Artisan Cheese Co. Dished the Finer Things from Walk-up Window

Hunting & Gathering

BY ANDREW FABIAN SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY MAR 31, 2020

As restaurants and food retailers continue searching for inventive ways to keep their doors open, some have turned to an aperture normally associated with fast food: windows. At Artisan Cheese Company, peddling their cheese, wine and specialty sundries has become as much about repurposing their space as it is about offering great product. “Our space was originally going to be a pizza place,” says Lead Cheesemonger Louise Converse, “and there was this takeout window that we thought nothing of.” Until now, the window was just an odd design feature situated in an alcove of the store, but when Governor DeSantis mandated that all restaurants transition to take-out only, that window became an opportunity to salvage what little business remains for food sales in the region.

Where there used to be a dining table, the alcove now serves as a makeshift grocery operation almost like Farm Stores, but instead of selling Wonderbread and pasteurized milk, Artisan Cheese Co. has an assortment of specialty items one would find on a fancy charcuterie or cheese board. The cheesemongers can still fulfill orders on a diverse set of menu items from their website, including some exquisitely curated grab bags of cheeses and meats, as well as some 3-bottle “adventure” packs of assorted wines. The gals at Artisan Cheese Co. have also begun increasing production of their prepared foods. “We closed for a bit to rethink and reconfigure our production,” says Converse, “and added pot pies, mac-and-cheese, things that people can put in their fridge.” The take-and-bake mac-and-cheese has been a staple of the cheese outfit for 8 years, breaded and brimming with that comforting cheesy goodness that can brighten the gloomiest of days. “It’s just one of many things we are trying to knock out of our production kitchen to keep my cheese gals employed during this awful moment,” says Converse.

But not for much longer. Sadly, while the walk-up window has helped Artisan Cheese Co. continue safely offering their goods during the take-out only protocol, the growing threat of the coronavirus pandemic has compelled Converse to temporarily close up shop for a few weeks. Online orders can still be placed for pick-up on this Wednesday from 11-6 and this Thursday from 11-3, and the orders can be placed as late as Thursday. Artisan Cheese Co. will also accept orders for delivery to hospital staff. Furthermore, all gift card sales will go directly to paying Artisan Cheese employees.

To place orders.

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