By Natalie Shaver
Cheese and wine are the specialties at this friendly, neighborhood business, built in and for the East Lakeview community.
Based on the marketing principles of TLC : tasting, learning and converting, Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine is a place to sample and learn to love cheese, bread and wine.
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine offers customers domestic and international cheeses, hand crafted beers, wines and fresh bread. The European-inspired wine and cheese shop opened in the East Lakeview neighborhood in August of 2004.
Greg O’Neill, co-owner of Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine, with Ken Miller, explains that as they established the store, the two partners got involved in local events and initiatives.
“We started a business in a neighborhood that we live in,” said O’Neill. From the start, the partners found the East Lakeview neighborhood supportive of local, independent businesses.
Marketing is a challenge for independent businesses so it’s important to use the resources they have, O’Neill said. Small businesses should use social media and newsletters to get their names out there, and beyond that, O’Neill said that using the word of mouth to market the store helped create a community buzz about the store.
“We wanted to become a destination,” O’Neill said, “We’ve been fortunate enough. People make it a point to come and visit us.”
“This neighborhood is what the business was originally designed for,” O’Neill said.
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine has been recognized nationally and was named National Specialty Food Retailer of the Year in 2007, only one of five businesses in the country to receive the title according to O’Neill.
“We were the smallest retailer and the youngest retailer ever to receive that honor,” he continued. “We got it based on our neighborhood-based concept. “
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine is a cheese shop first, and all of the other products are sold in the context of cheese. Beers, wine and breads are just some of the products they sell that go well with cheese, commented O’Neill.
“We help you come out with a whole bunch of things that go well together,” O’Neill said.
There is something for everyone at events sponsored by Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine because they combine culinary learning opportunities and a social atmosphere. They offer wine and cheese classes ranging from beginning to advanced skill levels.
“Sometimes they are fun and whimsical,” O’Neill said, “Other times they are more educational.”
Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine features a catering menu with a variety of salad and sandwich options. With the holiday around the corner, check out the gift baskets they offer. See Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine online at www.pastoralartisan.com.