Every cheese has a story, and since opening Cheese+Provisions in 2015, Steve and Kim Duty have made it their mission to tell those stories to the world. They invite customers to appreciate all aspects of the food they sell—from sustainability to quality—without being intimidated. According to Kim, “It’s a passion project as well as a business.”
The Dutys’ own story began with a journey traveling across the US, trying their hands at dairy farming, meeting cheesemakers, and falling in love with curds. Inspired by a trip to Nepal, they headed toward the mountains to open their shop in Denver. Now behind the counter, they draw on their varied experiences to run their business, from dealing directly with producers to teaching classes. “It feels like coming full circle,” Kim says. “Being in the middle of the cheese world and bringing our customers into it has been really exciting.”
culture: What are your guiding principles as a cheesemonger?
Kim Duty: Our philosophy is to make people comfortable with food. We know it can be intimidating to walk into a shop and not be able to pronounce the names.
culture: What are some of the strangest cheese pairings you’ve created?
KD: We actually did an odd pairing class called Odd Fellows. We paired Spring Brook Farm Reading with kimchi, Jasper Hill Farm Moses Sleeper with nori, and Idiazábal with Deep River BBQ Potato Chips. Everything went over really well—nobody spit anything out.
culture: What’s your favorite cheese story?
KD: Spring Brook Farm. They are a nonprofit that brings city kids to Vermont for a week of outdoor classroom, but at the same time they make best-in-show cheeses.