Knowledgeable employees trump even the most impressive variety of well-merchandised cheese, sources agree. Indeed, the more varieties of cheese offered, the more important it is to educate associates so they can interact confidently with customers, one retailer told SN. “You have to cut, and sample, and talk about the cheese,” said Jim Hassler, co-owner of Ferguson & Hassler, a single-unit independent in Quarryville, Pa. “Years ago that's the way cheese was sold, and that's the way ...

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