your cheese mongers. ready to spread the knowledge.
Richard & Danielle Sutton
Richard and Danielle Sutton’s interest in cheese began as a children when they both, separately, visited Europe with their parents. However, on the way to becoming New Orleans’ premier cheesemongers, they were waylaid into banking and public relations. On a whim, and with Danielle’s fresh British passport in hand, they moved to London in 2002 to see what adventures would find them. What found both of them was Paxton & Whitfield, the over 200-year-old cheese shop in the St. James neighborhood, and supplier of cheese to the royal household and Parliament. And so began Richard and Danielle’s transition from bored banker and PR executive to passionate cheesemongers. Living in London and working at Paxton’s allowed Richard access to the great cheese makers and affineurs of Europe and a wealth of knowledge and training about cheese. In 2006, Richard and Danielle decided to move back to the US and open their own cheese business. Having met in New Orleans while in college at Tulane, hailing originally from Wilmington, Delaware and Tallahassee, FL, and having enormous fondness for the city and Gulf Coast, they decided that this was where they would open the St. James Cheese Company. Despite the challenges of opening a business in post-Katrina New Orleans (and dealing with highly perishable products in a hot and hurricane prone area), St. James Cheese has been welcomed with open arms by the city and has grown a loyal and steady following.
Justin Trosclair is our perpetually cheerful General Manager. He claims to have a cold robot heart, but yet has never been seen frowning… ever. If you do happen to see him frown, please alert management immediately as it means something has gone catastrophically wrong.
Justin likes to say that cheese chose him, and his career path certainly highlights a propensity for fromage. He hails from the Westbank of New Orleans (there is some debate about whether its the best bank). He has served stints as a cheese buyer for Whole Foods and a cheese maker at Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy. Craft beer is the only thing that comes close to matching his love for cheese. The two together are a one-two punch that ignites his most fervent feelings. Justin won the title of top cheesemonger in the nation at the 2013 Cheesemonger Invitational in New York after coming in second the year before.
Jessica DeVay Khalid
Jessica is our super-organized, sunshiny head chef and kitchen manager. She is also a charcuterie supergirl. If you haven’t had her pork and game pies or her pate, you are missing out. She creates amazing dishes with the limited equipment and space in our kitchen and loves a cooking challenge. Jess is a New Orleans native and that comes across in her happy attitude when she is creating. She enjoys eating tacos in a wedding dress and hanging out with her cute husband Omar.
Arielle came to New Orleans and St. James from Seattle a few years ago armed with a fresh degree from Whitman College and a sense of adventure. She quickly proved herself to be indispensable to us and now we won’t let her leave. In addition to being a skilled cheesemonger, Arielle deftly handles our bookkeeping, technology and whatever else we throw at her without batting an eye. Which sometimes includes keeping our fish alive while we are out of town.
Chad is our always dependable, sometimes sleep deprived wholesale manager. He ably gets the cheese from our loving arms into the able hands of chefs across the city. A skilled chef himself, Chad has cooked in many restaurants in the city and knows the mysterious ways of restaurant kitchens. New Orleans born and bred, he loves hitting the road and exploring new places, growing beautiful vegetables and being a sweet dad.
Clare came to St. James Cheese during the great Sewanee graduate migration, full of hope and enthusiasm for providing excellent customer service. She left us for a while to go work in Las Vegas and Washington D.C. as a manager for Jose Andres at his restaurants, but the call of New Orleans and cheese could not be denied and now she is happily back in the fold at St. James. Clare will be showing us how they do things in the big leagues when we open our second location in the Warehouse District in 2015.
James came to us from Seattle a few years ago as part of the great Pacific Northwest migration to St. James Cheese. Already an experienced cheesemonger from Whole Foods, we snatched him right up. James has a degree in philosophy from UC San Diego, which comes across when you talk to him about cheese. He runs our staff education sessions and training and is always teaching us something new. He came in third place in 2014 in the national Cheesemonger Invitational. In his free time, James enjoys competing in the local shuffleboard league representing the Kings of Lyons of The Kingpin.
Paige, a New Orleans native, is our ever friendly service manager. She enjoys spreading sunshine and positivity to everyone she encounters. Paige is also an avid traveler, has studied abroad in Australia and visited more than half of the world’s continents. In her free time, Paige records a podcast with Alan Singleton (no relation) with their musings and banter about life in a cheese shop.
John has worked at St James Cheese longer than any employee. He’s so loyal! And dependable. And, he has the best manners of any staffer; your grandmother would love John. His culinary talents were honed as a youth in Pass Christian, MS, preparing the fresh Gulf seafood that he still spends his free time catching. He then went on to the Cordon Bleu program in Atlanta and received a degree in hospitality and management from The University of New Orleans. John is responsible for many of St. James’ most popular menu items, and is very fun at parties.
Casey Foote has an enthusiasm for cheese that knows no bounds. He is a man of mystery and reveals little about himself. Here’s what we do know: he’s a Louisiana boy born and raised in Bunkie. He’s lived in Spain and Ireland. He’s shot and directed two short films; the first won a Reel 13 award and the other has made him a household name in Siberia, Macedonia, and Kentucky. You can find Casey waxing rhapsodic about cheese and wine while running our cheese classes.