Things have been bustling, as usual, but even more so with Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season. The store had some help with a gourmet food expert, who I’m going to call just James for now. :) He helped me with all sorts of details surrounding the cheese and the store, which I especially appreciate, since I haven’t had any formal training in the field. For instance, he wraps the cheeses in plastic so beautifully that you can hardly tell there is any wrapping at all. He did show me how he does it, but when I tried to wrap the Barely Buzzed, for instance, I wound up short plastic in some places, and with huge folds in others. Maybe I just need to find the right angle at which to place the cheese on the sheet Maybe I didn’t use enough plastic. I tried a couple of different ways, but since the Barely Buzzed has coffee grounds all over it, I didn’t want to upset them and send them all over the counter and clean faces of the piece. Well, I do have plenty of occasion to try again. James also helped me improve my skills with the meat slicer, another useful skill, since that thing really could slice off a chunk of your hand or finger if you’re not careful! I am also trying to use the wire more; it just makes the work a little easier. Not everyone can cut clean through tough wheels of cheese with a knife, à la Carlos!
It was nice to have someone else at the counter with me, especially since so many people were coming through the store. I loved listening to him give wine advice, and also recount stories of the cheeses I haven’t studied yet (there are still so many! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed). I am looking forward to improving the cheese shop with his help.
In addition to cheese, with the holidays comes…presents! So much holiday merchandise came in, such as all sorts of wine accouterments, books, salts, and preserves. Although I don’t drink sake much, the glass sake sets are among my favorite new items. It felt like Christmas as I opened up the boxes of new items.
The end of the day today was marked with a visit from Pat Ford of Beehive Cheese Company, from Utah, which makes our ultra-popular Barely Buzzed cheese. It was awfully kind of him to pay us a visit, since he was in town for family. We spoke a bit about his cheese, and about the store. He seemed quite mellow, especially given Barely Buzzed has won so many awards, most recently taking the blue ribbon in the Flavored Cheddar category at the 2009 American Cheese Society competition. He even managed to win over some skeptics of this espresso and lavender-coated cheddar, or rather, he let the cheese do the talking for him. He had taken the time to speak with me about his company and cheeses before coming, so I do have some work ahead of me in publishing an article about that for all of you!
Now, my weekend begins. So much to do, so little time! I will get that article about Beehive out soon, I promise!