Water Street market has never been feta!
Gardiner residents Melissa and Greg Gagne, both of whom have backgrounds in the restaurant and hospitality industry, were shopping around with the idea for a multi-dimensional shop when a Google search led them to the Water Street Market storefront, previously occupied by The Cheese Plate.
“We weren’t necessarily looking to buy a cheese shop, but we did want to have a shop that had all of the things we love,” Greg said.
Thus was born “Grazery,” the newest addition to Water Street. The name comes from the term “grazer,” which is commonly used in reference to grass-eating animals like cattle. At Grazery, it takes on many different meanings.
“Grazery kind of incorporated all the things that we are and that people are when they’re here,” Greg said.
The pair officially opened their doors on Aug. 1, only a little over a week after The Cheese Plate’s final day. Aside from a paint job and some general reorganization, this meant that there weren’t too many renovations made to the shop, except for one thing: plants.
“We’re big plant people and growers, and we love plants, but we realized there’s no real boutique kind of plant shops around,” Greg said.
So, the duo came up with the idea to not completely change what locals loved about The Cheese Plate, but reinvent it by housing an ever-changing array of locally grown plants and flowers, all for sale.
Aside from the flower farm operated by the Gagne’s, plants also come from local growers, which is why they’re so well-priced. In terms of selection, Greg explained that they have a wide array of options, ranging from easy-to-manage to more extravagant plants for experts.
“The real goal is to have successful plants,” Greg said. “Apartments, households, things like that.”
Though the plants may catch your eye immediately, your nose will no doubt gravitate towards the awe-inspiring number of fresh cheeses available. Housed behind a deli case, the shop offers a variety of cheeses.
“We still have the cheese, it’s still a cheese shop,” Greg said. “We’ve also been expanding on the cheeses constantly. We’re really working on a domestic kind of focus, small batch forms, but there’s still European and fun stuff.”
Possibly the most exciting aspect of Grazery is the menu, which is constantly changing depending on which local products are available. Everything offered at the shop is locally grown, meaning the offerings will change with the seasons.
While Grazery has plenty of seating options to take in the atmosphere while enjoying your food, they also cater towards those looking to just make a quick stop, with prepackaged sandwiches made daily, along with prepared desserts, salads and other items.
And if dairy lovers aren’t already planning their trip, the shop also has handmade ice cream sourced from Nancy’s Ice Cream in Woodstock, which Greg simply calls “the best place in the world.”
Now, a month after the opening, the couple says that the New Paltz community has welcomed them with open arms, embracing all that they have to offer.
“I don’t think I anticipated people really loving the plants right away,” Melissa said. “But the response to people wanting the plants has been probably 40% of our business which is so incredible and fun, and allows us to buy more plants.”