Greg has been part of the kitchen staff at Fromagination since it opened more than 10 years ago. He was drawn to the shop because of his family legacy in dairy farming.
“All of my relatives were dairy farmers when I was a kid. Even when I was a little boy I lived in a cheese factory for a while. My relatives had one of the very first herds of Holsteins cows so that’s what I grew up around. It was very natural to step into it. Then we had our own flower shop, then that closed down and Ken was opening a store, so it was a nice transition. And I needed a new job and I talked cheese so…,” he said.
His trial period at Fromagination was different from other staff members because he was one of the very first employees.
“None of us knew what to expect because it was just opening, so we didn’t know how busy it was going to be. It was pretty busy because we opened in the fall…we had…Thanksgiving and Christmas on the way so it was kind of exciting because it was all new.”
Day-to-day, Greg is often answering the phone at the shop, taking orders and making sure other employees get messages. Especially during the December holidays, we should call him the “Voice Of Fromagination.”
To make customers happy, you meet their expectations and surprise them, Greg said. “Find your favorite cheese and don’t mess with it again,” he often says.
One of Greg’s favorite cheeses is also a favorite of many customers – Pleasant Ridge Reserve, from Uplands Cheese. He cuts a lot of that cheese to make the cheese and charcuterie trays that Fromagination sells for events.
“I love traditional, soft-ripened washed rind cheeses too,” he said. One of those, Rush Creek Reserve, is also from Upland Cheese, sold at Fromagination traditionally during the December holidays.
Greg is a chef and has long maintained an interest in fine foods. He has done catering and makes impressive, elegant desserts and appetizers. When asked the key to making food visually attractive – such as Fromagination’s cheese trays – he sounds more like an artist that is opening his paints.
“It’s the same way I would arrange flowers, decorate a Christmas tree…or other projects. It’s about contrasting textures and flavors…it’s just all about inter-relationship so that it puts everything into its best light.”
And like Greg’s creations, the Fromagination staff has become one of various talents and interests that make Fromagination an interesting place to work.