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American cheese is no longer the easy punch line for “singles” sold in individual plastic wrapping, they are now worthy world competitors. Lucy’s Whey in East Hampton, Long Island and Chelsea Market in New York City, focuses solely on small batch American artisanal cheeses. The cheeses they offer are all made by hand, are of limited supply and shipped directly to Lucy’s Whey.

Amy Thompson worked with Murray’s Cheese Shop, Basis Farm to Chef, and Saxelby Cheese before becoming the cheesemonger for Lucy’s Whey.

Why American Cheeses?

Artisanal producers are making names for themselves with farm-fresh, small batch products. Lucy’s Whey’s mission is to support American craftspeople. Their cheeses come from all over America. Some of the names are similar to European cheeses, but that is to help the buyer with a point of reference.

Why a Specialty Store?

Stopping into small independent shops like Lucy’s Whey allows you to have a dialogue with the cheesemonger,and therefore, guidance from a trusted source. They can help you hone in on your specific tastes and walk you through choices, amounts, and pairings. It also gives you the chance to taste before you buy. Just be willing to provide feedback to your cheesemonger to help further guide picking your cheese. It’s not a buffet after all.

Some Of Amy’s Favorite American Cheeses

Meadow Creek Dairy’s Grayson

A nutty, sweet butterscotch, slightly pungent semi-soft cheese. Amy calls it the “stinker” in the cheese case due to its pungent aroma. It’s from a family farm in the mountains of southwest Virginia, which uses no herbicides or pesticides, feeding the herds only with grass.

Wisconsin Sheep Dairy Co-op Dante

Rich and nutty, made with sheep’s milk and similar to Manchego.  The cheese is seasonally produced from grazing ewes, with no production hormones.

Narragansett Creamery Queso Blanco

Fresh and plain, and better known as farmers’ cheese. It’s often used in tacos or baked in lasagna. The cheese maker spent years learning the craft from experts in Tuscany, New York and Maine, but her dream was to use milk only from Rhode Island farms.

Dunbarton Blue

A raw cow’s milk, cheddar blue-vein from Roelli Cheese in Shullsburg, Wisconsin. This cheese is hand-made and cave aged.

Shelf Life of Cheese

Hand-produced cheeses are in a completely different league than their pre-packaged counterparts in taste and consistency. They might not last a lifetime, like some of the grocery store options, but the taste is so much more superior.

Ask Amy for her advice on storing cheese and she suggests you buy only the amount you need, and finish what you have. But, if you have some cheese left over:

1. Wrap the unused cheese in the paper you bought it in (best if 2-ply paper), so that it can breathe.

2. Try to avoid using cling-wrap, since it tends to inhibit the breathing, causing the cheese to lose moisture and get a dry, woody feel.

For serving:

- Serve all cheeses at room temperature.

- Don’t buy a cheese and wait two weeks to eat it; it’s much better if it’s eaten right away.

- Refrigerate, if you don’t plan on eating the cheese within the next 2-3 hours.

- If you do refrigerate, take it out 2-3 hours before serving.

Not Just Cheese

Lucy’s Whey also sells other artisanal, homegrown products such as crackers, preserves, jams, oils, vinegars, honey, and crostini, all American made. During the lunch, they offer panini for take-out, often made with other Chelsea Market stores ingredients, such as Dickson’s Farmstand Meats.

Amy can also help you with customized cheese plates and platters for a dinner party, meeting, or a special event.


Details of Amy Thompson’s recommendations for restaurant cheese programs and cheese reference books.

City Guides

- New York City | Manhattan: Download

- New York City | Brooklyn: Download


Multiple Locations
Specialty Cheese Shop

Chelsea Market
425 West 15th Street
New York, NY 10011
T: 212.463.9500

East Hampton
80 North Main Street
East Hampton, NY 11937
T: 631.324.4428

Website & Blog:

Mon: closed
Tue - Sat: 12pm - 8pm
Sun: 11am - 7pm


Photographs courtesy Lucy’s Whey | Find. Eat. Drink. | Lucy’s Whey

Recommended By

- Brooklyn Slate Company


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The Cheese Plate

Brooklyn Slate Board

Sourced from their family quarry in upstate New York, the boards provide a natural surface for serving cheeses and hors d'oeuvres.

Also available from Lucy’s Whey.


Virginia Chutney Company | Cranberry Chutney

Pair it with cheeses like cheddar, Stilton and Roquefort.