Ricotta Cheese Grows in Brooklyn: How One Woman Built a Mini Empire

Throughout International Women’s Month, Chowhound is sharing stories from a wealth of women entrepreneurs, businesses, chefs, and cookbook writers who have all found success in the food space. Here, a look into Salvatore BKLYN, a small-batch ricotta cheese maker, helmed by cheesemonger Betsy Devine, stationed in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 

Betsy Devine has made ricotta cheese—and only ricotta cheese—for the last 12 years. The cheesemonger peddles the soft, spreadable cheese under the name Salvatore BKLYN, distributing it to a slew of restaurants and speciality grocery stores in New York City

Betsy’s specialized focus on mastering one variety of cheese emerged serendipitously. Back in 2007, on a visit to Italy, she spent most of the trip consuming dollops of creamy ricotta cheese, but when she came back to the States, she couldn’t find anything similar that matched her Italian standards. So she set to work on creating her own version. At the time, she was working in a restaurant with an open kitchen and would ply diners at the bar with her ricotta, testing out creations on a crew of hungry guinea pigs.

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