Author Topic: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop  (Read 3760 times)

Offline mshyland

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Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« on: December 06, 2011, 09:36:59 AM »
I'm considering opening a cheese shop - still at the homework stages.  Am planning to attend the Fancy Foods show in San Francisco in January.  And am looking around on-line for refrigeration cases.  In my mind, product placement is key to success - and I can't find any nice -looking refrigeration cases that will display the cheese in a stylistic way.  Any suggestions?

Here's some images I found on-line from Fromageries in Paris, where we used to live...I want to emulate that, not have big industrial display cases.


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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2011, 03:09:10 PM »
Thos open display style are custum jobs, they are simmiler to what you see in the supermarket cold produce (herbs) or dairy section except they went with wood finish instead of SS and plastic.

The fact that you want to be mobile is also a consideration because they are very heavy,
You might want a modular design which is can be seperated into smaller units.

Another thing to consider in this design is room temp where the fridge will be placed, if the fair is outdoors during the summer at 25-30c it may not be able to maintain the required temp despite the compressor unit working non stop
If not designed for such conditions...
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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2011, 06:12:20 PM »
Where in NJ are you?  I am in NYC and perhaps I can arrange some introductions to local cheese mongers and caves? Will that help?  PM me if so.  I have a friend who has a cheese shop in the city with gorgeous refregirated sheving that I have only seen in France. (simple, not too fancy).  My experience with Parisian fromageries is that many of them put 2,3 or 4 shelves in a few different levels inside an open air fridge and they lace the bottom of it with straw mats, wood shavings or plastic mats. The trick is to keep it all moist enough.  The other thing I see many of them do is design a really cute window for the shop. the window itself contains cheese and has a cooler-condenser blowing in it. The back of the window is another sealed window so you can see the stuff on display and look beyond it to see the shop but the window itself is another chilled cheese storage space. It looks like the same windows used for meat aging in steak houses or wine cabinets in nice restaurants.

By the way I am now in exploratory stages of starting a creamery smack in the middle of Manhattan.  I was at the last NASFT Fancy Food Show in NYC (skipped the DC show this year) and thought about attending the winter show in SF too but it is a lot smaller than the summer show and this summer it should be back in NYC anyway.

I posted here some great photos from Fromageries in Paris (there are two photo posts on this thread so scroll down that page to see more):
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,4019.msg30669.html

I also posted my cheese impressions from the Summer International Fancy Food Show of 2010:
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,4293.msg32646.html

Here are some photos from Murray's cellars in case you haven't visited yet:
http://cheeseforum.org/forum/index.php/topic,4590.0.html
« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 06:38:05 PM by iratherfly »

Offline mshyland

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011, 03:42:22 PM »
Thank you for the suggestions.  I do plan to have a static cheese shop, in a store front, so no moving of cases or outdoor sales.  Any idea where I can get custom refrigerators like that?

Offline Tomer1

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2011, 05:37:37 PM »
By all means you need a refrigiration expert to ensure the quality of your products.

Yellow pages should pop up various refrigiration engineering companies.
You will provide with a budget and style of design and they will design (or pick the right model "off the shelf"),contract a carpenter,fabricate,install and maintain it.


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Offline Chris K

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2011, 06:07:41 AM »
Thank you for the suggestions.  I do plan to have a static cheese shop, in a store front, so no moving of cases or outdoor sales.  Any idea where I can get custom refrigerators like that?

Start by checking your local store/health codes. I'm finding state to state that storage regulations differ. And I trust by now you've discovered that refrigerated cases are $$$. Don't a number of the veteran cheesemongers in Paris still cool the entire store allowing for more general shelf storage?  That second pic you posted looks like it is probably a chiller vented outside with cool air blowing through the slats.

Hussman, True, Federal and a number of the major companies do customs, built-ins etc to achieve the look you want.



« Last Edit: December 14, 2011, 06:13:01 AM by Chris K »

Offline Chris K

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2011, 03:30:35 PM »
As an example- I have yet to talk with the state about my own plans but happened to talk about similar ideas to a guy that does commercial food service construction. He thought these two Minnesota rules meant that wood shelving (and perhaps mats like bamboo) might not be allowed... and that open-air shelving with unwrapped cheese might also not be allowed depending on how one interoreted this:

    All shelving must meet the applicable standards of NSF International. Wood and plastic laminate shelving is not approved in food preparation, food storage or utensil washing areas, except that it is approved for case lot storage and clean linen storage.
    Walk-in cooler shelving must be stainless steel or pre-coated epoxy and must meet the applicable standards of NSF International. Chrome plated shelving is not approved in coolers.

Food shields must be provided on all self-service salad bars, buffets and other areas where food is on display.


« Last Edit: December 21, 2011, 11:09:59 AM by Chris K »

Offline mshyland

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2011, 12:43:52 PM »
In fact, I spoke with the health inspector yesterday - depening on the cheese, it must be stored at 41, 45, or room temperature.  Refrigerators must have an internal and external digital thermometer.  Most interesting was that I'd need to weigh and label each piece of cheese with my store's name, address, phone and exact ingredients (just like the grocery store).  Trying to figure out an elegant solution to this!

Offline stoneyridge

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2011, 04:38:06 PM »
If you're going to be in San Fransisco anyhow, you should plan a visit to Cowgirl Creamery.  I visited the Pt. Reyes Creamery a couple years back, and they have a very nice display of cheese in the shop there.  I'm not sure if they have a similar display set-up in the Ferry Building or not. 

They sell their own cheese as well as an amazing assortment of cheese from around the world.  I was able to speak with one of the co-owners briefly, and she was very open to discussing ideas.  Of course, I was discussing cheese-making, not cheese displaying, but I'm guessing they'd be happy to take some time to talk to you.

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2011, 01:25:55 PM »
In fact, I spoke with the health inspector yesterday - depening on the cheese, it must be stored at 41, 45, or room temperature.  Refrigerators must have an internal and external digital thermometer.  Most interesting was that I'd need to weigh and label each piece of cheese with my store's name, address, phone and exact ingredients (just like the grocery store).  Trying to figure out an elegant solution to this!
Talk to me. Seriously, you live an hour away and I have people here who will be happy to share their solutions with you.  you only need to mark the cheese when it goes on sale (no need to write your own address when in your own cave obviously).  There are label printers that have labels pre-printed with your store logo and brand, and when you pass it through the scale it prints the label with the weight and price per weight. You can even program it to give an entire description of that particular cheese automatically. The description is very important because people use it to read. Some people keep them in a notebook so they remember what cheese they like and some put them in front of the cheeses when they present them on a cheese plate. You want your clients to begin educating themselves and go to your store asking by name for a Montenebro, or Le Tur. You want the other customers to hear them too and get inspired by a fellow customer to get out of their comfort zone and try new things. It really works well for the merchants I've been talking to.

Here's a photo of the labels from Murray's (Click to enlarge so you can read it)


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2011, 01:28:47 PM »
By the way... custom branded cheese wrapping paper - I can get these made for you on the specialty cheese paper (I have a selection of different purpose-made cheese wrapping products made for me)

Offline Chris K

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Re: Refrigeration for Cheese Shop
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2011, 11:11:36 AM »
By the way... custom branded cheese wrapping paper - I can get these made for you on the specialty cheese paper (I have a selection of different purpose-made cheese wrapping products made for me)

Great tip!