Farmstead Wins Readers' Choice Award for Best Cheese Shop
Farmstead is the Readers' Choice winner in the Best Cheese Shop category.
The company was founded in 2003 by the husband-and-wife team of Matt and Kate Jennings. They're a well-qualified duo: Matt graduated from culinary school in Vermont in 1995, worked for artisan cheese stores and producers across the country, and studied with master cheesemongers in the U.K, France and Italy. Kate is a classically trained pastry chef.
As co-owners of Providence, R.I.-based Farmstead, Matt and Kate develop close relationships with producers and hand-select fine foodstuffs, specializing in small production, limited release cheeses. As an extension of this hands-on approach, Farmstead aims to educate its customers on the subtleties and history of cheese, offering product tastings, cooking demonstrations, and cheese and beverage pairing classes.
Farmstead's signature cheeses include "Sarabande," co-designed with Dancing Cow Farm of Vermont and boasting hints of hazelnut, sherry, and fresh farm cream at its peak ripeness. Another, called "Drunkin' Providence," is flavorful cheddar washed with Thomas Tew Rum from Rhode Island's Newport Distilling Company.
The Jennings founded Farmstead's sister restaurant, La Laiterie, in 2006 to augment their offerings. Located next to the cheese shop, the bistro serves seasonally influenced meals with fresh ingredients from local sustainable farms; the menu sometimes changes daily. Matt and Kate designed the restaurant themselves, accenting their rustic cuisine with hand-made rust colored paper lights and an interior made from reclaimed barn wood, forged iron and Vermont soapstone.
For those who can't make the trip to Wayland Square, the historical shopping district Providence, to inspect Farmstead's cheeses in person, the company offers a comprehensive website along with speedy delivery options. Rest assured, the cheese will still be just as stinky when it arrives.