Who knew that a gift certificate from her husband would lead Erin Hedley into a new career as a cheese expert. When the culinary class she wanted to take wasn’t available, Erin joined a cheese and wine class that forever changed her. She became enamored with all things cheese and couldn’t believe how good cheese can be. The class focused on paring cheese with wines and it was loads of fun. She was hooked and signed up for another cheese class and before long became an intern at the Artisanal Premium Cheese Center of New York. She never would have believed that she would love spending 2- 3 days a week in cheese caves, but Erin had found her passion. The internship lead to the master class and now Erin is a teacher herself.
With two children, who at the time were 12 and 8, she felt something was missing from her life, was restless and didn’t like the long days when her kids were at school. Erin didn’t want to work full time even though it was offered to her by the center, she was able to choose her own schedule. She says, “I’m not making a fortune but I love what I do.”
Starting her own business in New Canaan, Erin has worked with chefs in creating cheese menus and served as a culinary adviser creating cheese collections for national specialty stores. With an appearance on the Today show, she has established herself a cheese expert. One of her favorite classes to offer is Sexy Cheeses. Whether it’s a book group, a couples gathering or a ladies night out, she’ll provide a tasting of cheeses and suggest wines to go with them. What’s more fun than wine and cheese?
Her next step would be to market her wine and cheese tasting events to corporate clients but still keep her flexibility. Right now her kids are 12 and 16 and she’s able to do about two platters a week, two parties a week and teach classes in the city. She also travels to Florida once a year to serve as a guest panelist. She brings her girlfriend along for this adventure. Never imagining she’d be a cheese expert, Erin feels the universe opens up when you’re ready. “Look and be open to new and different things.”