Business as Usual?

Business as Usual?
Yes! … and no. Here’s how and why: there’s a lot of information out there, and it’s hard to sift through it all; we understand the concern and pandemonium and we’re taking it seriously and monitoring the latest updates from the WHO, CDC and from the City of Austin. The health and safety of our team and customers is and always has been our priority.

Why is it business as usual? Because as a food business, we’ve always had and will continue to have the highest level of food safety standards possible. We’re not “starting to wash our hands more” because we’ve always done it that way. We wash hands regularly. (Fun fact: A cheesemonger probably typically washes their hands 50 times a day.) We’ve always taken health requirements seriously, as reflected by our near regular 100 score from the health department. (I was also the annoying kid who cried if I got a 90.) And did you know that every single person that works with us is required to have an active food handling certificate? Yep. We’re in food, so we always have and always will continue to maintain high levels of cleanliness. We have also always given our team paid sick time, which encourages all team members to stay home in the event of any type of illness. That being said, you have our assurances that we are making sure all our rigorous SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are strictly followed and we’re applying all preventative measures directed by the CDC.

What’s new? We’ve doubled down on our sanitation efforts. We have more hand sanitizing stations available and we’re regularly sanitizing door handles more often throughout the day. Also, our managers are staying glued to the news. But that’s about it! I say this because you should hopefully continue to have the same trust in your cheese handlers as you always have. And we have the same commitment to you to keep you healthy!

Our hearts and prayers go out to those whose health has been compromised or worse. That’s the number one priority of our communities. Secondly, we are concerned for all the folks impacted professionally. While I suspect that there are few people not negatively impacted, there are many who are in danger of going out of business. In fact, we’re seeing colleagues go out of business in other cities. So - we encourage and invite you to continue supporting your local shops, restaurants, and retail. As long as you are healthy, come in! There are rarely more than 3-4 folks in our shop at a given time, with a max of about a dozen at peak times. Keep taking cheese classes; they are small and intimate! You get your own plate and we’ve made updates so there’s no passing. If you’ve got to stay in, order a cheese tray. And don’t forget you can order delivery through Favor! Know somebody cooped up? Send them our monthly cheese club subscription. We’ve seen you rallying to help businesses impacted by SXSW closures; THANK YOU for rallying to keep folks like us in business!

A Food Revolution!
Speaking of SXSW, there were two interactive panels we had our eyes on and were disappointed to see canceled. Then we realized, “Hey! We have an event venue!” And because our events venue is small and local, we can host an event for those who are interested and want to learn more about these important topics - and support the labor that went into getting them ready for a SXSW presentation. Tickets are simply $5 so we get an idea of headcount (or purchase a $15 ticket to get your own cheese tasting board to munch on while watching). This is a nonprofit event for us, simply to support some folks who got their events canceled. HELP US PROMOTE THESE LOCAL FOLKS!

Sat 3/21 at 11 am: Empowering Minority Leaders in the Food Revolution Joi Chevalier, Roman Gonzalez, Tom Hawkins, Edwin Marty

SXSW Panel Description: While Austin is a booming place for food technology and consumer packaged good (CPG) startups, the city has a historically bad track record on racial issues, institutional bias, segregation, and under-representation. How can under-represented business founders in the natural CPG, mobile food vendor, food entrepreneur, and food growing space find resources and communities to build and collaborate with? Without intentional discussions on the systemic issues of inequity in our food and agricultural systems, and how to address them, old-boys-clubs will continue to invest in founders that look like them instead of better founders with better businesses. RSVP here.

Sat 3/21 at 2 pm: Won't You Be My Ethical Neighbor? Kati Luedecke & Lamar Bowman

SXSW Panel Description: As business owners and operators, we understand that being and having good business neighbors are key components to sustainable and mindful growth in neighborhoods. But how do you promote "neighborhood culture" in your workplace? What's the good, the bad, and the ugly about owning and operating small businesses in redeveloping neighborhoods? Let's talk about the best business practices to be a better business neighbor. RSVP here.

Two New Cheese Boards!

You've been asking, and now it's here! We are so excited to announce the addition of two new options to our Cheese Trays Selection: a fresh Veggie Platter and the Honeycomb Crunch Platter. Our Veggie Platter features seven different fresh vegetables served with a zesty creme-fraiche dip infused with Tuscan Herbs.

The Honeycomb Crunch Platter is a true obsession among Team Members at Antonelli's Cheese. (Credit to shop friends Anne and JR Carter!).... a pound of honeycomb on a bed of Marcona almonds and served with waterwheel crackers. Sweet + Salty + Crunchy = Lots of heart Emojis!

Upcoming Events
Now that many spring travel or entertainment plans have been canceled or postponed, we hope you’ll take the opportunity to come to check out a cheese class. As noted above, our classes are small tastings with personal boards (ie no passing); plus, we do have a cancellation policy in place should circumstances change. So - will you be a part of keeping this ole cheese shop truckin’?

Sun 3/15 (6:30 pm) - Raclette Interactive Experience (1 table left!)
Sun 3/22 (6:30 pm) - Prosciutto, Salami, and Cheese...Oh My! - 4 tix left
Tue 3/24 (6:30pm) - Booze Washed Cheeses - 8 tix left
Sat 3/28 (10 am) - Cheese-y Bus Tour: Pure Luck Farm & Desert Door Sotol - 2 tix avail
Sun 3/29 (12:30 pm) - A Day in the Life of a Farmer - 2 tix avail
Sun 3/29 (6:30pm) - Cheese 101: The Seven Styles of Cheese - 5 tix left
Thu 4/9 (7 pm) - Cheese & Beer Pairing AT Adelbert’s Brewery

Check out our full events schedule here, noting we’ve posted through June! And remember, you can always view all our upcoming public classes or book your own private tasting.

Charitable Cheese Cause - Waterloo Greenway
Every month, we highlight the noteworthy mission and work of a local nonprofit. This month, we’re spotlighting Waterloo Greenway. Did you know that our city is about to get a whole new park and nature system running north-south along Waller Creek? It’s so exciting! The first phase is set to open this October, with the new Moody Amphitheater in Waterloo Park. Eventually, this park system and trails will link all the way to Lady Bird Lake Trail. Their mission: to create a space that brings the entire Austin community together, preserving nature, connecting neighborhoods, and creating a system of parks. Want to support this lofty effort? Awesome! Shop with us on Mon 3/30. You can visit the Shop (11-7), purchase a cheese tray or gift online (for any future date) from 12 am to 11:59 pm, or take our Cheese 101 Class that evening at 6:30 pm. We’ll donate 5% of all retail sales revenue to Waterloo Greenway. You can eat cheese and feel good about it! Ticket details here.

#CharitableCheeseCause #DoGoodEatGood

Stay Cheese-Y!

John & Kendall
And Your Awesome Cheesemonger Team