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Self-Improvement & Hobbies

Helping customers learn more about cheese

Fromagere Jane Noel helps customers find the right cheese for their party and shares other knowledge about the specialised dish.
January 3, 2013
By: Mint Kang
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Helping customers learn more about cheese

When you are a cuisine specialist at a restaurant, the first thing you absolutely must have before you can even start is an interest in food, said fromagere Jane Noel.

And in a specialty café such as Jones the Grocer, there is a great deal to be interested in. She said: "You need to enjoy food and trying different things. From there, you find a passion for a particular area, and then you go on to developing taste memory and building up taste experience."

Her intimate knowledge of flavours and her understanding of what people tend to like or dislike enable her to help customers discover the taste they genuinely prefer, or to recall a taste they have forgotten; she also educates them on her area of specialty - cheese.

She said: "When a customer comes in and doesn't know anything about cheese and is worried about how it will taste, we educate them, encourage them and find out what they like so we can make the right recommendations.

"It's a whole new experience for them, the wonder of walking into a cheese room and not knowing where to start."

Most of the time, the service aspect of her role entails helping customers select a cheese be served at a party. She also fields a wide range of questions from customers - the kind of wines that go with cheeses, whether there are vegetarian cheese (yes, there are) and cheeses suitable for pregnant women, and so on.

She said: "Cheese is a very specialised food. There is so much for people to discover about it; this is a food that has been made and improved for generations, a food that can be defined by an area, a town or a culture."

She said that it is this chance to continue learning, paired with her own love for food, that keeps her going. It is also what keeps her customers coming back.

Most of them are open to trying different types of cheese; they also love food and are interested in it, she said.

For these cheese lovers, the experience is all about what they have learned. She added: "They are really pleased about having found something new."

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