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Petite Gourmet


Al Dente
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I was walking along 7th St past Eastern Market yesterday and noticed a new shop next to Tunnicliff's call Petite Gourmet. A peek in the window revealed a few shelves with oils, vinegars, and so forth, along with a deli case with some cheeses.

Anyone know anything about it? It wasn't open yet, but it looked like they would be soon.

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This joint is open now. They don't have a ton to offer at this point, but they still have a some floor space to fill up. They had a number of cheeses including Epoisses and Taleggio. There was Prosciutto, various butters and creams, along with a small selection of bread and baked desserts. I don't anticipate it being a foodie mecca, but if you're at Eastern Market, it could be worth it to drop in.

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How are the cheeses being kept and sold?  Pre-wrapped chunks like a supermarket or cut to order?  What did the prices look like?  Particularly for the epoisses.

Most of them were cut to order. I don't think they had many prices on display, but the prosciutto di parma was 18.99/lb, which if fairly reasonable. It certainly wasn't Cheesetique, but it might be a welcome addition to the hood once they get stocked up.

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Most of them were cut to order. I don't think they had many prices on display, but the prosciutto di parma was 18.99/lb, which if fairly reasonable. It certainly wasn't Cheesetique, but it might be a welcome addition to the hood once they get stocked up.

I'd like to see them give the cheese guy at Eastern Market some competition. Every time you ask for something out of the ordinary he looks at you like you're from Mars. Last time I was there he was cutting some Roquefort with some skanky-ass knife, which he then messily wiped with his fingers before using it to cut some paté. So the lucky customer got a slice of paté garnished with a viscous ribbon of blue. Yum.

Edited by Banco
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I stopped in this morning and they have tough road ahead of them. The place had that "we just opened and can't afford to stock our store look". It appears that they are also selling sandwiches and soup. They have a long way to go before they can compete with other businesses around them. Hopefully they will get there.

Banco-your comment about the cheese guy at Eastern Market is ironic. One of the owners of Petite Gourmet is Nessa, the Eastern Euroopean woman who used to work for the cheese guy. I have a feeling he is tired of telling people she left and opened her own place across the street. Even for him he was cranky.

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Banco-your comment about the cheese guy at Eastern Market is ironic.  One of the owners of Petite Gourmet is Nessa, the Eastern Euroopean woman who used to work for the cheese guy.  I have a feeling he is tired of telling people she left and opened her own place across the street.  Even for him he was cranky.

Interesting! I always liked Nessa (though I didn't know her name until now), and I always thought she actually knew something about cheese. I'm glad to hear she's branched out, and hope her new place is successful. I still have to stop by.

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Interesting! I always liked Nessa (though I didn't know her name until now), and I always thought she actually knew something about cheese. I'm glad to hear she's branched out, and hope her new place is successful. I still have to stop by.

Actually this is an interesting string. Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Mike Bowers, and my family has owned and operated the cheese shop at Eastern Market since 1964. My grandfather was the originaly "cheeseman." I am usually at the shop on Saturdays, so if you have a chance to stop in, please do so, I would love to meet you and give some samples of what’s new that week.

In our inventory, we usually keep about 250 varieties of cheese, and rotate the selection a bit to keep it interesting. This month for example, if you are into fondue's we have in stock Vacherin Fribourgeois, which is an incredible raw milk cheese from Switzerland. On the other end of the spectrum, for our buddies from Wisconsin we have "cheese curds." They come vacuum packed, and if you a beer lover and you are having a causual Superbowl party, this is definely something you would want to consider, paricularly the hot pepper or cajun seasoned curds.

Now just to set the record straight, the older fellow you have been referring to is not the owner, but a long time, trusted good friend, of my family. His name is Jack. Yes, he can be a bit cranky, but believe me, he does know his cheeses. He has the Customer’s he has been working with for years, and they all love his candor and character. I have known Jack personally about 25 years (or so), and we always have a great time working together. It is interesting and ironic, Jack actually helped train the eastern european gal you were referring to at Petite Gourmet, "Tessa."

Tessa had worked at our shop for about 15 years. She has gone into business with another previous employee of our’s, Phyllis and another gal (3 Partners in total). We all remain good friends, and in fact, I just stopped by their shop yesterday when I was attending to some management meetings for the market.

As for competition on the Hill, over the years, Eastern Market (our cheese shop included has created ample business on the hill), and it continues to grow. And while yes, Petite Gourmet will be focusing their sales on a selection of cheeses and other items (they have some awesome Polish Sausage) we do wish Tessa and her partners the very best. Personally, I am hopeful these types of shops will be a draw to bring more business to the 7th Street corridor outside the normal growth we have received. We would like nothing more than the entire area to continue to develop and make this section of town the “mecca” for incredible food!

Anyway, it is a pleasure meeting you, even in cyberspace. If you have any questions, or if you are looking for any particular types of cheeses, please let me know, I will see what I can do to get them in for you. Kind Regards!

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As for competition on the Hill, over the years, Eastern Market (our cheese shop included has created ample business on the hill), and it continues to grow.  And while yes, Petite Gourmet will be focusing their sales on a selection of cheeses and other items (they have some awesome Polish Sausage) we do wish Tessa and her partners the very best.  Personally, I am hopeful these types of shops will be a draw to bring more business to the 7th Street corridor outside the normal growth we have received.  We would like nothing more than the entire area to continue to develop and make this section of town the “mecca” for incredible food! 

Anyway, it is a pleasure meeting you, even in cyberspace. If you have any questions, or if you are looking for any particular types of cheeses, please let me know, I will see what I can do to get them in for you.  Kind Regards!

Welcome to our (mostly) merry band and thank you for the information.

When "Mystery Books" opened in Dupont, joining Olsson's and Crown Books, I asked the proprietors if they were worried about the competition. No, was the answer. As counterintuitive as it seemed to me, rather than each business getting a smaller slice of the pie, the pie got BIGGER. I hope the same dynamic is at work on Cap Hill.

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