By Krista Pfunder
A passion for cheese brought them together. Soon a South County couple will be sharing that affection with Calvert County by opening a new storefront.
“We fell in love with the space the first time we saw it and cannot wait for everyone to see what we know it will be following construction,” says Megan Vaughan, who owns and operates Vaughan Cheese with her husband, Tyler out of their Lothian home.
The Vaughans picked North Beach as the spot to open the company’s first physical location. Located on 7th Street, customers can dine in at the shop or take their food to go and enjoy it on North Beach’s nearby boardwalk or beach. Vaughan Cheese Counter & Bar will serve more than 75 American artisan cheeses cut to order as well as sandwiches, salads, charcuterie, wine and beer.
Vaughan Cheese has already been a staple at the farmers market in North Beach and is found on the menu in restaurants in and around Washington, DC, including Le Diplomate, Cafe Riggs, Iron Gate and The Wing Georgetown.
“It’s fun seeing customers who tell us where they first tried one of our cheeses,” Megan says. “By working directly with farmers, we get to know their stories, their families, their animals and what inspires them to make delicious cheese.”
The term artisan refers to cheeses produced by hand using the traditional craftsmanship of cheesemakers. The cheeses are often more complex in taste and variety than those mass-produced.
“We work directly with the passionate farmers and cheesemakers at over 40 different small farms,” Megan says. “From grass and field management to beautiful milking parlors, these farmers are passionate about their animals. Raising happy cows, goats and sheep to make high quality milk is their love.”
For those who want to go more in-depth about what the shop carries, the Vaughans are happy to share their knowledge.
“We will offer classes to learn all about cheese, the cheesemaking process, pairings and lots more in our physical classroom,” Megan says.
Megan and Tyler met while studying at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. After graduating, Megan oversaw the cheese program at a New York City restaurant and Tyler ran restaurants for a hospitality group where he was able to work with people passionate about what they did.
The two saw the perfect pairing: Megan’s love of cheese and Tyler’s appreciation of passionate cheesemakers.
“We began Vaughan Cheese by curating and serving focused cheese plates for groups excited to eat and learn about cheese,” Megan says. “It grew to be a cheese retail shop and wholesale business bringing American artisan and farmstead cheeses and accompaniments to people who love to eat delicious cheese.”
Vaughan Cheese currently sells cheeses and accompaniments through their virtual store at www.vaughancheese.com and will continue to operate the site, even after the new store front opens.
“The website is a great way for people outside of North Beach and the surrounding communities to get their cheese fix as we ship throughout the continental United States,” Megan says.
They’re aiming to open the North Beach shop in early December, just in time for the holidays.