As Maître fromager (Cheese Master) Afrim Pristine delivers years of experience in affinage, a practice handed down through the family business, CHEESE BOUTIQUE. Afrim Pristine’s cheese epiphany was realized when discovering how much more brilliant eating cheese could be at its maturation peak. “I continually strive to sell the best product possible, to showcase the World’s small, rich, pungent pieces of Art.”
We caught up with Afrim on his experience as an Influencer and what it takes to stand out from the competition.
First off, tell us about what you do.
I am Co-owner and maitre fromager of Cheese Boutique in Toronto, a family operated business for 45 years now. As a business owner, I oversee all aspects of running the company, from retail and wholesale to catering and events. As we continue to grow, our goal is not just to survive but to thrive in this ever changing industry.
Tell us a bit about the work you’ve done with Branding and Buzzing.
I’ve worked with Branding and Buzzing for quite a few events now, I believe 8 or so over the last 3 years. I love working with like-minded people, and partners Sean and Marian are just that. They think outside the box and have always let me be as creative as I wanted to be. When people who constantly strive for excellence come together, magical things happen. I love working with Branding and Buzzing and as they grow, we wish to grow with them.
How do you see collaborative branding evolving in the next few years?
I have always felt two or three heads are better than one. We do a lot of collaborative dinners and events, again with like-minded people. Chefs like Jason Bangerter, Grant van Gameren, Rob Gentile, Anthony Walsh, Craig Harding, Victor Barry, Amanda Ray, Lynn Crawford and so many more. I’ve learned so much from working with these chefs and more. It’s about the relationships you have and how you can translate that relationship to the customer via a special dinner or a special cheese. It’s showcasing talents, friendship and beautiful ingredients into something extra-ordinary and magical.
Collaboration has to make sense. Just to have two very talented individuals come together and make a dish isn’t enough. The collaboration needs to effectively translate to the final product or whatever it is you are trying to accomplish.
What’s one thing everyone should know about you?
I adore batman.
What do you do when you aren’t running your store?
Haha, another interesting question. I don’t have a lot of free or personal time, that’s what happens when you run and operate your business. When I do have that time, I like to spend it with loved ones, collecting super hero toys and collectibles, and watching my fantasy football team kick ass. Haha, I have very few needs, but they are very specific.
To read more about Afrim’s take on the retail industry, visit Restobiz.