I just spent three days eating my way around Charleston. Talk about a food hangover! It was hard to pick which place I would talk about first, but I just had to tell you about this little cheese shop at 106 Church Street called Goat. Sheep. Cow. Best friends and business partners, Trudi Wagner and Patty Floersheimer opened the shop three years ago and it has become a regular stop for not only folks who live in the residential area surrounding them, but also for foodies far and wide.
Both Trudi and Patty led successful careers before landing in Charleston. They met at a wine dinner while living in New Jersey and became instant friends. Soul mates, Patty says. Patty’s daughter attended College of Charleston, and once she visited Charleston, she fell in love with the city. She convinced Trudi, a retired VP from Goldman Sachs, to make the move with her and become her business partner.
When we walked into their little 550 square foot shop, the smell of pungent, aged, delicious cheese and charcuterie filled our noses. A long L-shaped case in four sections runs the length of the store containing meats, and cheeses organized from soft, semi-soft to hard. Wine lines the other wall, somewhat grouped by country and body. You won’t find many American wines, and it’s not that they don’t like American wines, they just tend to carry foreign wines because they believe they’re a better price value.
Their cheese selection is indeed incredible. Every one is labeled with a succinct description of flavor and where it’s from. There was a steady stream of neighborhood regulars flowing in and out while we were sampling some of the delicious offerings and talking to Patty. Even a local celebrity popped by! Daryl Hall from Hall and Oats has recently made Charleston his home and sometimes stops in for cheese.
Behind the counter, two employees beautifully arranged sliced meets and cheeses onto white porcelain platters. Someone was having a party or a gallery opening and had placed a large special order. A man came in to drop off one of the platters from a party the night before, almost as if he were returning a bowl to a neighbor. The whole experience was intimate and welcoming, like we’d landed in a small French village, not like we were smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown Charleston.
A guy popped in and asked for a sandwich. They’re all gone today, Patty said. He turned around disappointed and headed back out the door. They make one type of sandwich each day, in a repertoire of about 25 sandwiches, and it sells out every time. One recent sandwich was an EVO baguette slathered with Vermont Creamery butter (picked because it has the highest butter fat), Proscuitto cotto (very high quality, Italian style thin sliced cooked ham) , sliced cheddar cheese, cucumber and Asheville made Lusty Monk mustard.
We were lucky to arrive just after they had unpacked a 300lb shipment of new product. Patty’s face lit up as she showed us half a wheel of a “fluffy monster” cheese (you must say it with an English accent), a Kirkham Lancashire Cheddar. Trudi chimed in and explained that the cheese was made from three different batches of raw dairy curd, making it a light, airy cheddar. Not dense like most, like the ones you find at your grocery store. The cheese artisan rubs this particular cheese exterior with butter instead of wax, not often practiced, to allow the cheese to breathe. I dare say the tiny bits of cheese melted in our mouths. Pure cheese heaven. Looks like my expectations for “good cheese” just changed a bit.
We also tried a creamy blue cheese, which was the best blue cheese I’ve ever eaten in my life, and a Comte cheese. It’s like an elevated gruyere. The women are absolutely joyful as they talk shop. They are honestly in love with their jobs and it shows as they unwrap cheese and meat, greet customers, and pull stock from boxes. Restaurateurs and chefs have discovered their enthusiasm as well. Goat. Sheep. Cow. supplies hard to find product to some of Charleston’s top restaurants including Oak, Social Wine Bar, Fig, Craftsman Tap, Edmund’s Oast…
Trudi and Patty have by far soared past their vision for this little shop. “If you can walk around it in your head, you can do it,” Patty says.
opened for business three years ago, and have since, become quite the popular stop a