Whatever It Is, It Is...and that’s okay
Well, it was bound to happen. I broke down crying and crawled back into bed yesterday morning by 9:30 am. But it had nothing to do with business - y’all have been awesome! - and everything to do with attempting homeschooling while working. In any case, I rebounded and reset (...we do a LOT of resetting in our house) and then conquered the day. Or at least made it through! And I’m taking that as a win. I’m giving myself extra grace these days. Here’s thinking of all of you and all the challenging, diverse circumstances we each face - but knowing we’re in this thing together. To healthcare workers. To the grocery, distributors, and food chain workers. To the farmers and makers. To the laboring moms. To those with high anxiety. To the parents juggling work and homeschooling. To those separated from loved ones. To those quarantined. To those who have lost a loved one. To all of us. Stay home; stay safe Austin; and most importantly, stay connected. Don’t let isolation beat you into thinking you’re in this alone.

Thank you for letting us be your boredom cure - or at least provide you with a little escapism for an evening. Our events continue to see out. We have lots of tickets for later in the month. (I know; it hurts to think of the uncertainty and farther out…) To view our full schedule of upcoming virtual cheese tasting events, click here. But we’ve also added a few events in the next week we wanted to highlight here:
Fri 4/3 (6:30-7:30pm) - Date Night
Think of this as a smorgasbord plating of multiple cheeses, cured meats, pairings and pickled goods, and some sweet treats to end. It’s the big mama of all our class platings. Instead of deep discussions of all the cheeses, we’ll do some cursory explanations and let you interact more - with your lover, partner, roomie, or other - as well as with us virtually now. Book your ticket here, noting one ticket is good for two people.

Sat 4/4 (6-7 pm) - Behind The Scenes with Juhl and Essex Street Cheese We.Are.Excited.For.This.Event. The brainchild of our own John Antonelli and Essex Street Cheese partner Rachel Juhl, this is a first-time event like never before. They sat down and said, “What do people really want to see?” And they’re bringing it to you. Essex is a world-class selector of an exclusive and select handful of cheeses. They travel the globe to taste cheeses that taste the best and work with affineurs to develop specific flavor profiles. In this tasting of 5 cheeses and 5 food pairings, Juhl will take you behind the scenes to experience the cows grazing at Wilde Weide organic gouda makers in Holland and then to Fromagerie L’Amuse where Betty and Martin Koster have developed special aging cellars for locally-sourced goudas like L’Amuse Gouda. You’ll travel to Italy, where Giorgio Cravero will walk us through his Parmigiano-Reggiano aging facilities. We’ll visit Spain and the making of 1605 Manchego from their farmstead operation and the milk of their rich luscious sheep. And Juhl will take us through a recent tasting and selection of French Comte, showing us how selectors taste through and evaluate different cheeses. This class is a combination of live and pre-recorded video; host Juhl will be leading the tasting life and answering all your questions. This is a virtual event of epic proportions like we haven’t tried to execute before; take a virtual global tour while seated at home. Get access to behind the scenes experiences of the animals, the land, and the producers of some of our most popular cheeses. Did I build it up enough? Virtual ticket details here! You’ll pick up your cheese plate curbside with contactless delivery into the trunk from 12-5 this Saturday and hop on the video conference at 6:25 pm that night. Ready for a ride?

Wed 4/8 (6-7 pm) - Facebook Live with The Antonellis: Easter Candy & Cheese Pairing We’re taking our annual fave and popular sellout Halloween Candy & Cheese Pairing to the big stage with a spring launch: Easter Candy and Cheese! It’s fun, it’s novel, it’s wacky, it works (and occasionally is a weird and exciting pairing). We expect this event to sell out quickly at 150 tickets, so get in on the action while you can! (Note: plates do have candies that have nuts.) One ticket is a plate for one person. (Yes, you can share but you’ll have to fight over that candy bite!) Tickets here.

