Meet Jessica Galen of Bloomy Cheese & Provisions
We love entrepreneur stories, especially local ones. Enter Bloomy Cheese & Provisions, a pop-up to a brick-and-mortar cheese shop/community started by mom of two and entrepreneur Jessica Galen. As the former head of communications at Stone Barns Center, Jessica got the itch to go back to work after her son was born, and along with the encouragement and support of the community, she dipped into the world of cheese. This started with pop-ups at HudCo, with a brick-and-mortar shop (former location in Campbell Meats) opening in mid-November. Read more about her journey and what to expect at Bloomy.
Westchester Family: How did the idea for Bloomy Cheese & Provisions come about?
Jessica Galen: I first started working in cheese a decade ago, when I was a Masters student in Food Studies at NYU. I was living in New Haven at the time and I was lucky enough to work at both Caseus Cheese Shop, a wonderful little shop with many American artisan cheeses, and also Cato Corner Farmstead Creamery, a raw farmstead cheesemaker. These two experiences transformed what was a love of cheese into a professional passion–I came to understand the incredible work and dedication it takes to bring small-scale cheeses to market, and I was hooked. I later ended up as the General Manager of Lucy’s Whey, which was then the Upper East Side’s largest cheese shop.
After graduating from NYU and having my first child, I took some time away from working directly with cheese. I was the head of communications at Stone Barns Center in Tarrytown for four years, and was able to continue building on my knowledge of sustainable agriculture and the challenges of preserving independent farming there. I got the itch to get back into that work, and realized that the time had come for me to open my own shop.
I was cheered on by so many in my Dobbs Ferry community and also in the cheese world. I feel particularly grateful that in my first few months with Bloomy I was in close touch with Anne Saxelby, a legendary force in supporting America artisan cheese, who was a constant source of inspiration and encouragement to me and who died tragically in late 2021.
Westchester Family: How did you initially start your business?
Jessica Galen: I wanted to dip my toe back in so I started with a few pop ups, including at HudCo, a stunning coworking and event space in Dobbs Ferry. The more time I spent with cheese, the more I knew there was no turning back, and I asked the folks at HudCo if they would be open to having Bloomy as a pop up in residence, which is a model they had already begun with the independent bookstore Picture Book (another amazing mom-owned business inside HudCo). I opened the pop up last November, and it has been such a fun and educational experience as I have continued to refine my plans for Bloomy.
Westchester Family: Tell us more about some of the cheeses you offer and what are your favorites?
Jessica Galen: At the moment my cheeses are mostly American, and I love to offer as diverse a variety of fine American cheeses as possible. Coming out of the summer months I still have wonderful soft-ripened goat cheeses on my mind, such as La Petite Tomme from Lazy Lady Farm in Vermont and Crottina from Blue Ledge Farm, also in Vermont. The traditional-style aged Gouda from Jake’s Gouda in New York is always a hit with Bloomy regulars.
Westchester Family:You just announced that you will be opening a shop in the fall. How did this all come about? Can you share anything about the shop?
Jessica Galen: Moving into this location feels like it was meant to be. It used to be Campbell Meats, which was a favorite spot of Dobbs Ferry residents until it closed at the beginning of the pandemic.
My friends Erika and Jocelyn of the Butcher Girls were in the space for most of the past two years while they built out their amazing direct-to-consumer butchery business, and as they began to plan their move to a larger facility. We started chatting about what a great fit 3 Cedar Street could be for my vision. The longer I spent with the idea, the more inevitable it began to feel.
I think those who remember Campbell’s will be surprised by the changes I’m making–the space will be a lot more open and flexible, able to host events and classes in addition to daily shopping. There will also be a bar with a few seats for a glass of wine and a cheese plate!
Westchester Family: Any advice for other Westchester entrepreneurs and/or share something you learned during this journey?
Jessica Galen: Just get started! You don’t have to launch with your perfect concept or everything completely figured out. I learned so much from the setbacks that came my way over the past year.
My business is infinitely better for the education I’ve received. Also, it is important to collaborate! There are so may wonderful entrepreneurs in our area. Everyone has been so generous with sharing resources, doing joint events, and offering guidance.
Westchester Family: Anything else to add?
Jessica Galen: Folks who are interested to join me in this effort can support my iFundWomen campaign and get fantastic and very cheesy rewards. I’m so grateful to the 100+ folks who have supported already! You can check out more here: ifundwomen.com/projects/brick-and-mortar-bloomy-cheese-provisions.
Bloomy Cheese & Provisions Details
145 Palisade Street, Suite 200 (Hudco)
Dobbs Ferry, New York 10522
Open from Monday-Friday from 9:00am-6:00pm