Gourmet cheeses and camping don’t often go together, but these two entrepreneurs have found a way to give Golden a unique shopping experience at a familiar place.
Joy Guyot and Michelle Nagy-Deak have been operating the Golden Municipal Campground for almost nine years, but late last year they decided to diversify the camp store and reach out to local customers.
Guyot’s ex husband was working in sales at Worldwide Specialty Foods, which gave them opportunity to bring in products you can’t find anywhere else in town. The French Connection Cheese Club was born.
“We’ve been selling cheese ever since, and it’s just getting better and better,” said Nagy-Deak. “We had the grand opening last week, and it was crazy. People were lined up out the door like there was a Harry Potter movie playing or something.”
Aside from a cooler (which keeps getting bigger) of gourmet cheeses including everything from brie and aged cheddar, to a large variety of flavoured creations, The French Connection Cheese Club also carries fine foods like mint and jalapeno jellies, French bread, crackers, and meats.
And although there is some initial confusion when you see fancy cheese at a camp store, the idea is really catching on.
“The locals are really excited to come in. We offer things that you can’t get in the grocery store, we like to bring in different things,” said Nagy-Deak.
If you’re not sure what you want when faced with a wall of cheeses you’ve never seen before…no problem. At the French Connection Cheese Club, you can test anything you like before making a purchase.
“Anybody can come in and taste any time. But now that we have memberships, there are member discounts, and member-only tastings, and we will do wine parings with them as well,” said Guyot.
Memberships can be purchased at the store, and members will receive updates about upcoming tastings.
The shop has grown tremendously in its few short months, but Guyot and Nagy-Deak have visions of it growing even more. The pair have four years left on their contract as campground operators, but their ideal spot for the cheese club would be a downtown location, where they could expand into a wine bar and serve the cheese on location as well as selling the product.
To learn more about Golden’s newest cheese hot spot, find The French Connection Cheese Club on Facebook.