The HVADC Cultivator
Talbott & Arding Cheese and Provisions
After nearly seven years as a champion of local farm fresh food and a culinary anchor on lower Warren Street in Hudson, Talbott & Arding Cheese and Provisions is moving – not far – but certainly up. Owners, Mona Talbott and Kate Arding, have outgrown their “cozy” storefront and are preparing to open their new 8,000 square foot multipurpose store at 202 Allen Street, also in Hudson, this July.
The move represents massive operational growth. They will now carry a larger variety and quantity of local products, meat, cheese and goods, as well as upgrading to a major commercial kitchen for expansion of their own delicious take-out menu, baked goods, fresh pasta and more. The partners are upgrading every aspect of the business, increasing their wholesale, private label, ecommerce and catering programs as well. Also, for the first time they will be able to offer in-store dining and eventually culinary demonstrations and classes.
“This is a really significant move,” said Arding “Mona and I started in an extremely small footprint but it was always clear in our business model to have multiple revenue streams. Our goal is to be a premiere culinary destination in the Hudson Valley.”
Talbott and Arding’s ambition is matched only by their expertise and business acumen. While it was clear they already had their vision for the project well in hand there was still a need for Business Technical Assistance (BTA) when it came to developing and implementing such a significant expansion. Arding said that as a small business owner, working out the details of financing is the hardest part of such a plan. Martha Lane, Business Development Specialist at the Columbia Economic Development Committee (CEDC) put Talbott and Arding in touch with Charlene Chai. Chai is not only an accomplished business advisor and founder of Imagine Trust but a long time Talbott & Arding Customer. Arding said the BTA Chai provided was invaluable to their projects success.
“Charlene has been steady and calm and always available. She felt almost more like a business partner than a consultant,” Arding said. “She has been and advocate for us and helped so much in interpreting what funding institutions need. It’s a whole other language for us and for a small business it can be scary. Having Charlene in our camp is incredible.”
Along the way Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) was more than pleased to be able to assist Talbott & Arding with a loan as part of their financing package to complete the Allen Street move, along with CEDC, Grow America Fund and Capital Region Advancement Fund.
“Talbott & Arding has quickly become a defining Hudson institution, by taking what’s special about regional agriculture and elevating it,” said Todd Erling, HVADC Executive Director. “They champion our farms and producers every single day. We recognize and are so thankful for their hard work. It was our pleasure at HVADC to collaborate with Mona and Kate to make their new ambitious vision a reality. I can’t wait to see (and eat!) everything at the new Talbott & Arding.”
Talbott and Arding pride themselves on their connection to the farms and food businesses of the Hudson Valley. Arding said the mission of their shop isn’t just to share their culinary vision but to help customers get in touch with stories and lives of the farmers and purveyors that make the agricultural and culinary community of the region so special.
This relationship is pleasantly symbiotic, and harkens back to a time when folks had a more straightforward and personal relationship with food and the people who bring it to market. For example, Arding said the shepherd at Kinderhook Farm, who hand delivers lamb cuts to Talbott & Arding, Anna Hodson Stofsky, motivated them to make a shepherds pie. Now Stofsky will often make deliveries in the back then run around front to pick up the pie she inspired.
“It’s great for us to have a long term relationship with farmers,” Arding said. “And they’re excited to see their raw ingredients transformed with respect and care.”
Though the shop has now grown in scale, it’s clear Talbott and Arding have no plans to mute the impact of the pastoral connectivity all their products convey. This is easy to see even in their packaging and branding (the production of which has also been necessarily up-scaled at the new facility). Everything in the Talbott & Arding brand is packaged elegantly but simply, in white with blue lettering. The confident aesthetic allows for the product inside to do all the talking.
“It’s the right time for a business expansion,” Talbott said. “We’ve been so supported by the community as a trusted food source, even through the pandemic. We were so happy to have HVADC as a significant partner. It’s an organization we strongly believe in.”
To learn more about the HVADC Agribusiness Loan Program, please see https://www.hvadc.org/hvadc-agribusiness-loan-fund-program.