1) To ensure we source the highest quality product we can get; that we support our local producers first and foremost; and that we provide offerings that intrigue and excite the palate.
2) To provide good cheese to folks in our community from all walks of life, regardless of where they live or how expensive their zip code may be. We want to make cheese accessible, approachable, and available to all.
3) To offer educational experiences that empower our customers to be adventurous while enjoying cheese, engage members of our community in meaningful ways, strengthen our ties with other local businesses, and uplift folks working throughout our industry.
4) To conduct business in a manner that is financially sound, but which does not do so on the necks of its workers. We want to build an ethical business that pays a living wage and good benefits, provides sound and thorough training and professional development opportunities, and is transparent to both staff and customers.
Street Cheese was born in September 2020.
We had been talking about starting our own business since we began working together in 2015. After years of working at grocery store cheese counters and seeing store after store build a big, beautiful cheese counter–and then refuse to properly train staff or pay enough hours for staff to properly maintain the department, we realized that nobody was going to let us do things the right way unless we did it ourselves. We also decided that, if we waited until we had “enough money” to start a business, we would never start a business.
In 2020, we began building custom cheese platters and grazing tables, and even completed a few home deliveries.
We continued building platters and tables in to 2021. Then, in July, we were invited for our first public event: a cheese and wine pairing at Refuel Café in Renton. We had also recently begun working out of The Crate at Discover Burien, a micro-business incubator. The director encouraged us to reach out to a relatively new brewery, Logan Brewing Company, to set up a pop-up. They agreed to have us come out to sell cheese plates to their customers at the end of July. It was a success, so we came back in August and did it again.
The cheese plate pop-up became a regular event, first at Logan and then at Future Primitive Brewing in White Center and Bickersons Brewhouse in Renton. We tried working with a few wineries, but we found that brewery patrons were much more excited for cheese to show up, and so a niche was born. Cheese plate pop-ups led to the addition of charcuterie plates to the menu, and then we started doing Raclette pop-ups in the cold months.
In 2022, the pop-up game picked up so much that we were doing two or three events a week at a variety of breweries. We introduced grilled Halloumi pop-ups in the summer. It was a lot of fun, but we also got really burned out. And then, at the end of 2022, we saw that our customers were asking us more and more how they could find us on a regular basis (“where’s your shop located?”), and we also saw that folks had returned to a sort of pre-COVID normalcy to where pop-ups weren’t really enticing.
In 2023, we stopped doing cheese plate pop-ups and began focusing on scheduling cheese classes and tastings. We also started looking for a brick-and-mortar shop so that we could finally tell our customers how to find us on a regular basis.
We are currently hunting for this little mobile cheese shop’s permanent home. We will always do events on the road, but we need a place to park our cheese. Our goal is to open a store by the end of 2023. If you’d like to help us get there, there are a few things you can do: buy cheese from us, come to our events, tell your friends about us, hire us to build a platter or a grazing table, or you can even donate a little money to help push us across the finish line. Refrigeration is expensive, y’all!
We started out with one motto, but we’ve adopted a second one along the way. Whenever you think of us, we hope at least one of them comes to mind!
LET'S GET WEIRD!
Enjoying food is just that — enjoying food. It doesn’t have to be any certain way.
Drink red wine with chicken. Eat cheese with seafood. Put garlic chèvre on a chocolate caramel.
We like to get weird, and we encourage you to do the same! Try different things together, even if you aren’t sure they’ll go. You never know what kinds of combinations and perfect pairings you can concoct.
We’ve had a lot of customers who told us, “I don’t know anything about cheese.”
The most important thing to know is if you like it, you should eat it.
CHEESE ISN'T FANCY!
Sure, there are loads of cheese from all over the world and some of them have names that are hard to say or flavors that aren’t obviously appealing.
But cheese is an agricultural product that comes from people in hairnets and sanitary gowns who spend most of their day hosing down equipment. Some of them are just cheesemakers, and some of them are also dairy farmers who shepherd milk from teat to curd to cheese. Those folks also have to deal with mud, muck, and mother nature.
As Lynn Giacomini from Pt. Reyes Farmstead Cheese once said during a visit to their farm (when she had to hose cow poop out of the way so we could enter a room to see their hi-tech robotic milking machine in action), “Cheese keeps you humble.”