It's easy to smile when you say, "CHEESE!"

Concord Cheese Shop, Concord MA

School may be ending for some but I've got one big homework assignment. I'm in the middle of a huge research project....one big, enormous 'discovery phase' and fortunately one aspect of this project is taking the opportunity to visit an old stomping ground and visiting a favorite shop.

From 1995-1998, Scott and I rented the top floor of this sweet Queen Anne Cottage right in the heart of Concord, MA. Otherwise known as the home of the Transcendentalists such as Thoreau, and Emerson, Hawthorne, and other mid-19th century heavy hitters, as well as a crucial mark in the American Revolution (North Bridge), Concord is home to one of the best cheese shops in New England.

My research project took me to meet owner Peter Lovis, of the Concord Cheese Shop yesterday. I spent a good hour soaking up all the sage-like advice and information Peter had to impart regarding owning and operating a specialty food retail store. I was captivated by his charm, humor, and wisdom. With over 30 years of experience, Peter gave me the sense that we had only touched the tip of the iceberg.

Peter's story is particularly interesting due to the very simple fact that he puts nearly all of his energy into the costumer and his staff. And as you enter into the Concord Cheese Shop, you feel that immediately. With everyone saying hello to one another you feel an instant connection to an era gone by, of the small town local food shop where you might get a little gossip, weather report to go with that baguette and Comté.

The shop includes a dynamic selection of ready-made and prepared foods, wine, select specialty items, freshly delivered bread, imported dry goods and the like. But I was there to talk strictly fromage and how one gets into the business of specialty foods. Peter had loads to say.

In fact, he was essential in my decision to jump head first into this idea of opening a small market in Brookline Village.

Shop Staff member, PB, helping a customer make a selection and probably cutting off a nice piece to sample.

The inventory is vast and international. Oils, vinegars, mustards, jams.....easy for me to stare endlessly at the jars, label, and packages.

I highly encourage you to take a drive out to Concord. Say hi to Peter and his loyal staff. And grab some goods from the Concord Cheese Shop.

Concord Cheese Shop
29 Walden St.
Concord, MA
Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday, 9:30 am - 5:30 pm


northsidefour said...

Oh I want to go here! And to a wonderful little market opening in Brookline as well, when?

Jennifer said...

Mmmmmm! I can't express how much I love cheeses of every type. This shop looks like a wonderful (and delicious) place to spend some time and money.

beachbungalow8 said...

this was so well written.

Karen @ BonjourBruxelles said...

Ally, I'm totally in the very early 'discovery phase' of this going into the food retail biz. And wouldn't you know it, there's the most perfect spot for rent in the most perfect location in the heart of Brookline Village....so, stay tuned.

Jennifer said...

Best of luck to you in your new endeavor! I look forward to hearing all about it.

northsidefour said...

And I know you will have wonderful salt and all kinds of the things that I search for when I find things at the farmer's market that need this and that. I'm eagerly tuned.

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