Retailer Profile: Fairfield Cheese Company

Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo

Co-owners, Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo, carry 75-100 cheeses at Fairfield Cheese Company in Fairfield, CT. Their shop has a mix of approximately 50% American cheeses and 50% international cheeses. Chris’ current favorite cheese is Pawlet Reserve from Consider Bardwell Farm and for Laura it’s Oma from Von Trapp Farmstead Cheese. Laura recommends using Oma on Tartiflette. She’s a huge fan of the classic Savoie dish with potatoes, bacon, and Reblochon. In addition, Laura says, “Since it’s winter, I’ve been eating a lot of Alpine-style cheeses and have discovered how well they go with white wines. I particularly love a good fondue with Rousette, a white from the French Alps.”

A cheese that Fairfield Cheese Company just started to carry is Up in Smoke from Rivers Edge Chevre in Oregon. Laura says, “I love how creamy, fluffy, and smooth it is; and it has a perfect amount of smokiness.” Up in Smoke isn’t found on the East Coast often, and so it’s a rare and special cheese for customers of Fairfield Cheese Company.

The shop also carries charcuterie, frozen hors d’oeuvres, ice creams, dips, spreads, and specialty grocery items like olive oil, pasta, honey, bread, crackers, and chocolate. There are also cheese boards, knives, books, and anything else to help customers serve cheese. Besides carrying things the larger stores don’t, customer service is Fairfield Cheese Company’s number one priority. “We are approachable and never want our customers to feel intimidated,” says Laura.

Laura and Chris also run a very busy cheese school called The Cheese School of Connecticut. They hold sessions year-round; each session usually consists of 6-8 classes. They always offer Cheese 101, a pairing class (wine or beer), and some seasonally-appropriate classes like Fondue. Other options include country-specific and style-specific classes. They often have special guests as well.

Fairfield Cheese Company is open Monday – Thursday, 10 am – 7 pm, and Friday and Saturday, 10 am – 8 pm.

Fairfield Cheese Company
2090 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 292-8194

ACS Member Discount: 15% off cheese purchases