A long-awaited cure for cheese cravings

photo by Jefferson Dodge

Boulder´s craving for a cheese shop will finally be satisfied on Saturday, Aug. 20, with the opening of Cured at 19th and Pearl streets.

While Cured is mainly based around cheese, the shop will offer a variety of other delicacies, including wine, meats, produce, freshly baked breads and other products aimed at bringing joy to the palate.

Cured is co-owned by Will Frischkorn and Coral Ferguson, a soon-to-be-married pair whose passion for their project is evident. Their descriptions of the lavender- and coffee-rubbed cheddar-style cheese they will be serving in their shop and the prosciutto they will be slicing from one of the five legs of meat hanging behind their cheese bar are mouthwatering.

Frischkorn and Ferguson draw their inspiration from the years they spent living in Spain.

“We got used to a certain way of shopping,” says Ferguson. “Daily rounds to the local markets, developing a repertoire with the people in the shops, finding a personal connection to food. We’re trying to bring that culture here.”

“Often you go to a restaurant and have a great meal, but struggle to find the ingredients to make something similar at home,” adds Frischkorn. “We want to provide people the place to find those.”

After months of planning, tasting and driving 10,000 miles across the country to find the best cheese makers and mongers, Frischkorn and Ferguson are anxious to reveal the products they have chosen.

More than 80 percent of the meats and cheeses are American, and many of the cheeses are not currently available in Colorado. Some, like those from a small farm on Vashon Island, Wash., are not available beyond their local farmers’ markets.

The most frequently used words by Frischkorn and Ferguson when describing the offerings at Cured are “fun,” “exciting” and “value-oriented.”

The wine selection is certainly exciting and value-oriented, with 60 selections under $30 and 45 selections under $20, all chosen by Frischkorn and Ferguson with taste and pairing potentials in mind. Using this base of carefully selected wines, the couple plans to offer wine, cheese and pairing classes several times a month.

“We want to make a huge push towards education,” says Ferguson. “We want the classes to be engaging, to teach people the fun parts of eating.”

Frischkorn and Ferguson have also made an effort to bring Colorado talent into their shop. All beers and spirits offered at Cured are from Colorado distilleries and breweries, like Avery and Upslope.

One of the more engaging ideas coming out of the shop is the completely compostable picnic box. The boxes will be filled with cheese, meat, greens and a bottle of wine, all selected for their complementary flavors. Crayons will also be included, so that customers can decorate the color-by-number pictures displayed on each box. Customers will be able to pick a pre-made box, fill an empty one with their own choices, or choose an empty box with a Cured gift card for an interactive present.

The creativity behind the idea extends beyond the food at Cured. The branding, design and website creation for Cured were completed by Ferguson, who has a background in graphic design. The hardwood floors in the shop were laid, sanded and polished by Frischkorn. Finally, every single card, tag and branded item was hand-stamped by Frischkorn and Ferguson — a tedious task, but one that adds a touch of care and attention to the space.

The shop will also include a small bar with limited seating where patrons can enjoy fresh meats and cheeses while perusing a collection of books. The books will follow the themes of cheese, wine and meats, but will also feature works that resonate with the couple.

Visitors to Cured will also have a chance to stop by Boxcar Roasters, a local coffee-roasting company sharing the space. Boxcar patrons can try the coffee roasted on site and buy their favorite beans, leaving with an education on how to brew them for the best taste. The owners of the two establishments are also considering doing coffee and cheese pairings in the future.

The careful selection of cheeses, wines and accoutrements, such as preserves, vinegars, salts and pickles, have given the couple an extensive knowledge of their products, which helps customers identify perfectly paired foods and drink.

“We want to develop a relationship with the neighborhood,” says Frischkorn. “It’s great walking into a shop and buying food from a friendly face, a person you know.”

And, as Ferguson likes to say, “Cheese is gluten-free!” For more information, visit the Cured website at www.curedboulder.com Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com