Inwood Gourmet Shop Serves Local Cheese and Beer-Flavored Jelly

By Nigel Chiwaya on November 27, 2013 7:01am 

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 Inwood Gourmet is a new shop in Cooper Street in Inwood.
Inwood Gourmet Opens on Cooper Street
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INWOOD — Forget about strawberry and grape jelly — the spreads at Inwood's newest gourmet shop are beer-flavored.

Uptown beer connoisseurs can now get their hands on pumpkin ale, oatmeal stout and pale ale-flavored jellies at Inwood Gourmet, which opened Sunday at 95 Cooper St.

The jellies, which come from a farm in Vermont, are a popular item, store owner Lauren Skoulatos said.

"These so far have been a pretty big hit," Skoulatos said. "People think, 'Oh, it's just jelly,' but then they see the beer and they get excited. It's like a totally different spin."

Parents need not worry about the little ones getting drunk from a peanut butter and beer-jelly sandwich, though, as Skoulatos said the spreads are safe for children.

Beyond the jelly, Inwood Gourmet offers a wide selection of foods from both local farms and from the Mediterranean. Choices include cut-to-order cheeses from New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and California, peanut butters from Westbury, N.Y., hot sauce from Rhinebeck, N.Y. and olives from Greece.

The shop also offers vegan cheeses, Greek pita bread and a selection of self-serve flavor-infused olive oils from local farms that customers can get a discount on if they use the store's reusable bottles.

"I'm trying to keep [the store] as local as possible," Skoulatos said.

Inwood Gourmet is a second career for Skoulatos, 38, who previously spent 17 years at a children's fashion company in Midtown. She and her husband, photographer Lenny Garcia, decided to open the shop after growing tired of having to trek up to The Bronx or down to a Trader Joe's to get food.

And while she previously worked in fashion, Skoulatos said that the idea of opening a food shop has been with her since she was a child.

"When I was a girl my dad would always walk by a storefront and say: 'this would be the perfect place for a cheese store,'" Skoulatos said.

Inwood Gourmet will be open seven days a week, from noon until 8 p.m. on weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and likely from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays, though those hours are not yet final. 

Though the shop's been open just a few days, it's already drawing rave reviews from customers.

"Finally, there's an awesome store," said Jenifer Feldman, who lives in the neighborhood. "It's like a little Brooklyn."

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