I am co-owner of Fairfield Cheese Company which was founded in May 2009. I am a former retail professional and a life long food obsessed person who has turned my passion into a thriving business in my community. I am behind the counter most days and also continue to operate and grow this small business. I have always been a learner, so learning about cheese and how to open and run a retail shop has been a thrill and a challenge. I am quite proud of our accomplishments so far- Since opening our doors in May of 2009, we have quickly become the area’s premier source for artisanal cheese and we are the recipient of CT Magazine’s 2011 & 2012 Best Cheese Selection in CT and also were mentioned in Food & Wine Magazine Online as a top 5 place to buy cheese in the US by cheese expert Laura Werlin. It has been a whirl wind but I continue to absorb as much as I can about cheese and business.
Spaulding: What is your favorite pairing?
Laura: This is a hard one. I love a really great blue cheese, like Bayley Hazen Blue, smeared on a great baguette and topped with some local honeycomb. I love the salty sweet combo.
Spaulding: Your favorite cheese plate:
Laura: My favorite cheese plate would be served after dinner. It probably would have a triple cream like MT. Tam, a washed rind like Hooligan, a nice Alpine style like Pleasant Ridge Reserve and maybe Gorgonzola Cremificato. I would drink some Moscato d’Asti with it.
Spaulding: And your favorite grilled cheese?
Laura: I don’t have a favorite grilled cheese- I love any good,melted cheese between 2 slices of nice bread. As long as the cheese and bread are good quality and there is butter involved I am in!
Spaulding: Tell us something non-cheesy about yourself.
Laura: I spent my grade school years living in Europe.
Spaulding: If you could have dinner with any person, alive or historical, who would it be and why?
Laura: If I get to have a dinner date these days it would have to be reserved for my husband. He is a bit neglected these days because of the business!
On behalf of Spaulding, I thank Laura for taking time away from her busy schedule and her neglected husband to answer a few questions.
Please visit Laura’s shop next time you are in Fairfield, Ct. or at her website anytime:
Laura Downey ACS, CCP
Fairfield Cheese Company
2090 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824