Richmond’s Pop-Up Cheese Shop
My love of craft cider leads to an introduction to Maggie Bradshaw, owner of a new Richmond business, Truckle Cheesemongers. Blue Bee Cider, located in Scotts Addition, hosted a cheese and cider pairing, and we shared the event on the DW&S Facebook page. I soon received a message from a DW&S Fan, “You have to taste this cheese and meet Maggie.”
Truckle Cheesemongers and their pop-up shop may just show up at a Richmond favorite craft brewery or cidery. Their pop-up shop sells a curated collection of cheese and their own crafted Beer Cheese—made from local beer. Now, locals can also find the branded Truckle Beer Cheese at several Virginia stores including The Cheese Shop in Williamsburg, both Stella’s Grocery and Blue Bee Cider in Scotts Addition-Richmond and the Libbie Market in Richmond. Truckle is adding new stores monthly. Check out their website: www.trucklerva.com for an updated list of stores and cheese events.
If you are a cheese lover, then consider signing up for the Truckle Cheesemonger Cheese Share. The Cheese Share is a subscription service with three or six-month options for $35/month. This is the perfect gift for any cheese lover, or for yourself. Each month, you will receive three custom-picked kinds of cheese, packed in a branded box.
With cheese names such as Black Betty Goat Gouda, Colston Bassett Stilton, and Manchego Montevega, I decided that it was time to reach out to Maggie and ask some questions. (Click to learn how to choose cheese)
Kim: Tell us about your passion for cheese. What started you down the path towards founding Truckle Cheesemongers?
Maggie: Like many liberal arts students, I was lucky enough to do a semester abroad in Paris and took a wine and gastronomy course. My interest in food, and specifically cheese, blossomed. I started working part-time in a cheese shop a few years after college and then cheesemongered full time when my husband and I moved to North Carolina so he could get a graduate degree. When we moved to Richmond after he graduated I opted to start my own company (Truckle Cheesemongers) instead of working for someone else.
Kim: Each month, your Truckle Cheese Share provides three curated kinds of cheese to subscription members. Without giving away company secrets, how do you pick the three types of cheese? Is it seasonal, by theme or just three-cheese that catch your attention?
Maggie: Honestly, a little of all three! Cheese is seasonal, which is exciting because you always have variations on availability. I also like to feature cheeses that are in theme with a specific holiday, like Colston Bassett Stilton for Christmas. It’s a British tradition and it’s well worth celebrating. I also make sure there’s a mix of kinds of milk, texture, style of cheese, as well as region.
Kim: Your Truckle Beer Cheese is now a certified “Made in Virginia” product. (Congratulations!) Tell us what it is like to see your idea and recipe on Virginia store shelves.
Maggie: It’s the best! I’m originally from Kentucky, where Beer Cheese is a staple. I went back for a girls’ trip a couple of years ago and rediscovered how much I love Beer Cheese and thought I could make a better version if I used Virginia beers and excellent ingredients. Given the robust beer scene in Virginia, it was a match made in heaven. I love that the local community has opened its arms to Beer Cheese.
Kim: Is the Truckle Beer Cheese always made with the same Virginia beer or do you use a variety of crafted beer in your product?
Maggie: I use different Virginia beers from batch to batch. It keeps it interesting and it’s fun to work with and highlight different breweries.
Kim: Tell us about your Truckle Cheesemongers catering service. Do you deliver and set up those beautiful cheese boards shown on your Facebook page?
Maggie: Yes! I customize each board to the customer’s taste and set up on-site. I also offer an option to stay on-site and talk to guests about the cheese. I love giving a customer an individualized experience and delivering exactly what they want.
Kim: The theme of this DW&S Edition is “Let’s Brunch.” Hosting a brunch for family and friends is a Southern tradition. Please give us some tips to include cheese in our next brunch menu.
Maggie: Cheese is great for any occasion, but brunching is especially festive. I like to incorporate the brunch theme into the board. Serving Bloody Marys and mimosas? I like to use some garnishes like olives and pickled okra on the board as well as some blood orange slices. Bloomy rind cheeses like a brie or camembert are great for brunch and are incredible with eggs. A nice alpine-like Comté or Gruyere is a beautiful daytime cheese and can also be used in quiches or tartlets. Brunch should feel decadent but casual. It’s the perfect opportunity to be playful and have fun.