A friend and I stopped by a cheese shop in an area known for excellent cheese. We planned to browse, perhaps taste a couple cubes, and pick up a favorite or two to take home. Instead, we got a private tasting. The owner was behind the cheese case and gave us several examples of the most favorite. As we asked questions about others, he pulled them and expanded our taste test. He told us stories behind many of the names, history of the shop, and facts about the cheese-making process.
We walked away with a lot more flavors than either of us expected.
Perhaps his method was sales-based, but I think at least a part of it was his personality and love of what he and his wife had built and did on a daily basis. He seemed authentic, and not just with us. I wondered how the dynamics of the shop might change at the height of busy season. I’m glad we were there on a slow day.
Hospitality comes in so many places and styles. That day, I was reminded of how hospitality can be more of a character trait than a behavior. Every one of us can welcome others no matter where we are.