May 19, 2016

Ich&Kar Opens French Cheese Board, a New Concept Store in Nolita

Located just down the street from McNally Jackson Books along a quiet stretch of Spring St., French Cheese Board has opened, a concept store in a corner of town that has always bubbled with retail experiments. Helena Ichbiah, one half of Ich&Kar, the French design duo who created the store, was quick to assure that the concept was not just about selling—she wants guests to take their time and enjoy an authentic experience of the culture from the moment they enter.

She has arranged the store with this vision in mind, and the space’s monochromatic color scheme is interrupted by some playful choices: large stretches of the walls are magnetic, allowing the curious to take down diagrams for how to cut cheese or rearrange the localities from which the dairy is sourced. Trunk and library refrigerators show off the current selection up front and is paired with a curated set of tableware for serving and slicing. Hanging oak shelving holds a small library for those dedicated advancing their knowledge of all things cheese, while an extensive infographic dominates the back wall, outlining the variety of production processes all the way from cow to table. The back half of the shop also hosts a dining table and kitchen for tasting events and workshops.

Taken together, the store is minimalist yet friendly and arranged to educate: not harshly, or pretentiously, but with enthusiasm. It dares you to see the vastness contained in an excellent cut of cheese and to send you home with perhaps a newfound appreciation of its art.

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