Since arriving on the job at the end of October, Laurence Spitzer is already well ensconced as the self-described resident “Cheese Guy” of DeLuca’s Market at 11 Charles St.
Spitzer, who lives in Holliston, just outside Framingham, has been a self-described “cheese monger” for a little more than 10 years now, working in the industry extensively during this time. He received The Crompton Scholarship, a national award from the American Cheese Society, in 2018 as top retailer in the nation. Spitzer has also had the opportunity to tour some well-known creameries, including The Cellars at Jasper Hill, in Greensboro, Vt., as well as the Vermont Creamery in Websterville, Vt., over the course of his career.
“I’ve has the opportunity to meet many local artisans who practice their craft and engage with them on a regular basis,” said Spitzer, the head of the cheese department for DeLuca’s on Charles Street.
DeLuca’s offers “passive” cheese tastings each day, with samples provided on platters for passing shoppers, as well as “active” tastings, which usually take place on Saturdays after 2 p.m., with Spitzer on hand to discuss that day’s cheese selections with patrons.
“I love all things cheese,” said Spitzer. “I like to engage with customers and give them the opportunity to explore the world of cheeses I have presented. I help them navigate the cheese world because a lot of times that’s not only something I enjoy, but it’s something that the customers enjoy as well.”
At any given time, DeLuca’s stocks between 85 and 90 different cheeses from around the world, said Spitzer, although these selections “vary by customer preference, availability, and seasonality.”
Said Spitzer: “Now, it’s spring so I have a lot more soft cheeses than I normally would have in the winter. That’s not say, I don’t like to give customers as wide a selection as possible.”
DeLuca’s also just began receiving regular air shipments of new cheeses from France and Italy, said Spitzer, so the shop’s customers now have even more options to choose from.
“They’re harder-to-get items that are more typical of Italian and French markets that customers would see if they’re actually in Italy or France,” said Spitzer.
Besides bringing back the shop’s white-glove cheese service of the past, Spitzer is also responsible for handpicking DeLuca’s selection of specialty jams and crackers, as well as charcuterie, which, he said, includes “everything from U.S. artisanal to Spanish and Italian [offerings].”
Caroline Aiello, who, together with her sister, Victoria, owns and operates DeLuca’s on Charles Street, wrote: “Laurence has a deep knowledge of cheese, but it’s his passion for the department and for sharing his knowledge with our patrons that makes him such a great addition to our team.”