You Want Cheese? He Has Cheese

Specialty shop opens on Main Street in Cold Spring

By Alison Rooney

The resumé of a cheesemonger might naturally include time on a dairy farm or apprenticing at an urban cheese emporium.

A far more unlikely C.V. would include extensive experience in the creation of popular audience-participation theatrical experiences such as Escape This Room (in 18 cities) and This is Real.

Then again, there aren’t all that many cheesemongers, so there’s room for Timothy Haskell, a graduate of New York University’s theater school who is leaving his career in horror simulation for the confines of the Cold Spring Cheese Shop at 104 Main St., which opened July 21.

Timothy Haskell, cheesemonger (Photo by Michael Turton)

“My personal passion has been cheese shops,” Haskell explains. “Wherever I travel, I seek them out, and practically every midsized town has one. I’ve spent my weekends in search of cheese.”

A move to Cold Spring from Brooklyn with his wife, Rebecca Ramirez, who works in economic development, and their two sons, ages 3 and 13, got him thinking about his passion being surrounded by four walls.

The cheese shop at 104 Main St. (Photo by A. Rooney)

“I kept thinking about how much I love creating experiences,” he says, “and the idea of coming up with a tactile, tangible experience in the form of a cheese shop, took hold.”

After leasing the former Fountain Square Antiques space, Haskell renovated it with the ethos of a 1950s soda shop, with a black-and-white patterned tile floor and picnic items such as hampers, cutting boards and blankets.

The cheeses are mostly local to the Hudson Valley or New York state, although he also carries imports from Italy and France. “I’ve found dozens of purveyors,” he says. “They’re largely people who want to make delicious things for other people, rather than larger businesses.”

Haskell has a catering menu of platters and notes the shop is large enough to host private parties. He envisions workshops, classes and tastings, perhaps in partnership with other Cold Spring retailers.

“From June to November I’m hoping to do well by visitors, but I want residents to feel welcome all throughout the year,” Haskell says. “There’s going to be a full schedule of things going on.”

Initially Cold Spring Cheese is open Wednesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. See coldspringcheeseshop.com or call 845-666-7373.

More Specialty Shops

Hudson Valley Marshmallow
217 Main St., Beacon

Village Jerk (jerky)
380 Main St., Beacon

The Blue Olive (olive oil)
125 Main St., Cold Spring

Scarborough Fare (olive oil)
257 Main St., Beacon

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3 Responses to "You Want Cheese? He Has Cheese"

  1. Kelly House
    Kelly House   July 27, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Timothy Haskell, I, too, graduated from NYU — but Dept. of Drama in 1978 — and then became a professional calligrapher, LOL. Congratulations in your life coming full circle — whatever that means — and welcome to Cold Spring.

  2. Megan Cotter
    Megan Cotter   July 27, 2018 at 9:02 pm

    Looking forward to shopping here, but want to know why are you only open till 4 p.m. during the week? As a local resident, I might want cheese after 4 p.m.

  3. Patty Villanova   July 31, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Haskell and his family. It looks like the cheese shop is going to be a big success, judging by traffic in the first few days. They did a magnificent job of renovating the space, turning it into an airy, attractive and welcoming venue. Good luck and hope you do very well in your new business.