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Saxelby Cheeses -- SMB Profile Blog

Small Business Profiles – Benoit Breal & Saxelby Cheesemongers

“You know how American cheese developed so quickly? The price of fluid milk has been going down in the US. Farmers saw in cheese a solution to create a product with a higher added value.  Some of them had travelled to Europe or their kids went to Europe to study abroad and they trained with cheese makers in my native France and across Europe. Like musicians, at first they just practiced playing the same music, over and over, and eventually, they started to compose their own.

Some in Europe are jealous of the freedom we have to innovate. On one hand, American cheesemakers are is still trying to develop the notion of  terroir, the historic place, climate, and history that makes camembert camembert, for example, but here, a cheesemaker are not bound by strict denomination of origin you can start a farm in Long Island tomorrow and push the boundaries, make whatever you want.”

What does Saxelby Cheesemongers do?
Saxelby Cheese is a retailer and a distributor of farm-state cheeses, and most of our producers are located on the east coast of the United States. We also work with Heve Mons, a French affineur (the art of aging cheese).

How long have you been in business?
Our Essex Street Market store, located in the Lower East side, celebrated its 8th year anniversary on May 5th.

What is your biggest challenge?
When a product is artisanal, that means that it’s always evolving and changing. That means we need to understand what stages the cheeses are in, and we need to prepare for those stages well. There’s also the ever-changing restaurant industry and the shifting tastes of the market that we have to match.

What are you most proud of?
We’re most proud of the quality of the product that we carry, and the work of the farmers that we partner with.

Huge thanks to Benoit Breal and Saxelby Cheesemongers for their time and support! We love featuring entrepreneurs and their stories, successes and challenges in our small business profiles. If you have a story you’d like to share, please feel free to reach out to us at



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