Seven years ago, Beth Lewand and Chris Gray turned a former Polish deli into Eastern District, a specialty shop focusing on craft beer and artisanal cheeses. Nowadays, the shop is part of the fabric on the northernmost stretch of Manhattan Avenue. It’s a place to grab a quick sandwich, drop off your flyers, and a CSA pick-up spot for those who don’t want to trek through Greenpoint with 30 pounds of produce in the heat of summer. But over the past year, Eastern District quietly changed hands. Beth and Chris were moving to Vermont (she’s now at Cricket Creek Farm) and didn’t want to close Eastern District outright, so they sold it lock, stock, and barrel to Sam and Sami Shah.
Longtime fans of Eastern District don’t need to be worried about missing out on the best cheeses and beers! Ever since he first tried yak cheese as a child, Sam has been intrigued by “the science and nature of cheese,” he says. And how did he get his hands on yak cheese? Well, both Sam and Sami are from Nepal, though they met and fell in love while living in Dallas, Texas. According to him, “faith and destiny” brought them to the East Coast. Continue reading