- What is a cheese shop?
Cheese shops come in all shapes and sizes with different approaches to service and techniques, but they all have a couple of things in common: an emphasis on quality and a passion for cheese. Shops of this kind fill the same role as your local baker or butcher who provide expert service in a very niche product category. At our shop, the focus is on sourcing the best cheese that we can and getting it to you at its peak, as the producers have intended. Further, because cheese is at the core of every decision we make, all of the products that we sell are directly related to the cheese in the case either as pairings, for serving, or gift ideas. If you're still not sure what a cheese shop is, come in and meet our cheesemongers. They will be happy to guide you through the shop and let you taste some of the products that we feature.
- What is a cheesemonger?
Urban Dictionary defines a cheesemonger as a "vendor of cheese or indeed purveyor of interesting ideas." While we cannot confirm the second half of the definition, the first part is pretty spot on. Our job title conveys a sense of confidence and immediate trust to our customers. Cheesemongers cut their teeth behind counters all across the world and learn from their predecessors about the care, taste, histories and lives of the wheels of cheese they sell. We are passionate about cheese and we strive to share that passion each day we arrive to work.
- What products do you carry?
We feature a rotating selection of domestic and imported artisanal cheese, charcuterie, craft beer and boutique wine by the bottle, and other delectable pairings like chocolates, nuts, preserves, honey, vinegars, oils, olives, and freshly-baked bread, as well as the serving boards and cheese knives needed to showcase them.
- What does "cut to order" mean?
Cheese is a living thing, and as soon as a wheel is cut into, its vitality begins to decline. Cutting to order ensures freshness, preserves flavor, and minimizes waste. We offer cheese in bulk format so that you can peruse our selection and taste before you choose, purchasing only what you need. This also means that the open face of our cheese never lies under plastic wrap for a significant period of time. Cheese needs air to breath and live and after too much time in plastic wrap, it has a bad habit of picking up that nasty plasticky flavor. Equally important as ensuring freshness, cutting to order also allows us to provide you with just the right amount of cheese that you need. While most customers purchase between a half and a third of a pound, it is not uncommon for guests to purchase one pound or even one ounce of a particular product. Ask the cheesemongers for advice and they can guide you to perfect amount to fit your needs (because no leftover cheese should go to die in any refrigerator!).
- Do you have parking?
We have two reserved parking spaces in front of our Hyde Park Cheese Shop as well as seven additional parking spaces located directly across the street at the Cheese House. For parking at our downtown location, there are multiple garages and metered parking spaces within walking distance of Fareground.
- Can we really sample as we go?
Complimentary sampling is an important part of the Antonelli's Cheese Shop experience. We hope that by sampling our products, you will be 100% satisfied before you even have to spend a penny. Moreover, the taste of artisanal cheese can change depending on a number of variables, including seasonality. We want to help you try new cheeses (without the commitment of buying them first!), as well as make sure your favorites are tasting just the way you like them.
- How should I keep track of the cheese that I buy so I can have a reference?
At the end of your very first visit to the Cheese Shop, our cheesemongers will ask if you'd like us to create a Cheese Log. This service allows us to track all of your selections under your name so that you can refer back to it upon future visits. That way you never forget that yellowish round cheese that was semi-soft and tasted of butter. (No worries about getting annoying calls or emails; we just need your name to create the account and it is purely for your purposes to help you remember your goodies!
- Do you sell raw milk cheese?
Yes. The regulations pertaining to raw milk cheese are different from those pertaining to the sale of raw milk. It is legal to sell raw milk cheese in the United States, as long as it is aged over sixty days – regardless of whether it is domestic or imported. (Alternatively, we cannot legally sell raw milk cheeses younger than sixty days.) Approximately 40% of the cheese that we carry is made from raw milk. Next time you're in the shop, ask one of the cheesemongers for some assistance in identifying either the raw or pasteurized products, depending on your needs and preferences.
- I want to relax and enjoy a great cheese plate. Where can I do that?
We work with many chefs around Austin to offer a variety of unique cheese plates that change on a rotating basis. To know where you can find our cheese around town, visit our Partners page to view a list of our wholesale restaurants and catering partners.
- Do you host private party tastings or private events?
Bringing cheese into people's lives, be it through special celebrations or corporate functions, is certainly a job perk. We offer a number of different options in our Cheese House, depending on your needs and our involvement. For an in-depth, educational experience, we offer a Guided Tasting, which can cover a variety of themes; our most demanded Guided Tasting is our "Cheese 101: 7 Styles of Cheese Class." For more information about our private party tastings and events, please contact our team by clicking HERE.
- Do you offer cheese classes?
We love talking cheese; it's one of the best aspects of our jobs! Therefore, we regularly offer "Cheese 101: 7 Styles of Cheese" classes. Guests enjoy a guided lesson of the seven styles of cheese, accoutrements like nuts, olives, and bread, and additional complimentary pairings. For information on how to purchase tickets to one of our classes, click here. We also co-host a number of events throughout the year at local restaurants. Past events have included a "Wine and Cheese Conversations" series with FINO, an annual beer and cheese pairing with The Draught House Pub, All-Local-Cheese classes with Farmhouse Delivery, movies paired with cheese and wine at the Alamo Drafthouse, and collaborations with Slow Food Austin. There are and will be many others as we continue to strive to bring you the most unique cheese-related events in town. The best way to stay abreast of our involvement in local happenings is to sign up for our weekly email newsletter.
- Do you sell gift baskets?
Of course! Not sure what you're looking for? Our gift ideas will provide you with a great variety of options. If you're looking for something more unique, feel free to call the shop and speak with a cheesemonger. We're happy to meet your food and budget needs.
- Do you deliver gift baskets?
Please visit our shipping policy for details on our shipping program.
- Do you make donations?
We endeavor to support the community that supports us to the best of our ability. To that end, we've given to nearly 350 fundraisers in the past 7 years we've been in business (which can be quite challenging for a small mom and pop business working towards profitability and sustainability). This year, we have changed our approach to charitable giving and have opted to host a handful of events to make a bigger impact for our local nonprofits. While that means we can't support as many, it means we can make a more profound contribution. We specifically aim to support (and therefore prioritize) nonprofits that have personally affected the lives of our team members. At this time, we have committed our resources to events for 2018.
- What is your Return Policy?
Our return policy is subject to circumstances. If you have a specific concern, please contact the shop manager at 512-531-9610 or firstname.lastname@example.org with your question.
- I make some great jams (or other items); will you sell them?
We are always looking for delicious products to include in our shop; however, you must be licensed to sell wholesale before we can do any business. If you are interested in becoming one of the artisan makers that we showcase, please submit our online form .
- Can I bring my own wine or beer into your Cheese Shop?
Antonelli's Cheese Shop has a TABC license for retail sales of wine and beer for off-premise consumption; unfortunately, we do not have permitting for BYOB in the Cheese Shop. If you are hosting a private event in the Cheese House, please contact us for BYOB possibilities.