Inside Beecher Cheese Factory and Shop, New York
June 25, 2011 3 Comments
Beecher Cheese, a Seattle cheese-maker, yesterday opened the doors to its brand new, 8,000 square foot New York factory and store.
I dropped in during my lunch hour to spy on the cheese-making process, which happens smack dab in the front of the store behind two-story high glass panes.
Beecher’s enormous space is enough room to hold a sizable cheese-making area, a
retail shop with at least three separate cheese cases, and a long lunch counter, where hot sandwiches, soup, and coffee are sold. There are some seats downstairs that look into the wet cheese-makers’ area, where long, steel tanks hold hundreds of gallons of whey and curds and workers wear water proof boots and long gloves. Hoses pop up everywhere to rinse various equipment. It’s a rather unromantic scene.
Up a short flight of stairs is an additional seating area that also looks into the cheese room, but from a bird’s eye view. Some tables and chairs dot the center of the room, but along the window is a bar-like area where the seats are old metal milk pails.
For opening day, Beecher was offering a 50 percent discount on everything. I tasted a few of the company’s signature cheeses, which are all in the cheddar style, plus a Smokey Blue (too rich and smokey for my taste, but reminiscent of a cobb salad, that baconish whiff of smoke mingling with the tang of blue veins in the cheese), and a nutty semi-hard and lightly orange cheese called Field Green. I bought a quarter pound for a little less than $3 with the sale.
Eater reported that Beecher’s has a cellar, too, which I did not explore. I’ll have to return on a day when it’s less crowded.