Local Cheesemonger Anne Saxelby Dies at 40

Posted on: October 12th, 2021 at 5:07 am by

Saxelby fighting for the Essex Market vendors, March 2015

Local cheesemonger, Anne Saxelby, who peddled artisanal cheeses around downtown for more than a decade, died this past Saturday. She was 40.

According to the New York Times, Saxelby struggled with a heart condition.

Lower East Siders may recognize Saxelby from her tenure inside the original Essex Street Market. The eponymous cheese stall, located near the southernmost door, began operations in 2006. She became an outspoken advocate for her fellow vendors a decade later and helped organize to rally for better conditions in the Market, claiming at the time that the city’s mismanagement resulted in lost business. (It was at this point that the Lower East Side BID became more heavily involved.)

Two years later, in 2017, Saxelby upgraded to a larger space inside the Chelsea Market. Or, as the Times put it, “she took the daring position of selling only American-made cheeses.”

Saxelby’s longtime business partner, Benoit Breal, is now in charge of the company, continuing the mission of being a “bridge between local cheesemakers and the consumers for many years to come,” as Breal noted to the Times.

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