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Shop Talk: East End Food Co-op, Pittsburgh

shop talk

The East End Food Co-op is a foodie paradise. In addition to the market stocked with wares from more than 150 local suppliers, there’s a café, juice-and-smoothie bar, a large selection of local and imported cheeses, and even free fruit for kids. Little wonder that the cooperative has served the community nearly 40 years.
“We try to highlight local producers who not only make a great product but are also responsible and sustainable, taking good care of their animals,” says assistant café manager Tyler Kulp. Along with Co-op Café manager Amber Pertz and two cheese clerks, Kulp works closely with the store’s wide selection of wedges and wheels. “Everybody gets excited when something new is coming in,” Kulp says. “That can be contagious—we try to pass that along to our customers.”

culture: What are your favorite selections from the cheese case?

Tyler Kulp: The Farm at Doe Run, outside of Philadelphia, makes some phenomenal cheeses, mostly from cow’s milk. We also carry Stone Meadow Farm’s line of cheese, all raw milk, grass-fed. I’ve hung out with their cows.

culture: What’s your favorite stinky cheese at the shop?

Tyler Kulp: Taleggio. There’s nothing like it in the world. It’s incredible that people have been making this product for so long (and it can travel all the way from Italy to Pittsburgh). How did they stumble upon this magic and how many centuries did it take to perfect it?

culture: What cheese, meat, and accompaniment would you bring to a deserted island?

Tyler Kulp: The Farm at Doe Run St. Malachi. I’ve been eating it since I discovered it a few years ago. I’d bring prosciutto. And then I’d have to have some beer. Probably Founders All Day IPA. It’s in the name—I could drink it all day.

7516 Meade St.
Pittsburgh, PA
Daily 8 a.m.–9 p.m.

Featured Image: Molly Palmer Masood

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