History On May 12th, 2012 we opened up The Cheese Store of San Diego at our first farmers market and it was well received by the community. Two years later, we are now established in two of San Diego’s premier farmers markets with over 450 customers signed up for our weekly newsletter. We are ready to take it to the next level with a Brick and Mortar. Can you imagine? If we run out of burrata at the Little Italy Mercato you only have to walk two blocks to get it! And while you are there why not grab a grilled cheese sandwich, a ramekin of gooey mac and cheese, and a salad with crumbles of fresh chèvre or maybe even some tomato soup? How about a bottle of wine to go with your cheese plate? That’s right! We will be cooking up cheesy bistro grub, serving and selling wine and beer.
Location: We will be located on Kettner between Grape & Fir at the newly built Broadstone apartment complex in the historic and charming Little Italy district of downtown San Diego.
Our Vision: The Cheese Store of San Diego will be a specialty food gourmet market place and bistro. The space is approximately 1,000 square feet with seating inside and outside. Our store will be stocked with American farmstead and artisan cheeses, as well as some imports. We will offer charcuterie, local and domestic artisan pairings items made by people (not factories!), such as olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honeys, jams, pickles, crackers, bread, olives, and condiments. These items will be handcrafted in small batches and will be featured on our daily cheese & meat boards as well as cheese trays to-go for events and parties. We will have a full kitchen and we will be serving prepared foods, daily soups, sandwiches, and salads sourced from local ingredients. We will offer a small selection of wine and beer, natural sodas and juices. We are super excited to provide our customers with fresh dairy products like milk, crème, yogurt, fromage blanc, and European style butters. Our community table will hold intimate private events, tastings and classes as well as private dinners of cheese inspired menus featuring guest Chefs.
Little Italy's food scene just keeps getting better and better and The Cheese Store of San Diego is the perfect addition to the community. We love the stories behind the cheese makers, and learning the history of their families, the farms, and the animals. We absolutely are obsessed with cheese! We believe in community, good local food, and that every neighborhood should have a cheese store. We can’t wait to bring it to the cheese lovers of San Diego and Little Italy.
When: We signed a lease in June and our plans for our build-out have been submitted to the City. Our goal is to be open early Fall, but we really need your help.
We need your support: We want to make it the perfect space, and we need another $20,000 to make that happen. Your contributions will go towards our design, architecture fees, build-out costs, and equipment. We want to create a space that the community can really enjoy and be an enhancement to the Little Italy food scene.
Why Kickstart Us? Because every weekend we hear multiple times “Where is your store?” or “Where can I get more burrata or some more of that Hooks cheddar you had last week?” The Cheese Store of San Diego will be a place where you can go on a daily bases to get your cheese fix and find something new. If you believe every neighborhood should have a cheese store then you should Kickstart us. It will be a place that is educational and also fun. A place that celebrates food, friends, family, community and most of all it will celebrate cheese! At The Cheese Store of San Diego we will support small batch domestic producers of quality artisan products.
Who we are:
Marci Flores - I have a background in Business, Retail and Merchandise Marketing. For the past 10 years I have been involved in running my family’s active wear and promotional items company. Food has always been my passion. I started a food blog (To Dine For San Diego) in January 2010 and used the blog for an inspirational outlet where I wrote about inspiring recipes, restaurant reviews, culinary events and topics. My blog showcased my own food photography and was a resource for local San Diegan foodies. The blog helped me discover the path I wanted to pursue with food.
I have experience in catering for private dinner parties. In addition, I completed an intensive cheese course at The Cheese School of San Francisco. In 2012, I auditioned for the television show Master Chef and was asked to come to LA for final auditions (thanks to my Mac & Cheese); however, I passed on the opportunity for the final round because my goals were already set to open up The Cheese Store of San Diego.
Aaron Flores - I have over 10 years of food related work experience in the cities of San Diego and San Luis Obispo. At age of 16, I started working for the Cohn Restaurant Group who taught me the importance of customer service and hospitality. I started my first farmers market business at the age of 18 in San Luis Obispo. I gained experience in central coast wines behind the bar at Big Sky Café in SLO and held front of the house positions in many casual and fine dining establishments.
I also have an MBA from University of San Diego and a career that spans several upper management positions in real estate investment firms.
Our love and devotion to cheese, the artisan food movement, and celebrating food with family and friends has led us to blend our passion for business, food and community together. The stories about the families of the producers, farms, and creameries touch us in so many ways. The happy and beautiful animals that the milk comes from, and serene pastures on which these animals graze are the most beautiful we have seen and we want to share the stories with you. Supporting the hard working cheese makers and bringing smiles on our customer’s faces is where our satisfaction in selling handcrafted artisan cheese lies.
We were married in June and signed a lease for The Cheese Store of San Diego’s "brick and mortar" that same month. Now we will have an answer for you when you stop by our booth at the farmers market and ask us where our store is.
Rewards: See the side bar to the right of your screen for all the rewards.
**note $100 reward includes everything in the $50 reward & A Monger Choice Cheese Board which is a selection of cheeses and pairings chosen by the Cheese Monger to be consumed in the store! Yum.
Thank you so much:
Our Customers & Cheese Lovers: You brighten weekends with your smiles. Thank you for all your support along the way.
Dave Fremo: Our Partner. You spotted us out over a year ago at the Little Italy Mercato and understood our vision from the start. Thank you for believing in us. We are so stoked to have an amazing local San Diegan on our team.
Our Family: We could not have done this without your love and support. Thank you for keeping us grounded and standing behind us all the way.
Our Friends: While most of you have been raising children and giving birth, we decided to give birth to A Cheese Store. Thank you for being very understanding of our lack of time and for your amazing support. Thank you for bringing your kiddies by to see us at every market. We will apologize in advance for the upscale cheese addiction we have created with your children. String cheese might go out of business.
The Cheese Store Team: Thank you for holding down the tent for us on many occasions, your cheesy jokes, silly cheese quotes and pictures. We would not be where we are today without you guys!
Damin Sterling: Thank you for taking our branding to the next level.
Steve Sanders: Thank you for the amazing Kickstarter video. You are brilliant and we are so lucky.
Mind Hinds; The Team at BlueMotif; Green Peak Labs; Jason Mann; Peter Karvelis; The Assenti's; Lesley & David Cohn; Jeremy Cohn
Risks and challenges
As a backer of this Kickstarter you should be aware that we are a start-up business and this is our first store. Just like any new business there are risks and challenges, and maybe even a few setbacks (although we hope not). We are ready and will handle all of the curve balls thrown our way. Rest assured that we have been running the cheese scene at two of the premier Farmers Markets in San Diego. Through research and training classes we have built a large network of mongers and cheese professionals who have been so helpful in our planning process and are always ready and willing to answer questions we may have along the way.
We also have a brilliant team on board to help us with our design, build out, and construction so we are confident in moving things along in a timely manner and doing all things correctly. Our friends who are well respected in the food industry in San Diego and Georgia have consulted with us and helped guide us along the path to success, which we are so grateful for.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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