Is Park Slope morphing into a permanent Greenmarket? Local meat haven Fleisher’s opened a Slope outpost of their legendary Kingston butcher shop at the end of September, and now Here’s Park Slope reports that New Jersey’s Valley Shepherd Creamery is opening a brick-and-mortar on 7th Ave. between 3rd and 4th Streets.
The Long Valley, New Jersey-based creamery is unique because, as HPS writes, “The creamery is entirely vertically integrated, meaning that they’re 100% in control of every factor of production, from the grass the animals graze on to the layout of the storefront.” No weird chemicals to make the animals produce more milk, no middleman to add to the price, no long commute from farm to table. They even have their own cave for aging.
Owner Eran Wajswol and his wife met while studying engineering in college, but they fell for farming and cheese making in a big way. They ditched their careers to traipse across Europe, learning how to make artisanal sheep milk cheeses like the old-fashioned way. Today they have a state-of-the-art facility, including, as their website says, “the only rotating sheep parlor in the United States.”
(We’re pretty sure a rotating sheep parlor has something to do with milking, and is not a revolving bar for the sheep to relax and have a beer while enjoying the scenery.)
Waiswol explained Valley Shepherd’s total devotion to cheese to HPS: “…we milk over 700 animals. (600 sheep, 100 goats, 50 cows) and make cheese 7 days/week, 15 hours per day for 9 months/year (then we collapse for 3 months).”
What will the Brooklyn shop stock?
Said Wajswol, “…we’ll sell our 30-35 cheeses, a few of our friends’ cheeses, our sheep Ricotta-based pasta products, lamb meat when we have it and 100+ American artisanal products we found over the last few years of talking to people like us. We’ll also do daily specials of sandwiches/panini each containing one of our cheeses accompanied by artisan condiments.”
An opening date for the shop hasn’t been confirmed, but the work on the shop appears to be in the final stages.
So what’s next for the Slope? Perhaps we can convince Clinton-Hill based Sea to Table or Greenmarket mainstays Blue Moon Fish to open a straight-from-the-dock seafood shop?