Art of Business: Zen of Cheese | General Food & Drink | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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Art of Business: Zen of Cheese



"It's a tough haul getting a shop like this off the ground in a tiny town," says Ellen Waggett of Bimi's Cheese Shop in Chatham. "But word is getting out; people are finding us." Along with other specialty foods, the store stocks no more than 40 varieties of cheese—local and imported—at any given time; the self-taught cheesemonger would rather her staff become truly well versed in a few dozen items, and there's a lot to know about fine cheese.

Part of what's making it work is undoubtedly Waggett's talent for filling a niche, flowing like water with the needs she finds. "Since Ralph's [Pretty Good Café] closed, there had been no breakfast in town on Monday and Tuesday so we decided to fill that gap. We have mac and cheese with garlic and caramelized onions. And having a family member with celiac disease, we're very aware—we have a dedicated gluten-free grill. I've seen people's eyes fill up with tears when they realize they can have a grilled cheese sandwich for the first time in years."

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