Saxelby Cheesemongers History and Mission

Saxelby Cheesemongers is New York City's first all-American cheese shop. Saxelby operates a retail shop in the Chelsea Market, ships cheese nationwide via our online store, and sells to some of New York's best chefs and restaurants. 

Our relationships with our cheesemakers are the driving force behind what we do; we aim to know and celebrate the how and why behind each cheese in every season, and share that knowledge with cheese lovers everywhere. Saxelby Cheesemongers is dedicated to supporting sustainable, regenerative agriculture, bolstering rural economies, and ensuring the American artisan cheese revolution continues to thrive and grow. 

Saxelby Cheesemongers was founded by Anne Saxelby in 2006 in the Essex Market on Manhattan's Lower East Side. That first shop (a humble market stall, compared to a phone booth or a postage stamp by ardent customers) measured just over 100 square feet, but its passion and ambition to support the burgeoning American artisan cheese movement was outsized. Soon after opening Saxelby was joined by Benoit Breal, a French expatriate living in New York City whose passion for delicious, handmade food and business acumen were a perfect foil to Saxelby's extensive knowledge of American artisan cheese.

Anne Saxelby and Benoit Breal at their Red Hook cheese cave

Saxelby cut her teeth working behind the cheese counter as a monger at Murray's Cheese and as an apprentice making farmstead cheese at Cato Corner Farm in Connecticut. She traveled to local cheesemakers throughout the northeastern United States and abroad - working with goat cheese makers in the Loire Valley and with affineur Herve Mons in Roanne, France to learn as much as she could about the art of making, aging, and selling cheese.

Anne Saxelby in front of the cheese counter at the original Essex Market shop

The bicycle logo is an image of Saxelby herself, who still bikes to work every day. In the early days of Saxelby Cheesemongers, she would deliver cheese to some of New York's finest restaurants by bike, filling up a large hiking backpack with whatever she could fit inside... (The record was a 5lb bucket of feta with some 5 or so odd pounds of cheese on top!)

Chefs like Dan Barber of Blue Hill, Mike Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, and Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson of Frenchette are Saxelby's partners in crime and champions of the American artisan cheese movement. Their commitment to sourcing superlative ingredients, maintaining close relationships with their purveyors, and supporting small, weird (in a good way), likeminded  businesses has supported Saxelby Cheesemongers throughout the years and have helped to elevate the American artisan cheese movement into the consciousness of cheese lovers across the country.

In 2011 Saxelby Cheesemongers opened their first 'cave' in Red Hook, Brooklyn dedicated to wholesale and mail order operations. In 2017 Saxelby Cheesemongers opened a retail location in the Chelsea Market where they expanded their selection to include domestic craft beer and cider, grilled cheese sandwiches, and cheese trays and platters.

Download a map of our producers to explore Saxelby's family of cheesemakers and farmers across the northeast and midwest.

Saxelby's Chelsea Market shop cut to order cheese case

Follow @saxelbycheese

© 2021 Saxelby Cheesemongers | Art Direction by Alexandra Hammond