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Thursday, August 7, 2008

THE R. HIRT JR. CO.

The R. Hirt Jr. Co., located at 2468 Market St. in Eastern Market, is a specialty goods store founded in 1887 by Rudolph Hirt Jr. The store makes you feel like you walked into a time machine and came out a century earlier in the middle of a bustling general store. The immediate smell that engulfs you is the smell of over 300 varieties of cheeses, almost none of which the kind individuals at the Rudolph. Hirt Jr. Co. won't let you try.

On Saturdays, a line starts at the front of the counter and continues to find its way right out the front door. With the quality products that R. Hirt sells, the line is understandable. Not only is cheese aplenty, but other products sold are meats, bakery loafs of bread, tea, chocolates, sauces, oils, pastas and pickles. On the top floor, the store has an extensive collection of wicker including baskets and other...um...wicker related items. Apparently I'm more interested in the cheese.

If cheese is your pleasure, do some research before you jump into line. Otherwise you'll be in for a rude awakening once you realize that there are 300 different types of cheese, you don't have any idea what the differences are between them, and no one there is going to sit around explaining each type to you when there are what seems like hundreds of other customers in line.

Adding even more character to this hip and historic Detroit landmark is the fact that R. Hirt Jr. Co. was fined and put on probation in 2001 for allegedly buying $328,000 in stolen cheese. I'm not condoning these actions in the least, but the ridiculousness of the whole thing has to make you shake your head and smile. I mean, we're not talking about stolen diamonds here. For that matter, we're not even talking about television sets or MP3 players. We're talking about cheese, and a huge chunk of over $300,000 of it. Where do you even steal cheese from? Do you have to keep it refrigerated when you're transporting it from the location you stole it from? Either way, the cheese is what this store is all about.

R. Hirt Jr. Co.'s selection is great, the atmosphere is old world, and the clientele is of all shapes and sizes. There's no denying that R. Hirt Jr. Co. is a great place to visit in Eastern Market.

Below are some photos from the shoppe (I think the double p and added e are necessary in this situation), along with a link to the flickr set.

R. Hirt Jr. Co. Flickr Set




R. Hirt. Jr. Co.
2468 Market St
Detroit, MI 48207-4597
Phone: (313) 567-1173
www.rhirt.com

Detroit Army

1 comment:

Melissa said...

It's victimless crimes like cheese-theft that I think should be decriminalized in this world. That is obviously a joke since cheese-theft probably did impact the cheese-makers. However, if RH Jr. was successfully able to steal $328,000 worth of cheese and avoid refrigeration and spoiling complications, then I think he should be spared a long sentence.