Friday, July 3, 2009

'Tis the season for cheese tastings

Last night I met with fellow neighborhood business owners Peter and Bart of Poco Wine Room. Months ago when I was interviewing small business owners for information gathering and advice, Peter was very charming and helpful. He was willing to share his story in detail of getting the bar up and running, all the challenges they faced and the successes they celebrated in just 18 months. I knew then that he would be a contact to keep close to, though I wasn't sure exactly how it would all play out, but yet another terrificly sage piece of advice I took home from Steve jones at Cheese Camp was the idea of hosting cheese tastings and events before even opening my shop. Fantastic, I can do this, but I needed someone else to provide the essential space and proper liquor licensing to do so.

So I contacted Peter, telling him I had some ideas to throw at him, and we made a date to meet at Poco and discuss. I got to meet his equally charming life and business partner Bart, and the conversation flowed just as easily as the many glasses of delectable Beaujolais. We talked a lot of shop, I got to practice some of my spiel on Bart, which was great, got a ton of great feedback and a few more references to work with. Then I plunged into my pitch for co-hosting cheese and wine pairings in the bar. Poco is the perfect place for this; not only do they have a wine selection I'm always impressed by, but they have a lovely little upstairs area that is sequestered enough from the main entrance to provide necessary privacy, but just public enough to make other patrons wonder what's going on up there? Peter and Bart were both just as excited as I was about this partnership, and I couldn't be happier.

We will reconvene after I return from my short stint at Sheep Camp this month, and I'm hoping to set a date for the first event in August. We've a lot of details to hammer out, but suffice it to say it will be fun, affordable, full of delicious cheese and wine, and just exclusive enough to make us all feel a little privileged for an evening. Vive la fromage!

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