Wendy Levy: Cheesemonger Extraordinare

I wrote this profile for an issue of Potash Hill magazine.

Wendy Levy: Cheesemonger extraordinaire

When Wendy Levy ’97 started at the Brattleboro Food Co-op cheese counter during the summer of 1995, she had no idea that her love of cheese would turn into a career. “I didn’t know exactly why I needed to learn as much as possible about cheese,  but something told me to stay and keep studying while I cut and wrapped,” she says.

After 10 years of low-paying jobs selling cheese at gourmet groceries, Wendy hit the big time when she was offered a writing position at a well-known cheese shop in New York City. After she had written a description of every product in the store, she went on to Zabar’s in the Upper West Side, where she began teaching cheese classes, writing descriptions for their more than 780 cheeses, training their staff and rewriting their entire Web site.

Today, though she still works as a consultant to Zabar’s, Wendy has taken her show on the road. In addition to developing a subscription/licensing program for her new line of cheese department signs, she’s consulting with food shops looking to implement or expand their cheese departments and working with a production company to star in the first television show about cheese.

“First and foremost, the Clear Writing Requirement is largely responsible for my
achievements,” says Wendy. “While I identify as a Cheesemonger, at this point my
writing is the source of most of my income. And I think most importantly Marlboro helped legitimize the notion of doing what I love and accepting nothing less, even if it means having to take the risk of going in a direction that nobody had ever thought of before.”

To learn more about Wendy’s adventures in cheese, visit her Web site: http://www.cheesesnob.com.