A Sydney man was wondering if anyone wanted to trade a car for a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese he picked up at a grocery store’s going-out-of-business sale.
When Donald Trump wrote The Art of the Deal, even the swaggering businessman who dreamed of his name branded on the skyline of every major city in the world couldn't have envisioned a deal so sweet, a deal with terms so exquisitely crafted—the one deal with the potential to change the game.
No, not even a business visionary like Elon Musk, with his plans to ferry humans to Mars, would dare pursue such a historic deal as that proposed by Ehren Thompson of Sydney, Australia.
Thompson recently proffered the deal of the century: He was wondering if anyone wanted to trade a car for a wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese he picked up at a grocery store's going-out-of-business sale.
The deal was daring, to be sure, but with great risk comes great reward. And to be fair, the wheel of cheese is pretty huge: 35 kilograms, or about 77 pounds. Parmesan isn't cheap, and Thompson estimates the whole thing could be worth more than $2,000 at retail, or about half that at wholesale prices.
Thompson, though, got the cheese at a basement-bargain price. When he saw the wheel of cheese on display at the supermarket, he haggled for it. It wasn't technically for sale, but he was able to get it for what he called a "very low" price, adding that the cheese could have been on display for years. "I have a theory that cheese doesn't go off, though, it just turns into a different cheese," he said.
He then posted pictures of the wheel of cheese to a "swap and trade" Facebook group and asked if anyone wanted to trade a car for it—hoping to turn one wheel into four wheels. Offers for the trade began coming in: one for a 2001 Ford Falcon, one for a Ford Focus, and even two offers for a Holden Barina. His cousin offered him a Peugeot.
He went with the Peugeot, but he didn't have to give up the cheese. He says he is going to cut it up, sell enough to buy a new battery and pay for registration and insurance, and will donate the rest to a charity that fights hunger with surplus food.
"It's done a lot for me, this cheese," Thompson said. "None of this would have happened if I didn't ask the guy at the store on the off-chance."
Perhaps the deal gods were smiling on him for his bravado, or maybe he was experiencing some good karma for offering very generous terms in the past. Thompson previously traded his Volvo for two cases of Coopers Sparkling Ale, a deal that most businessmen would probably consider to be pretty unwise.
But either way, Thompson is now the proud owner of a Peugeot and a 77-pound wheel of real-deal Parmigiano Reggiano.
A deal where you get to have your car and eat your cheese, too? That's one for the ages.