Chef opens gourmet charcuterie, cheese business in New Milford

NEW MILFORD — Paige DeFeo fondly remembers growing up in her Italian grandmother Beatrice’s kitchen.

“She made the best eggplant parmigiana, and I continue to make that exactly the way she taught me,” said DeFeo, 50, a New Milford resident and personal chef for nearly 30 years.

She recently opened a gourmet charcuterie and cheese business in town called Bleu on Bank. The shop is geared toward people who are entertaining.

“My strong suit was always dinner parties,” said DeFeo, a mother of two who opened the 1,800-square-foot business on 50 Bank Street with her husband John DeFeo, 52, a landscape architect for Shoreline Pools in Stamford.


The first portion of the shop is a showroom designed like a living room and dining room. It’s filled with platters, cutting boards, cocktail napkins, glasses, plates, and chef knives.

All items are for sale.

The second portion of the shop carries the foods for the charcuterie, such as caviar, dried fruit and nuts, mustard, jam, honey, crab cakes, cheese and pate, as well as curry, kale salad, bacon wrapped dates and truffle ricotta spread .

There are also olives, capers, bread, crackers, halvah, dark chocolate, quiches, salads and soups.

“We’re going to do a French onion soup grilled cheese,” DeFeo said. “You do a saute of the onions like you would for a French onion soup. We will accompany that with a roasted basil and tomato bisque.”

She also offers platters that are Italian, Moroccan, Indian and Spanish inspired. She said she has traveled extensively and has learned international cooking.

The shop sources from local farms for its cheeses, produce and vegetables.

Blue on Bank staff can either prepare charcuterie boards for customers or customers can purchase the items that go on the boards for preparation at home.

Customers can order platters that will be available on the same day. They can also purchase filled baskets to bring when invited to other’s homes.

Prior to opening the business, DeFeo received a facade improvement grant of $1,400 from the New Milford Economic Development Corporation.

The grants are available to New Milford businesses and commercial property owners located in the Village Center for façade improvements to businesses. Improvements can include new doors, repainting, repair of walls and windows, and other types of improvements that will beautify the village.

Bleu on Bank is in the location of Ruby Bridal Boutique, which has permanently closed.

“We gutted and completely redid the entire store,” DeFeo said.

Moving up

Prior to becoming a chef, DeFeo was a wardrobe stylist for clothing commercials, print work and movies in Manhattan and Los Angeles.

“I married the two,” said DeFeo, when referring to the two components of her shop.

In 1997, she graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan with a professional culinary degree. After working at a restaurant during her internship for one year, she went right into being a private chef for celebrities — and catering.

She plans to continue working as a personal chef on a freelance basis.

When working for celebrity clients, she said she’s often asked to make specific meals on “on a whim.”

She has accommodated people with special diets, such as raw, gluten-free and vegan, and those with specific blood types, with heart disease, and diabetes.

“I would have their nutritionist contact me directly and then I’d cook within my parameters,” she said.

DeFeo moved to New Milford three years ago and said she fell in love with the town.

“It’s very charming and quintessential New England,” she said.

She said the time was right to open the shop, and she was ready to try a new venture. She said since she lives far from New York City, the Hamptons and Greenwich where her clients are, she chose to open up a business close to home.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” DeFeo said. “I wanted to have something that’s my own.”

Blue on Bank, on 50 Bank St., can be reached at 860-799-7679.

sandra.fox@hearstmediact.com 203-948-9802

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