Dobbs & Bishop on Pondfield Road in Bronxville is an independent cheese shop with a knowledgeable friendly staff. They helped me select cheeses for gifting this past Valentine’s Day and they border on the decadent: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, a lovely Bucheron wheel, a raw milk Manchego, and St. Agur Blue. The shop also carries specialty foods and related accessories…
Since they opened I feel they have a poor selection, and are way overpriced. I have only been in 4-5 times, and never made a purchase. I feel that only a portion of their staff are properly educated, and they are much more welcoming to uneducated regulars who they can blarney, and can’t be bothered with an educated customer. Those of us in the neighborhood wonder how they stay in business. Actually there are several places in town that we discuss how they stay in business. Topps liquor store is another one.
JMF, I have always had a good experience shopping at Dobbs & Bishop. I guess I have been lucky so far…by the way, Topps may have changed hands. Last time in I noticed faces I had not seen before.
Digression: I think that may be the case about Topps wines. The owners, who knew nothing about bakeries before they bought Topps bakery, and nothing about wine/liquor shops until they bought that one, ran the place horribly. Staff knew nothing about their products, had no idea what to purchase for inventory, and no customer service at all. I walked out without buying numerous times, and even tried to get a consulting job to educate their staff on wines, spirits, and hospitality.
I always had a fondness about that location. In 1980, back when I was 17, and it was the third generation of Griffler’s wines and liquor, I started out doing deliveries for them. Then on my 18th birthday started working there in wine sales. The youngest real wine salesman in Westchester other than the 2nd generation Zachy’s. (I was brought up tasting wines from 6-7 years old. My father bought me my first tastevin for my 6th or 7th birthday. Lost it a year or two later and I ended up getting another one in my xmas stocking. Just ten years ago I found both in my folks attic. Keep them on my desk in my office.) I learned so much more from Irving Griffler, a charming old gent, and Bob the store manager. The store was so focused on quality and hospitality. The despised the fact they also had to sell bargain and low shelf brands to stay in business, but didn’t let the customer know. We spent as much time with an Almaden customer as we did with anyone else. Although those who went back to the fine wine room got five star service. The bottles back there were investment quality.
As a teen and young adult I worked at several places in Bronxville. A&P supermarket for a very short while, the cheese shop on the corner of Pondfield and Cedar, Womrath’s booksellers, and Citibank, before moving to Citicorp.
After Griffler’s I later went on to run a few wine shops in Westchester, and worked for Zachy’s, but this was before the big wine boom of the mid to late 80’s. Salaries were low and I moved on to other things, and then my own business, and eventually college at the end of the 80’s. (I worked for a short while for Alfredo at the Wine Emporium at the former Grifflers location when it was bought out by Morrell with Al as manager/owner of record, and he later bought it fully himself. His passing was difficult for many.)
This thread makes me wonder what the best places are for purchasing cheese in Westchester. Can anyone chime in on this? I like whole foods’ selection in Yonkers but more than once I’ve bought cheese there and it has seemed as though it wasn’t stored properly or it was sold past its prime. I think they have a problem with low turnover. I like Deciccos selection too but haven’t really bought anything there yet. I’ve heard about Mint in Tarrytown but haven’t tried it yet. How I wish we had a Murray’s cheese shop here in Westchester!
I think Fairway may be the best. Some of their cheese staff are very knowledgeable, others not so. Selection used to be amazing, but the past few months there seem to be somewhat less than before. but I still think may be better than other places.
I really don’t like whole foods in general, and the yonkers one is mediocre. They just don’t get enough shoppers, so many items are older than at more popular locations.
Although I haven’t been there in a while, for strictly Italian cheeses I would recommend Dante’s on Central Avenue in White plains. Always perfectly ripe and always wonderful, with the exception of a so so burrata. Very close by is Yaranush, also on Central Avenue in White Plains for incredible feta, I personally prefer their French feta. Farmers markets are the only other place I purchase cheese in Westchester … I am tired of the taste of plastic, ammonia and tastelessness.
Edit: I do like the hunks of parmigiano at Whole foods
and yes to Mint, thanks for reminding me!!!
One other place, Tarry Market but I haven’t been there in a while either
Auray Cheese Shop and restaurant in Larchmont does a good business, but I have not stopped in lately…
I went to Auray a few times back three years ago when I worked for a few months setting up the bar and consulting to a newly opening restaurant across the street. I liked what they had available. Not an extreme selection, but a well curated one, with a few outriders that were hard to find. And the owners were knowledgeable. Some of the staff, not so much, but the owners were almost always available. I really enjoyed a few things they introduced me to, that were new to me.
I also like Turco’s - no one thinks of that. They have a very good cheese selection. There is also a place in Pound Ridge, I believe.
Yes, there is Plum Plums Cheese, a quirky shop in Pound Ridge…
Thank you for the recommendations, everyone. Fairway does have a good selection but I remember going there looking for a particular cheese, either Humboldt Fog or one of the Cowgirl Creamery cheeses, and they told me they stopped carrying it because it wasn’t selling. Whole Foods selection has more of the brands I prefer but as mentioned there are just not enough shoppers at the Yonkers location and those cheeses are too expensive to risk it not being fresh.
It’s true, too, chowdom, that some of the best cheeses in Westchester can be found at farmer’ markets. Bobolink, for one, is incredible, and there are several other vendors with delicious cheese.
Auray sounds great but that’s a shlep for me. If I’m ever in the area I’ll check that one out.
Really??? Can you please elaborate?