Cheese Louise

We're Hiring March 5, 2015 16:24

Do you love cheese, dream about cheese, then we'd like to talk to you. Please no calls or drop ins. Please don't be in touch unless you have read the following and understand all that it might mean. We're a specialty cheese shop located in sunny Sarasota in our 3rd year, in a highly seasonal town. (No snow in Florida in the wintertime!)

We're looking to bring on a key member of our staff to do some cheese-mongering with us. Before you read any further, you have to be able to work Saturdays, Mondays and Tuesdays, and an occasional evening when we have a cheese class. You'll also be able to pick up shifts if people need time off. So we're looking for a pinch hitter who will help out as needed and be cheerful about it! Please don't be lactose intolerant. Here's who you have to be -- crazy passionate about cheese and you have to love food, and want to know where it comes from.

You have to love people, and want to treat our customers like royalty to help take the intimidation away from gourmet. You must be enthusiastic so that it spills over to the customer. You have to understand that we are in the customer service business. You must not have any kind of attitude, entitlement issues, and limit the use of "like" (as in -- "this cheese is like, really, like good") to once a day. You can be a little quirky. Maybe you loved art history, or wrote poetry instead of handing in your algebra homework? Maybe you didn't know where to fit in and you're still looking for that place to thrive? Maybe you're a hipster? You can have tattoos, but not ones all over your face that might scare our customers. You can also be a total geek nerd. You must be clean. You must be organized. You must love to keep things clean and organized. You have to feel comfortable in your own skin. You need to be able to take directions easily, and cheerfully. And you must follow through. You must play well with others.

You must be a good listener and not talk too much. You must be able to take direction. It's hard work and you have to be able to work hard. You need to be a story teller and want to talk just the right amount about cheese, small batch artisan products. You have to be flexible. You cannot be political on the job. You can't be late, or have a history of calling in sick with silly excuses. We've heard them all before. All of them. You have to be curious. If you don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of cheese, you must want to learn. Please don't be annoying, surly, or needy. It goes without saying you have to be honest, and love to help people.

We are not interested in people who are prima donnas or dons. If you have a tendency to look for the blame in others, then we won't get along. If you are sweet, kind, happy, quirky, creative, curious, tidy, outgoing, have smarts -- then you're the one. If you love reading about food, cheese -- then you're the one. If you get excited about new restaurants, chefs, food blogs, farms, cook books -- then you're the one.

Here's a bit more -- We're looking for someone who can lift up to 25-30 lbs. Someone who is energetic, diligent. If you dabble with hard drugs, don't even think about trying to get one by us, you must be drug free. If this offends you, I am sorry, but we might not be a good fit if it does. You HAVE to be able to work on Saturday as a requisite for working with us. You'll have a set schedule every week tailored to your and our needs. Experience in retail, and/or restaurants food service desirable. We'd like you to be proud of your appearance and want to come to work, all tidy and put together. We're a stickler for food safety, so you have to be too. You have to be able to stand on your feet for hours at a time. You have to like being in the kitchen, or behind the counter.

Former cheese experience would be excellent, but we are happy to train you. We're a small locally owned business, this is not a negotiation, it's a pretty straight forward job posting. We can promise you a respectful and safe workplace. We can offer you a nurturing environment where you can learn and grow. We're a small business, not a franchise. We'll train you. We'll find your talents. We are fair. Kind. Happy. Making lots of money should not be your motivation for applying for this job.

Training period starts at $10+ an hour. Send me a resume, or a couple of paragraphs about you, along with details on the last three to four jobs you've held. Basically tell me who you are and why this cheesemonger job would interest you. Don't call us please, we are quite busy chatting with customers. Or cleaning. Thank you!

Life of a Cheesemonger, What a Year Has Brought Me September 25, 2014 15:50

Cheesemonger AngelaWow!  What a difference a year makes!  Since my journey began last June my cheesemonger status and experience has sky rocketed!  I know I've spoken of it much on social media (first time via blogosphere) but my attendance to this years American Cheese Society's Annual Conference completely struck my heart.  

The trip was made possible by my Cheese Leader, Louise Converse first and foremost.   Along with many contributors to which the trip would have been but a bus caught the following year.  To everyone I am extremely grateful.  I was served experiences that have enhanced my confidence behind the counter and beyond. My once terror stricken 101 classes, where I would be nervously approaching the attendees hoping they wouldn't ask me what rennet was is now but a memory.  

I research, I learn, I love.  It's hard not to embrace such a world and not want to share it with those who grace our shop or our classes.  The education I have received while working at Artisan Cheese Company has flipped my world view on cheese.  

We are a group of strength and passion, lifting the artisanal cheese making world to it's highest priority. I know that sounds very "cheese superwoman" but if the apron fits, people. The shop is approaching it's 3rd year, which in Sarasota speak means season.  This means the crisp fall morning wind will become more of a constant and with that comes new customers to share my passion with. New cheeses to handle with care and curiosity.  It's been real as a cheesemonger…real delicious and my real life. Cheers to the coming months.  

Hope to see you soon! :)

Photographed: Me, myself and the glorious Bonne Bouche from VBC.  Ash ripened loveliness that becomes extremely spreadable as it ages.  A good mouthful indeed!  Yeasty sweetness with just the right amount of goaty tang.  Heaven you are, pure heaven.

RICOTTA! May 11, 2014 21:49

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I first made ricotta in my humble kitchen in Limerick. Gravitating toward simple recipes, with only a few, easy-to-find ingredients, it came as a surprise to me that I could make cheese cheaply and often.

As a grad student, living on €50 or less per week, food became both a burden and a pleasure. I learned how to be thrifty in the grocery store, often times walking to three or more shops in one day because I knew where all of the cheapest veggies, meats, spices, you name it, could be found. And though most of my money went to providing breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself, cooking daily became a release; a giant, happy exhale after a hectic day of class and oftentimes inclement weather. One of my biggest joys was feeding home-made food to my roommates, testing out new recipes, and introducing some of my favorite comfort foods from home to tongues which would find the taste unfamiliar. However, somehow, I have a hard time recalling anyone but me eating the ricotta. That is probably because I would eat it so quickly after the last little drop of whey drained from the fluffy curds, nobody else even noticed its existence.
This ricotta shape-shifts between appetizer, dinner, breakfast, dessert, snack, midnight spoonful. It smells like buttered popcorn when it's on the stove, and cools down to become thick, yet remains moist.
We use whole Dakin milk, and organic cream and buttermilk. It's important to us that the milk, the main staple of this recipe, comes from a local, sustainable farm. Eating food which comes from our community is not only great for that community, but it nourishes the environment, as well as our bodies.
I smile at the memory of opening my fridge in Limerick and seeing happy little jars of white curds, begging to be spread on pizza dough or eaten with fruit. And when I brought a small jar of the stuff to Louise and Kiera one Saturday morning, I had a feeling that good things would happen. And now my ricotta can be yours to enjoy, too.