Murray’s Cheese is New York’s oldest cheese shop – it has been a Greenwich Village favorite for more than 75 years.
For the first fifty years, there were just two owners. Then, in the early 1990’s, grocery industry veteran Rob Kaufelt was standing in line at the counter when he heard the owner telling a customer he was going to sell the shop. Rob made him an offer and took over the business.
He immediately started traveling around the world, bringing back cheeses that had never before been sold here in the U.S. The store has since expanded to a larger location across the street, which also houses classrooms, a food service kitchen and offices for catering and events staff.
Today, he and his team are still prowling the world, only now they go to much greater lengths than ever to take care of the cheeses they import. In 2004, they built their own aging caves beneath the store in Greenwich Village and now they have larger caves and a drying room at their Long Island City location.
The meaning and importance of “affinage” may be controversial (see this great NY Times article) but, by all accounts, Murray’s does it right. Check out this tour of the caves with Rob Kaufelt and Martha Stewart:
Having it’s own caves means Murray’s can produce their own cheeses. For example, in their catalog you will see Murray’s Cavemaster Reserve Hudson Flower, a collaboration with Old Chatham Sheepherding. Murray’s takes Old Chatham’s beautiful Kinderhook Creek, coats it in herbs and flowers and berries and then ages it for a spell, which turns it into a wonderful new cheese.
At the Bleecker St. store, Murray’s offers nightly Cheese 101 and unique or seasonal pairing classes. For information, visit MurraysCheese.com/classes. They also have an outpost in the Grand Central market and Murray’s stores in Kroger locations across the country (click here to find your nearest location).
You can win cheese from Murray’s!
In case you haven’t noticed, we’re in total awe of Murray’s. So, we were thrilled recently when they agreed to help with our 2016 Give-a-Whey. Starting March 1st, when you place an order with us, you will be entered into a monthly drawing for a pound of cave-aged cheese from Murray’s, recommended by their in-house cheesemonger, Marc Freshman. If you don’t win the monthly drawing, you will still be in the hat for a Murray’s cheese basket at the end of the year. We love Murray’s!