Our shop feature this month is Vaughan Cheese in North Beach Maryland!
How/when did your business start?
"For many years, I was working in some of New York City’s best restaurants, and while I was surrounded by incredible products, I fell in love with American artisan cheese and knew I ultimately wanted to foster that in an area that didn’t yet seem to have access to these small, American dairies. My husband and I relocated to coastal Maryland where I founded Vaughan Cheese and focused on working directly with the amazing, talented, passionate farmers and cheesemakers who are so fantastic and work so hard to make incredible products. I was distributing the cheeses to restaurants in DC until COVID rocked our world. During COVID, I found that all of our revenue streams abruptly closed so I took a few days to pivot the business. Vaughan Cheese relaunched doing online retail of our American artisan cheeses and began teaching an array of virtual cheese classes were all materials were shipped to your door. This allowed me to continue supporting our awesome family farms and got their cheeses directly to individuals. I found that there was such a demand for these amazing cheeses and found the building that Vaughan Cheese now calls home so it became clear that we should open our first physical location which happened in September of 2021 following nearly 1 year of construction. We are so excited to get to take care of our amazing customers every day and love that we still get to work directly with all of our farms."
What's your philosophy/what sets you apart?
"Our community is incredibly important to us and is truly the foundation of our entire business.
By virtue of our business model we are supporting our community and other small communities by literally buying their product. We do not buy cheese from large distributers, instead opting to get to know the families behind the cheeses by working with them directly and speaking with them regularly. Additionally, the sales of specific products of ours give donations to support the dairy industry which has been hit hard by COVID. We also interact directly with the community around us- giving samples and gifts of cheese when needed, donating to local schools and hospitals, and by literally getting to know them. We know our customers- the locals and people who visit us regularly and we're there for them in difficult times. The people around us- our community- truly are everything to us."
How did you discover/find/hear about our cheese?
"I’ve been happily enjoying and working with Meadow Creek Dairy since I entered the cheese world while cooking at restaurants in New York City. I always loved getting to know the seasonal cheeses and was thrilled month by month to watch the cheese change right along with the seasons. Now running my own cheese shop and restaurant I’m thrilled to be able to feature exclusively American artisan cheese and love having all of their cheeses featured in the shop both on the counter and in the menu."
What's your favorite cheese dish/presentation/or pairing?
"For me, I believe truly that cheese and pairings are very personal and love to encourage people to eat what they like and drink what they like. So I will always first reach for a glass of dry and toasty Cava while I snack on any small cuts of cheese that have found themselves as leftover at the end of a busy service."
What have you got coming up in the near future you'd like to share?
"Seeing the changing of the seasons is always so fun and exciting. The late summer and early autumn produce has us refreshing the menu and changing dishes. Feeling the same seasonality on the cheese counter is awesome too- watching cheeses made from autumn milk, seeing our washed rind cheeses get super stinky, and the hard aged cheeses start coming back has our mongers and our guests happily eating away."