Specialty Food Magazine

MAY-JUN 2013

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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CHEESE FOCUS Saxelby Cheese: Northeast Picks, No Fillers PHOTO: EVA MESZAROS In New York, Anne Saxelby maintains an even sharper focus at her 7-year-old Saxelby Cheese. With only 150 square feet of selling space, Saxelby has to be choosy. From the start, she has showcased cheeses and dairy products almost exclusively from the Northeast, buying directly from nearly 50 small farms. The store does not use distributors. The product mix is now shifting slightly, Saxelby says, because her wholesale business is growing. Restaurant chefs want stability, so she is adding some slightly larger producers, including some from Wisconsin. But her emphasis remains the Northeast, from Maine to New York. Customer favorites include two Vermont products: Twig Farm cheeses, particularly the signature Goat Tomme, and Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. The latter cheese "hits the sweet spot, flavorwise and pricewise," Saxelby says. The store typically carries 50 to 100 selections, with inventory swelling in summer, when farmers have more to sell. Buying directly from so many small producers requires a lot of phone time. "It's more work for us," Saxelby concedes, echoing Will Frischkorn, "but we know a lot more about the product. Farmers get into the story of why this batch is a little different, and we can communicate that to our customers. You're more excited about the cheese when you have a story to tell, and customers can sense your enthusiasm. It's contagious." Saxelby Cheese lose a sale because a chef has something on the menu and we run out of it. It takes a certain kind of customer to be ready for the what-ifs." "Sometimes we Summer Fancy Food Show Booth 5062 26 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE ❘ specialtyfood.com

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