PRIVATE PARTIES: Many of you had or have upcoming milestone birthdays or anniversaries. Some of you are worried about team culture during stressful times. And we’re all looking for ways to socially connect while remaining physically distant. Based on a customer request, we’re now offering Private Virtual Tastings. We’ll facilitate everything - ticket purchasing, links for the video conference, and having your cheese plate ready for pickup during a specified window (to be delivered curbside in your trunk). (Our street in our neighborhood even hosted one - organized by them and not us. We feel the love!)

FOR SHIPPING: Our Cheese 101 Class in a Box is a great way to enjoy Saturday night. Or lunchtime on a Tuesday. Or heck - 9am on a Thursday, because in these times, why not?! Included in this package is a box of goodies, a tasting menu, and a link to our online Seven Styles of Cheese class taught by two of our educators. Upon receipt, you can set up your tasting, tune into the virtual class link, and enjoy your guided tasting all at your own convenience. Our certified cheese professionals will share with you stories of the cheesemakers, flavors that you might expect from the product and what pairings make sense together. Contains approx. 1 1/2 pounds of cheese, 7 pairings, and crackers. Order details here.

Social Distancing Kit - for Shipping

Social distancing is not something cheesemongers are used to. Our awesome team felt compelled to offer a care package that you can buy for yourself or buy for a friend. It comes with 3 cheeses, 1 salami, 1 jam, nuts, dried fruit and crackers. Whether you just want to refill your pantry or have a shared experience between friends on google hangouts...this is a great way to decrease the distance of social distancing. So you may be physically apart but socially connected. Click here for more details or to purchase.

In the News
Thank you to our local press for helping us spread the word on all our efforts to stay in biz and keep offering food: Fox7 Austin and KXAN Studio 512.

ATX Living Room Picnic - THIS SATURDAY 4/4

WHAT: ATX Living Room Picnic is a citywide initiative that supports our hospitality industry and local musicians while maintaining social distance.
WHEN: Saturday, March 28, all day
WHERE: Living rooms across Austin (and of course on social media!)
HOW: Visit ATX Local Love for a list of participating restaurants (to be updated daily) - or just choose your own fave place to support. You can get anything from us, but we’re specifically recommending our Ready-To-Go Picnic. Order it online and you can pick it up curbside (delivery to trunk) or you can order it through our website and then ask Favor to pick it up and deliver it. (Details above). Fun Fact: When we were “just kids,” our fave date night was actually an indoor picnic. We’d spread a blanket on the floor (when our knees and backs didn’t hurt!) and picnic inside. If it’s good weather, sit in your front yard (minding social distancing). Show us how you picnic! Tag @atxlovelocal (and @antonellischz if you purchase through us).

Coming Together and Local Love

Appreciations to local clothing and lifestyle brand Raven + Lily; they’re looking for ways to support local businesses and reached out to us with a fun idea. Check out details for a fun collab between Olamaie, Austin Wine Merchant, local artist Kathy Phan, and us. Expect a cocktail recipe, cheese pairing, and more. Check out their post here.

GIVEAWAY -Support Local Austin is a social media campaign recently created to try to get folks to follow more local businesses that may be hurting during these times. As such, to enter the free contest, all you have to do is go to their Instagram page, follow them, and follow all the 35 accounts they follow (about 30 seconds of work). Why is it worth it (besides just following 35 awesome Austin folks)? Because the winner gets OVER $2000 in gifts and gift cards. Do it by April 3rd to enter and the winner will be announced on their site on 4/4.

Testimonials: In Your Words
“I picked up my cheese and it was so efficient and I’m so relieved I could get my cheese and wine without contact. Thank you!”
“I really admire how you and John are handling this challenging time. You’re being so creative and positive. It’s just what people need right now. Thank you for that.”
“The most fun we’ve had on lockdown.”
“Thank you for such an amazing distraction. It was a great time and we almost forgot all the bad that’s going on outside our doors. We appreciate the escape for a night.”
“The Khaleesi of Cheese and Ossau McDreamy doing what they do best. Their fans get to spend the evening with them. And the Antonelli’s team gets support. Everybody wins.”

How You Can Help Us Stay In Biz

From Austin:
From Anywhere in the United States:

Stay Cheese - y!

John & Kendall
And Your Awesome Cheesemonger Team