When I first took the helm of the cheese shop at 44th and France my first instinct was to try and get us some press. The little neighborhood restaurant I had worked at in Brooklyn, NY was packed for months straight after it was named the 46th best restaurant in the entire city of New York (that's right 46th out of thousands and thousands) and the best restaurant in the borough of Brooklyn (4th largest city in the country). Good press really made the difference for the owners of the restaurant
So we got a few mentions in the press when the France 44 cheese shop opened. A little bit here and a little bit there but really not too many folks really took notice of our place. Then we were named "Best Cheese Shop" by the City Pages a couple of months ago and we began to see a few new faces.
By opening a cheese shop in St Paul you'd think we had opened the hot dish hall of fame or something. Everyone and their long lost nephew is hearing about us.
Today we had a huge spike at the blog because we were featured in the City Pages Epic Sandwich feature. I've been wondering for months why the Minneapolis shop never appeared in the epic sandwich. I mean, where else are you going to get a house-made duck confit sandwich to go or a oil cured tuna belly? Um, no where else. How about house smoked pastrami featuring local grass-fed meat? Yeah, we have one of those sandwiches too. House-made pork brawn (or head cheese for you francophiles) sandwich--totally made one o those today.
Let me be clear, this is not a complaint. We love that folks are coming en masse to our new shop. In fact it is quite humbling because we still haven't entirely figured ourselves out yet and Minnesotans have proven to be a forgiving lot (unless y'all are just being Minnesota nice and won't ever tell me that your sandwich took too darm long, in which case...). And if folks are going to write about us in papers, blogs, chat boards, etc that's great too. It's the risk you take when you open a business in which you interact with the public. I may not like everything that is written about the shop but we'll certainly take to heart any and all constructive critiques of our business.
In the meantime our cheese case is brimming with delicious, delicious cheese. I can see the news headline now: "Local Cheese Shop Claims to be Selling Cheese"