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Shop Talk: 109 Cheese& Wine, Kent and Ridgefield, Conn.

109 cheese & wine

Monica and Todd Brown, owners of 109 Cheese & Wine, ran both a specialty wine shop and a cheese shop separately before combining their ventures in 2008. Since the expansion, the couple has been able to delve into curd and vino pairings like never before, and customers reap the benefits. The Browns have also widened the store’s selection to include other specialty items, including charcuterie, honey, jams, and tomato sauce, as well as hot and cold sandwiches and high-quality housewares. Cooking classes and special events are on tap too, making 109 Cheese & Wine the ultimate one-stop destination for local foodies.

culture: What makes 109 Cheese & Wine unique?
Monica Brown: For us, it’s passion—for food, wine, and bringing it all together…(for) the old-fashioned way of preparing and eating a meal, taking your time. A meal is special and should be shared and appreciated.

culture: What inspired you to open a cheese and wine shop?
MB: I’m inspired by the farmers, artisans, and producers who work so hard—not only bringing us great food but also taking care of the environment. We want to give them the best platform we can.

culture: What local cheese do you like to recommend to customers?
MB: Tapping Reeve from Arethusa Farm is definitely one of my favorites. It’s named after a lawyer from Litchfield County who was instrumental in land preservation and farming. It’s good for lots of different palates—a nice, everyday cheese.

culture: What is the strangest customer request you’ve received?
MB: We’re strange, so everything seems normal to us!

14 N. Main St.
Kent, CT

Mon: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Thu: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Fri–Sat: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Sun: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

The Marketplace in Copps Hill Plz.
109 Danbury Rd.
Ridgefield, CT

Tue.–Thur: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Fri.–Sat: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Sun: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Jessica Mandelbaum

With a BA in Anthropology, as well as her current work towards a MA in Gastronomy, Jessica offers a distinct and eclectic perspective to the culture team. When she’s not writing about the multi-sensorial perception of flavor or force-feeding her loved ones cheese-laden meals, Jessica can be found practicing yoga, gardening, reading, hiking or spending quality time with her dog-daughter, Emmie.

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