Our Story

History

History

Bedford Cheese Shop first opened its doors in 2003 on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It was founded by Jason Scherr and Jason Jeffries with the intention of bringing good cheese to their neighborhood. In 2012, Bedford Cheese Shop opened a second shop in the Gramercy Park neighborhood in Manhattan, NY.

We now operate solely out of Gramercy Park. We continue to aspire to be the proverbial bridge between makers of cheese, charcuterie and specialty foods and our customers and community, near and far. We value the old world traditions of mongering. Every day, our cheesemongers impart not only their knowledge of cheese making, care and ripening, but also the unique stories behind the history, origins and nuances of the cheeses. The delicate balance of art and science. We hope to see you in the Shop soon!

Cute cow icon

Mission

We founded Bedford Cheese Shop with the mission of purveying our hand selected cheeses, meats, specialty items and house-made foods to our community near and far. Further, we endeavor to share our passion and knowledge of these foods in a way that creates a fun, memorable and educational experience for our customers. All the while, we work shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues in an environment where we value hard work, respect, integrity and laughter!

Mission
Cute cow icon

Our Team

Christina Earle & Samantha Fantauzzi

co-owners

Christina Earle & Samantha Fantauzzi

We are proprietors of Bedford Cheese Shop, running day-to-day operations on behalf of our fellow co-owners.  Just like cheese & crackers, rock & roll and peanut butter & jelly - some things are just better together!  Together, we work hard to foster an environment that allows our Team to develop and expand their knowledge and skills as cheesemongers.  All of us at Bedford Cheese Shop are passionate about the amazing cheeses, charcuterie and unique pantry items that we select for the Shop.  We are even more passionate about sharing these items with our Customers, both new and longstanding.  We figure - if we are doing it right - spreading our knowledge and enthusiasm ultimately allows us to support the many talented small-batch, farmstead and handmade producers from lands local, domestic and international.  More than ever, we understand first-hand how every single Customer interaction creates a positive ripple effect in a small business like ours that works with fellow small businesses.  It's this ripple effect that inspires us each and every day!  PS - we also LOVE to laugh.  A lot.

Katelind K

GENERAL MANAGER

Katelind K

Katelind manages the esteemed Cheese Dream Team at Bedford Cheese Shop.  Why a cheese shop, you ask?  Katelind enjoys learning new things and cheese is one of those unique and weird combinations of art and science that never fail to intrigue her.  Originally from Upstate, New York (the Fingerlakes region), Katelind has worked in the food industry for a number of years, and in the field of art and education for over a decade.  The interweaving of these three passions - food, art and education -  guided Katelind to Bedford Cheese Shop.  She loves the opportunity to create an environment where Customers can have an unforgettable cheese “experience”.  Likewise, she tirelessly commits herself to cultivating a workplace where the Team is well-trained and supported.  Katelind thrives on creativity and thinking outside the box;  one of her current cheese-related recipe faves is a creamy, fluffy ricotta cheesecake topped with fresh caramel.  She loves to share her discoveries in the mystical realm of cheese, so next time you see her - ask for the recipe!

Kai Norton

CHEESEMONGER | CHEESE MANAGER

Kai Norton

Kai knew they wanted to work in a cheese shop when they were first introduced to the world of cheese, a variety of local Midwest favorites, at a small shop in Chicago. Kai says:  “The first time I cracked open a giant wheel of Mobay (Carr Valley) was one of the jaw dropping moments that kept me coming back to explore more about the styles, types, and makers. I knew working in a shop with a carefully curated selection would bring the joy of curiosity and the connection of community through story. The breadth of knowledge one must strive toward in order to be in conversation with the history, geography, topography and sociopolitical issues while staying humbled in the unknown, is what fuels me to continue scoring, cracking, facing and sharing.”  Wow!!  Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Kai trained and worked as an Actor and Teaching Artist for the past eight years while also working in the world of food and beverage;  they enjoyed finding fun ways to pay the bills AND learn more about cheese. Their favorite cheese pairing is La-Von Farmhouse Goat Brie with a Pét Nat Piquette.  Kai feels strongly about the value of community and is excited to be part of the Bedford Cheese Shop community.

Mike Newman

CHEESEMONGER | FLOOR MANAGER

Mike Newman

Mike fell into the cheese world five funky years ago.  He finds the encyclopedic nature of cheeses melds well with his personality.  (Sounds like a good Trivial Pursuit partner!)  Mike considers himself a citizen of the world; he grew up as a “Navy brat” often moving from place to place, ultimately his family settled in Florida.  

Mike believes that - by sharing stories about cheesemakers with customers - he adds perspective to both how integral we are as cheesemongers, as well as how critical the customer is to supporting cheesemakers. His favorite cheese experience so far is visiting a Parmigiano Reggiano dairy in Italy on his honeymoon. His wife was gracious enough to accompany him on a two-hour drive into the Emilia-Romagna Hills at six in the morning to see the cheesemaking process. In retrospect, he realizes that, as they walked through the wheels stacked floor to ceiling and tasted fresh-cut Parmigiano Reggiano, it was a pivotal experience that inspired him to work in cheese.  Mike’s favorite cheeses change with each season, but Pleasant Ridge Reserve is always one of his go-to's.  Not only is he a cheesemonger at Bedford Cheese Shop, but Mike also oversees the floor and ensures it operates as a finely tuned symphony!

