Taste your FAVEs.....

A Whirlwind Week(end) Whew! And I don't say that easily, since John and I love to live life in the fast lane. But whew. Last week, we got to be guests on 3 podcasts, were featured in print and online a couple of times, and attended the Austin Under 40 Awards, recognizing folks for their professional and philanthropic impact in Austin. We were both as finalists competing against each other in the Culinary, Events, and Hospitality category....and we won! Well, I won... and I admit that's tough to say when my partner didn't. But the truth is, every win for John is a win for me, and fortunately, my partner feels the same. There were over 1000 nominees in 16 categories, 80 finalists named, and then 16 winners. Apart from my almost-Jennifer Lawrence moment (shoe caught on a dress and almost took me down), I think I pulled off my shock and rare loss of words with grace. I honestly don't remember what I said (and I refuse to watch the video!) but I know it was something to the effect of being grateful for where I am today and owning my faults. At the same awards as a finalist last year, I could barely walk - and ended up bedridden for 11 weeks, including back surgery. It wasn't only a doozie for me, but for my partner... and add that to the challenges of running (and later closing) our downtown location. 2018 was certainly a "character-building" year! So to go from low to high, I just feel grateful. YOU all have been our fuel, our support system, our tribe. So thank you.

In The Shop
Imagine your significant other telling you they have a surprise when you get home. You're thinking, "Maybe it's a puppy!", but what if, instead, it was 50 sheep? You've always wanted to learn how to knit, but if you're anything like Brenda and Dean Jensen at Hidden Springs Creamery, you know how precious sheep's milk is for cheesemaking. Now up to 500 Laucane and East Fresian sheep, these second career Wisconsinites are cranking out amazing cheeses ranging from an award-winning Feta to a tariff-inspired Blue. This week in the Cheese Shop, we're delighted to feature two of Hidden Springs Creamery's cheeses, Bad Axe and Bohemian Blue!

Named after the river that cuts through the Jensen's home town of Westby, Bad Axe is aged for 60 days and dipped in black wax to retain moisture. Beneath that wax lies a bright, creamy and tangy paste with notes of fresh grass and earth. Bad Axe's tartness begs for a hint of sweetness and is ideal with an elusive bite of Robert Lambert's Wild Blueberry Lemon Jam.

Threatened by a potential 300% tariff on Roquefort, the Jensens teamed up with Tony and Julie Hook to create Bohemian Blue. Made from Hidden Springs' sheep's milk and aged in Hook's Creamery's caves in Mineral Point, WI, this crumbly, mineral blue is a departure from its creamy French contemporary. Bohemian Blue's crystalline texture and briny bite softens to a sweet yet piquant flavor, perfectly complemented by a dollop of this season's first batch of Two Hives Raw Honey.

Upcoming Classes
Based on its popularity during our anniversary week back in February, we decided to bring back our "Cheesemonger & Customer Favorite Cheeses" tasting class. It's a play on our Cheese 101, so you'll get a diverse tasting of the 7 styles; however, we're featuring the best sellers of shop's history. We've got two classes coming up on Tue 6/4 and Thur 6/6 at 6:30 pm. These are ones you don't want to miss! And here's what's coming up this week.
Sat 5/25 (6:30 pm) - For the Love of Soft Cheeses (and BYOB Bubbles!) - 4 tix left
Tue 5/28 (6:30 pm) - Perfect Pairings: Jam & Cheese feat. Confituras - 1 ticket left
Fri 5/31 (6:30 pm) - Cheese 101: The Seven Styles of Cheese

Check out our summer schedule of classes here. You can now book a private tasting online immediately from the comfort of your chair. And don't forget you can rent our Cheese House as a space rental for your next business gathering or meeting. Check out our options here. Lastly, in case you've missed it, our team of events hosts continues to grow - and all provide the #JuggernautOfAwesome service we're known for. From Jerod who has been with us to awhile, to Ericka and Anna who joined us earlier this year, to Casie who used to be our wholesale
director to Whitney who is a parttime cheesemonger and parttime cheesemaker. And both Casie and Whitney are also certified, cheese professionals. The fun of it? Whether you take a class once or again, you're guaranteed to get a different perspective depending on who is teaching it. Enjoy! And thank you to our awesome team.

In the News

We got to visit one of our fave food writers, Addie Broyles of the Austin-American Statesman, and sit in on her "I Love You So Much" Austin360 podcast. From our decision to move to Austin 15 years ago to our decision to plant roots here, to growing up together and starting a business and a family, to battling depression and owning our authentic selves.... to just having board meetings in the bathtub... we got real and honest with Addie. And had so much fun. Thanks, Addie! With all the rain we've been getting intermittently, it was fun to see The Austinot put out an article on ways to have fun in Austin - even when the weather is bad. Fortunately for us, they named taking a cheese class one of the ways to beat the blues weather. So whether it starts raining or just gets too hot, remember, we're here for you Austin. Our air-conditioned 110-year old Cheese House awaits! While we think checking in on your mental health should be the same as checking in on your physical health, not everyone is there yet. So it's #MentalHealthMonth and we're helping get the word out. KXAN Reporter Alyssa Goard dropped by the Cheese House last week to get my thoughts and experiences on what it's like to be a female survivor of depression. (Turns out last week was also Women's Health Week!) You can check it out here.

Stay Cheese-y Austin,
Kendall & John & The Most Amazing, Hardworking, Passionate Team of Good Food Advocates Around...
(We are grateful for you team!)