The Bi-Rite Petit Brie Has Arrived
Unveiling our first Bi-Rite cheese product collaboration.
We sat down with Jon Fancey, Bi-Rite’s cheese buyer, to learn how this exciting product collaboration came to fruition, and what to expect in this new cheese.
Bi-Rite has a long-established product collaboration program, including wine, and also grocery staples like marinara sauce and chocolate. What is unique about Bi-Rite’s product collaboration program, and why now cheese?
The program at Bi-Rite is unique because we treat it as a true product collaboration with a celebrated maker. It’s not just about putting our logo on the label; highlighting the people and process behind a product that we offer is really important. For cheese, since I joined Bi-Rite five years ago, it’s been an exciting idea. I’ve just been waiting for the right opportunity to present itself, and when Fromagerie Gillot came along I knew now was the right time.
Tell us about how the relationship with Fromagerie Gillot started. What makes them the perfect partner for this project?
Interestingly enough, I first tasted cheese from Fromagerie Gillot [Editor’s note: which is in France] while I was in Berlin. I had tried their Coulommier cheese and thought, “wow this is delicious.” They’re one of the few organic Camembert producers out of Normandy, and the quality is unparalleled, so they stayed on my radar. We’ve since brought their Camembert cheese to the Markets, and have enjoyed a wonderful partnership. Bloomy rind cheeses (including Brie and Camembert) are especially popular with our guests, and those are Fromagerie Gillot’s specialties, so when it came to picking a partner for Bi-Rite’s first cheese collaborations, I knew it had to be Fromagerie Gillot.
What makes Fromagerie Gillot’s cheeses so special?
I find it important to support European producers that have created a legacy and are at the forefront of preserving heritage. Fromagerie Gillot is doing just that in Normandy, a region in France which has its own unique culture—one deeply linked to dairy, cheese, and butter. Founded in 1912, today the dairy is run by the Flechard family, who have perfected the craft of producing traditional raw milk Norman cheese. They work directly with local dairy farmers, collecting over 50 million liters of milk per year from small family-run farms. By partnering with Fromagerie Gillot we’re not only supporting this small producer, we’re supporting the region of Normandy, which is directly in line with our Product Mission. They’re focused not only on creating an exceptional tasting cheese, but also on preserving French gastronomic heritage in France and abroad.
How would you describe the Bi-Rite Petit Brie? What are your favorite ways to enjoy it?
I make sure that every cheese at Bi-Rite Markets delivers on quality, consistency, and taste, whether you’re buying a piece of Manchego or some locally-made goat cheese. The Bi-Rite Petit Brie meets all of these standards and is an overall crowd pleaser. It pairs well with any of the Bi-Rite Wines, but especially well with the Bi-Rite Cuvée Riesling. Add some fresh bread and seasonal fruit, such as berries or stone fruit, to round things out nicely. You really can’t go wrong with this cheese!