Zoey Sachs

CHEESEMONGER | DIRECTOR OF CATERING

Zoey Sachs

Meet Zoey Sachs, Cheesemonger and Director of Catering. Hailing from Brooklyn, Zoey has been working in the cheese industry for more than ten years. Whether you find her behind the cheese case, building stunning BCS platters, or teaching “Cheese 101: How to Become a Curd Nerd”, Zoey balances her deep knowledge with her quick wit and dry humor.  She always creates a memorable experience for every Customer, be they cheese novices or affeciantos!  Zoey loves offering Customers the chance to explore, and expand, their flavor preferences by guiding them through tasting delicious standbys as well as unique and seasonal selections. Her current obsession is anything from Lazy Lady Farm in Vermont. A highlight for Zoey was competing in the elite Cheesemonger Invitational!  Fun Fact: Zoey’s most unusual pairing suggestion - potato chips, truffle mousse and a small French chèvre, washed down with a sip of Bourbon..yes Bourbon!

Fred Knight

CHEESEMONGER | SUPERVISOR

Fred Knight

Born and raised in Harlem, Fred is a people person.  Always quick with a friendly welcome, one of Fred’s favorite parts of his role as a Cheesemonger is the Customer interaction.  He says:  “When I talk with a Customer, I like to know how their day is going;  I enjoy treating people as I want to be treated.  And seeing them smile.”  Initially, Fred didn’t set out to specialize in cheese.  It was after working with cheese at Le District that he began to understand how much there is to learn and know;  from that point, Fred has grown to appreciate all styles of cheese with their individual story, flavor, funk and appearance.  And speaking of cheeses, and funk, he believes that blue cheese is often misunderstood and should be tasted with Customers to help demystify it.  However, Fred’s favorite cheese is Adarré - full of nutty, sweet and grassy flavors.  Next time you stop by the Shop, don’t be surprised if Fred greets you with a big smile and his signature:  “Hey Boss, how are you doing today?”

Emma Lettiere

Cheesemonger | Charcuterie Buyer

Emma Lettiere

Meet Bedford Cheese Shop cheesemonger Emma!  Hailing from Westchester NY she has worked in cheese for the past 12 years.  In fact, her first job in high school was as a cheesemonger in training.  From this experience she developed her love of the curd recognizing the unique combination of specialty knowledge, case-by-case creativity and physical skill.  Of course, Emma gets excited discussing cheeses, one main topic is aged goat's milk cheeses.  In her opinion, it is often misunderstood, and written off, but everyone should taste them as they offer a wide variety of flavor with delicious tasting notes that aren't found in either cow or sheep options.  In respect to unusual and tasty cheese pairings, Emma swears by Stilton with dark chocolate though her current favorite Bedford Cheese Shop cheeses are Brebirousse d'Argental and the seasonal Brabander Reserve.  She is looking forward to cheese pleasing you all!

Joseph Rosenzweig

CHEESEMONGER

Joseph Rosenzweig

Hailing from Fort Worth Texas, Joe has joined our BCS team with a strong background in food, much of which has been focused on cheese for the past two years.  One can also say, cheese is in the family, as his brother has been working as a wholesaler for quite some time. Joe’s deep dive into the curd began when he realized there are few foods people enjoy so much yet know so as little about. Sharing his knowledge with customers is a privilege he enjoys and the challenge of finding a cheese that makes a cheese enthusiast say “Oh my god! What was that? I’ve never tasted anything like it before!” is something that makes his day. One of Joe’s favorite BCS cheeses is Brillat Savarin and one of his favorite pairings is Korean rice wine with some young Comte or Tomme Adrienne which highlight the notes of plum, orange, and wheat.  Let Joe walk you through our case and cheese please you!

Danielle Sklar

TEAM MEMBER

Danielle Sklar

When Danielle was younger, her older sister worked in a local cheese shop and would often bring home treats to try… For Danielle, a love for the curd was born! After college Danielle knew she wanted to work in an environment where she could interact with high quality, artisanal food on a daily basis, and if the stars aligned, work with cheese!  Fast forward to 2023, ready for a change, Danielle moved from the West coast to Brooklyn. As luck would have it, a position opened up at Bedford Cheese Shop, where her sister, coincidentally, also worked a few years prior.  As Danielle familiarizes herself with the various shop products, vendors and customers she is also learning the cheese-ropes. While learning and broadening her palate, Danielle has delighted in finding new favorite cheeses and pairings; her current favorite type of cheese is a creamy mellow bloomy rind cheese with a super tart sour cherry jam.  She looks forward to continuing her cheese and shop education while serving our valued customers on a daily basis!

Jamila Ferguson

TEAM MEMBER

Jamila Ferguson

Born in NYC and based in NJ, from a young age Jamila had a passion for food and the food industry.  So much so that she pursued degrees in the culinary field.  After graduating, she worked a number of years behind the scenes in many esteemed restaurants; however she realized she missed engaging with customers and working in a bustling, front-of-house, environment. Additionally, while preparing meals, an interest in cheese grew and she knew she wanted to challenge herself and learn more! With this desire, coupled with a strong work ethic, and readiness to immerse herself in the work of cheese, she joined the Bedford Cheese Shop Team! As our cheesemongers encourage Jamila to expand her knowledge through taste and training her palate and knowledge is expanding leaps and bounds! One of her favorite cheeses has become Aussie Pheta (if you know, you know)!  And an unexpected pairing she also enjoys and loves to share with customers is mortadella with cornichons.  Please join us in welcoming her to BCS!