The List: Courtney Johnson and Tailor Kowis

By Hailee Wickersham in 425 Magazine, published February 21, 2024

When Courtney Johnson and Tailor Kowis began working in a grocery store together in 2015, the two bonded over their love for cheese.

After seeing other nearby stores build bigger, better, and hunkier cheese displays, the two were left disappointed when their store wouldn’t build on its existing cheese department. Johnson and Kowis soon realized that their dream of a beautiful and informative cheese counter wasn’t going to happen unless they did it themselves. That’s how Street Cheese was born in 2020.

Today, Street Cheese is a mobile cheesemonger that secures high-quality cheese to share with its customers while also offering educational experiences to empower folks to explore cheese on their own.

In 2023, the duo began focusing on events, tastings, and informative classes where folks learn how to pair flavor profiles.

Looking ahead, they are planning to put their wheels up and find a permanent home for Street Cheese and are planning a crowd-funding campaign to help them achieve the goal.

We chatted with Kowis and Johnson to learn more about their favorite things — in addition to, of course, cheese.

Favorite Places

To Relax 

TK: The beach, watching a sunset and listening to the waves.

CJ: At home with my husband and three dogs.

For Breakfast

TK: A gluten-free doughnut at Flying Apron Bakery.

To Grab a Coffee

TK: Uptown Espresso 

CJ: Burien Press 

For Dinner 

TK: Skål Beer Hall with Courtney, then ice cream for dessert at Salt & Straw across the street.

CJ: Bickersons Brewhouse in Renton, and The List in Belltown. 

To Be Inspired

CJ: The San Juan Islands. Or really anywhere in the Seattle area where you crest a hill and find yourself with a simultaneous view of the mountains and the water. I also like Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island.

Inspiration Board

Currently Listening to 

TK: The latest Chris Stapleton, Hozier, and Yeba, always.

CJ: The entire discography of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Currently Watching or Reading 

TK: “Dead to Me” on Netflix.

CJ: Reading “Should You Lose All Reason(s)” by Justine Chan.

What Mantra Do You Live By?

TK: Nothing is permanent. CJ: Do everything; regret nothing.


Tell us about what inspires you.

TK: Hardworking folks and animals who provide us with quality cheese. People in the cheese industry inspire me. If it weren’t for cheesemongers and cheesemakers pushing the envelope when it comes to flavor, creativity, and passion, our cheese industry wouldn’t be what it is today.

What’s something that you want people to know about Street Cheese?

TK: Our main goal is keeping artisanal cheese alive in this world that wants things made quickly and cheaply. We want good cheese to be accessible to people from all walks of life and with a wide range of experiences.

CJ: We aren’t a so-called “charcuterie board” company. Although we do build cheese and charcuterie platters, we are first and foremost a cheese shop.

What’s something that’s brought you joy recently?

TK: Eating Jumi Raclette and duck prosciutto over potato chips while sitting outside, under a heat lamp, with some of the coolest cheese folks I know. This was after our most recent Street Cheese event at one of our favorite pop-up locations, Logan Brewing.