Formaggio Essex developed out of Ihsan and Valerie Gurdal’s desire to recreate the “market experience” they enjoy so much on their many epicurean journeys. The store’s 225 square foot space is resplendent with beautifully wrapped and bottled jams, honeys, mustards, vinegars, olive oils, and cured meats from small producers around the world. Every single product on the shelf represents a culinary tradition from a specific part of the world. The cheeses are quite possibly the highlight of the store. Many of the cheeses that we select are hand-made and aged by some of the world’s most renowned affineurs, such as Pascal Beillevaire, Marcel Petite, and Giorgio and Giacomo Cravero.
Each year finds us traveling to the far reaches of the planet in search of the world's finest artisan products. We believe in the one-herd farmer in Corsica, the tiny storefront baker in Tuscany and the fifth-generation olive grower in Andalusia, each striving to preserve their traditional methods in a world of mass-produced, industrial food. Our shelves are brimming with products made by individual artisans, each as wonderful as the next: honeys from Sardinia & Piedmont sit aside farmhouse jams from the Pays Basque and the Ardèche, while spicy organic tomato sauce from Liguria neighbors briny Brittan fleur de sel. Marble slabs support cuts of cheese artistically arranged each morning into a "wall": a horizontal stretch running from Great Britain and France, through Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Holland.