While sitting around my parents table eating homemade polenta, my mom tipped me off to a new cheese shop that opened in Centerbook, CT. Apparently, my Uncle Peter frequents it daily, and told her about it. Cheese shop in Centerbrook? WHAT?????????????? Why didn’t I know about this before I got to the house? I just picked up at bottle of wine at the wine shop in Centerbrook. As everyone knows, I love cheese, especially paired with wine.
Friday morning, I decided to head to Essex to take some pictures for all of you. I was heading through Centerbrook (completely in my own little world), and caught The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook sign out of the corner of my eye. I came a screeching halt, did a u-ey (slang for u-turn in New England) and pulled into the parking lot. It was like walking into Cheese Heaven, if there was one. Lot’s of yummy cheeses, everything you can imagine. I met Paul, the owner and his lovely wife. We started chatting and I told him I was home visiting and my mom told me about the shop and I wanted to pop in. I asked him how he selected Centerbrook (we just don’t have things like this where I am from) and he said he lived in the area and had done this for a living and wanted to open something for the locals. He got his start years ago, working for a cheese company in Greenwich, CT. Over they years he helped over 30 cheese stores open their business including the The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills. Boy, did Paul know his cheeses.
Paul, the owner below.
Look at all the yummy cheeses he carries! He has one of the largest collections of cheeses in the state of Connecticut. No matter what you fancy…he or his team will help you select something that suites your taste He carries cheese from France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Denmark, England, Switzerland, Sweden, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Norway, and the United States. He also carries prosciutto, smoke salmon, and various cured meats. He’s so gracious that he will open any cheese for you to try. I didn’t want him to open anything for me but he insisted started opened several that interested me, what customer service. They also provide you with a Product List Sheet of the current cheeses and meats they carry. They will check off the cheeses you purchase so you can keep track of what you have had. He carries some of my favorites like the La Tur, from Italy, Epoisses from France, and the Mt. Tam from The Cowgirl Creamery.
Fresh pastas, sauces, olive oils for dipping and cooking, and fine balsamic vinegars makes this a great destination spot. Paul covers all the bases. He carries blocks of gourmet chocolate and all the fixings. Now I just want him to add wine. Hint Hint Paul :)
He covers all the bases. I was going to my friend Nicole and Jeff’s on Friday evening. I picked up a soft cheese which he recommended and Beemster Aged Gouda that was to die for (so good I went back the next day for more), some dried apricots, a fresh baguette and some table crackers. I knew it went over well because Nicole’s husband, Jeff, ate it like it was his last supper. Presto magic, now you see it now you don’t. Love you Jeff!
Fresh baked bread made daily. The perfect place to pick up a baguette, some cheese, and spreads for a picnic down at the docks in Essex.
Here’s Paul and his team (see below). The guy on the far left made me a yummy latte but only if I smiled. Of course, I smiled. It makes me happy knowing they also make latte’s and cappuccino’s. I know longer have to drive to Old Saybrook to get a good cup of Joe. Sorry folks, I outgrew Duncan Donuts.
Make sure if your visiting the shoreline of Connecticut that you pop in and tell them that Peggy & Fritz sent you. The staff is friendly and welcomes you like an old friend. The perfect place to pick up goodies for a dinner party, hostess gift, or a special treat for yourself. I was so impressed with Paul and his team, it will be my first stop (after the vino) when I come for a visit.
The Cheese Shop of Centerbrook
33 Main Street
Phone: (860) 767-8500
MON – THURS, SAT 9 AM to 6 PM
FRI – 9 AM to 7 PM
PHOTO CREDITS: Unless otherwise marked with Peggy and Fritz all photos are courtesy of The Centerbrook Cheese Shop website.