Fromage closing shop on Broadway, but business will continue in different format 

March 31, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield 

The very fine cheese and charcuterie shop that has been such a delightful addition to the artisan and artistic shops on Broadway, Fromage is closing its doors today, March 31.

After eight years in the retail cheese business, owner Christine Patton has decided to move on to other cheese adventures.

Still under her business banner Fromage, Ms. Patton is to begin by being part of the new Caledon Farmers Market in Caledon Village from May 20, on Fridays from 3:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m.

“There is where you’ll be able to purchase pre-package cheeses,” she reported. “I’m also [going to] continue to do catering with more cocktail cheeses and charcuterie boards.”

She has made a new connection with Avalon Lavender Farm on Mono Centre Road, which opened last year. Located on the south side of the road with very good signage, the farm has a shop and a great event space in their 1891 Heritage Barn. Come the summer, the lavender farm does tours of the lavender fields for which Ms. Patton will provide picnic boxes. This begins on International Picnic Day June 18-19 and runs for the summer season all the way to late August.

Even more exciting, Ms. Patton is planning four pairing events of her own to be held at the Avalon Lavender Farm. This is a passion for her which has relatively recently bloomed: a passion for matching cheese with either wine or beer.

First of the four is June 9, with a local wine importer who deals with smaller vintners from Europe. Together with Dee and Pierre, co-owners of Violet Hill Wine, they are pairing with the Fromage collection of cheeses and a tasting menu. 

Drew Main and Christine Patton will match their products and knowledge at the next pairing event on September 22, their Octoberfest. Mr. Main is a beer Cicerone, the highest designation in the beer world and holds a Prudhomme beer certification, a sommelier talking about the beer. 

With her love of Canadian cheeses, Ms. Patton’s plans for the third Fromage pairing event is October 20, matching Canadian wines and cheeses.

Getting ready for the end of the year, the date for the fourth event November 24: Entertaining for Christmas, so many options, menus and suggestions. The Heritage Barn at the Avalon Lavender Farm will provide plenty of heat to keep visitors comfortable.

“It is a safe environment, an open space where people can have distance,” Ms. Patton confirmed. “There’s lots of room in order to make people feel very confident.”

Those are highlights of her plans but she was also pleased to tell the Citizen, “I am pursuing private wine and cheese pairing events. I like to bring five wines, cheeses and food pairing. I do these privately; I’ve done showers, anniversaries, birthday parties, using commercial kitchens as needed. The events make a nice change for special occasions – or anytime.”

Happily, she commented, “My customers are excited to hear they’ll be able to buy cheese. I am investigating the idea of a quarterly subscription box with cheese and charcuterie for two, including the drink. This is just peculating in my head. It depends on how everything else falls in place.”

Meanwhile, she is busy with a redo of her website which will be going live in May and will reflect the new way the business is taking.

Speaking honestly about what has primarily incentivized this new take on her business, Ms. Patton admitted, “Covid really exhausted me. I wanted to go into semi-retirement; retail was hard and just wear and tear so that I wasn’t having fun anymore. At first [during Covid] quickly having to do online cheese. We travelled all over to deliver these gift boards but I needed to make sure that my customers felt safe and that Karen and I felt safe. We created new and innovative ideas to assist customers who were [terrified]. But now, I am looking forward to being able to spread my wings and get creative again.”

Fromage has been around for eight years in two different locations. A devoted following of loyal customers, some who have become friends, Christine Patton is so grateful to them for the support they gave during Covid.

She acknowledged, “They came in and ordered big orders which helped to keep me afloat.”

In the first place when she was thinking about opening a store, Ms. Patton saw a niche for a cheese store after leaving the BIA, where she ran the farmers market. In order to do the job right, she went back to George Brown and did a course in food and agriculture. 

She is lactose intolerant yet over the course of the years saying, “I’ve tasted all of the cheeses and I know how to guide my customers. This is definitely a second career.

“Something about cheese – every cheese has a story and I love that.”

The move from her first location on Mill Street to Broadway was good for her. This one benefitted from a lot more weekend traffic, especially when the Blues and Jazz Festival was on, the shop doors were open. On the Sunday afternoons, she had the jazz music playing- it has been fun.

“I expanded the business as best I could and now it’s time to go down a different venue, spreading my wings,” she said. “I am still going to be around and I’ll let people know from my newsletter when I can find time for a pop up somewhere.”

Defining it all, she opined, “We have to enjoy life. It’s not all work; there has to be time for self-care and I am able to do that. Covid has taught us that. Karen is going to continue working for me. We read each other’s minds when we’re coming up with interesting combinations.” 

Watch her website for what is next and find her at Caledon Farmer’s Market from May 20. Fromage website is

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