Building the Grater Good: Cheese storeowner Jennifer Harvey talks shop

Photo by Kristen Penoyer

A wise man once said, “It ain’t easy being cheesy!” When I received my assignment to write this story on Grater Goods cheese shop, those words ran through my head on repeat. So when I walked into the store for my interview appointment and saw a sticker with that classic line posted, I knew this was a cool place.

Jennifer Harvey, owner of Grater Goods, said she was on her way to Whole Foods to buy a bunch of expensive cheese when she realized there were no cheese shops in Jacksonville.

Photo by Kristen Penoyer

“I love food. I love to cook. I love to entertain. I love to have parties,” she says. “I knew I didn’t want to be in the restaurant business, it’s like 90 hours a week and it’s craziness!”

When she returned home from Whole Foods she typed the phrase “cheese boot camp” into a Google search and Murray’s in New York City popped up. It is a three-day crash course in all things cheese.

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Her location in Murray Hill was chosen by chance. Grater Goods used to be a seafood shop, and her friend owns a children’s shop in the same plaza. Her friend tipped her off on the closing of the seafood shop, and she seized the opportunity. A local wine shop was right next door. What goes with wine? Cheese and charcuterie! It’s like the stars had aligned, and she leased the space.

At the cheese boot camp, she was exposed to a lot of American cheeses, so that became her focus at Grater Goods. “There is so much good American-made cheese being made out there that people don’t see and don’t know about,” she says. It’s Jennifer’s mission to expose people to that greatness ‑ for the Grater Good.

Photo by Kristen Penoyer

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