Anne Therese Saxelby (March 25, 1981 – October 9, 2021) was an American artisanal cheese maker and cheesemonger. She was the founder of Saxelby Cheesemongers, the first shop dedicated to American artisanal cheeses in New York City. She was a major figure in the growth and promotion of the American artisanal cheese industry.
|Born||March 25, 1981|
Dayton, Ohio US
|Died||October 9, 2021 (aged 40)|
Brooklyn, New York, US
Early life and educationEdit
Born to Bill Saxelby and Pam Reesman, an entrepreneur and children's book author, respectively, on March 25, 1981, Saxelby was born in Dayton, Ohio, and raised in Libertyville, Illinois, and attended Libertyville High School. While having an interest in cheese, there was little her parents knew about the subject, but Saxelby herself wrote a high school thesis on the processes of decay and fermentation of foods. She, however, would go on to attend a studio art program at New York University starting in 1999 after moving to New York City.
After completing her degree, she obtained a job working in cheese production at Cato Corner Farm in 2003. Then she started working in a cheese shop called Murray's Cheese and learned how to produce and sell cheese. Her education in cheese making continued with an internship in Paris under affineur Hervé Mons. Mons sent her to work at various farms throughout France and Italy so she could learn about other cheeses as well, including goat's cheese and sheep's cheese. Returning in order to show that Americans could also make competitive cheese, she opened her first shop titled Saxelby Cheesemongers on May 5, 2006. Saxelby set up her stall in the Essex Market and focused on supplying cheeses only made by small American cheesemakers from the northeast US.
During the beginnings of the shop stall, Saxelby was the only employee and had to deliver ordered cheese by bike to locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. The stall was only large enough to hold a temperature controlled refrigerator and Saxelby began by only selling 30 kinds of cheeses from local farmsteads. An additional, larger shop was set up in Chelsea Market in 2017. In order to house the growing amount of cheese supplies, Saxelby bought a warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn alongside business partner Benoit Breal. The original Essex Market location was closed in 2019 after the closing of the market building and the creation of a replacement market at Essex Crossing that she decided not to move to.
Saxelby was well known for assisting local farms and other cheesemakers in gaining other business options and expanding the cheese market in the region. This included assisting in cheese decisions for restaurants in the area that wanted to add artisanal cheeses to their recipes. A total of 173 restaurants in the New York area were a part of her retail business in supplying cheese and offering assistance in cheese menus. She also acted as a representative for the Essex Street Market Vendor Association against poor management of the vendor businesses and the lack of sanitation and promotion of vendors by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Her book, The New Rules of Cheese, was published in October 2020 that covers the process of cheesemaking and the using of cheese in life.
Awards and honorsEdit
In 2011, Saxelby and her store was awarded the Small Business of the Year title for Manhattan.
Saxelby married the owner of Heritage Foods USA, Patrick Martins, in 2012 after originally meeting him at Roberta's in 2009. Together, they had three children, a son and two daughters. Saxelby died on October 9, 2021, due to a heart condition.
- Fabricant, Florence (October 11, 2021). "Anne Saxelby, Who Championed Fine American Cheeses, Dies at 40". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- Ziemer, Tracy (October 12, 2021). "Legendary cheesemonger Anne Saxelby dies at age 40". Times Union. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- Halwell, Brian (June 16, 2012). "Anne Saxelby, Dairy Queen". Edible Brooklyn. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
- Gardner Jr., Ralph (December 19, 2010). "An Essential Cheesemonger". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
- Halwell, Brian (March 6, 2012). "Anne Saxelby, Dairy Queen: Bringing American Cheese to America". Edible Manhattan. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
- Steinman, Eric (September 29, 2008). "The Cheesemonger". Bon Appétit. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
- Wolfe, Anna (September 2006). "All-American Cheese Shop Hits Essex Street". Gourmet. 71 (9). pp. 12, 14 – via ProQuest.
- Miller, Laurel (March 11, 2016). "Voicings: Anne Saxelby". Culture Magazine. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
- Fabricant, Florence (May 10, 2006). "Downtown, Let There Be Cheese". The New York Times – via ProQuest.
- Crowley, Chris (October 12, 2021). "Anne Saxelby Made New York a Better Place to Eat". Grub Street. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- Orlow, Emma (October 12, 2021). "Anne Saxelby, Who Helped Redefine America's Independent Cheese Industry, Dies at 40". Eater. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- Witchel, Alex (July 26, 2011). "Making New Yorkers Say Cheese, Smile or No". The New York Times. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
- Perler, Elie (October 19, 2015). "CB3 Backs Proposal for New Management at Struggling Essex Street Market". Bowery Boogie. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
- Sytsma, Alan, ed. (August 28, 2020). "Anne Saxelby Always Wants Two Breakfasts". Grub Street. Retrieved October 14, 2021.
- "Slow Trip to the Altar for Saxelby and Martins". The New York Times. January 11, 2011 – via ProQuest.
- Fabricant, Florence (October 26, 2020). "For a Cheese Lover, Two New Books". The New York Times. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
- Saxelby, Anne (October 23, 2020). "Saxelby Guide to Cheese". WNYC (Interview). Interviewed by Alison Stewart. New York Public Radio. Retrieved October 14, 2021.