Cultured Fine Cheese is owned and operated by Larra Daley. Behind the scenes, her husband, Stephan Biedermann, offers her moral support and carpentry genius. The shop, which is located in Horwood’s Mall, opened in June 2015.
Daley became interested in fine cheese because her holiday meals often included cheese platters and friends—snacking and sharing cheese with great company. She said she has always loved great food and “cheese is so naturally conducive to relaxation and socialization.”
With Cultured Fine Cheese she wants to “build a culture around that; spread a little joy, happiness and togetherness through the tasty medium of cheese.”
Though Daley was unsure about the shop’s success, she overcame her fear of failure and is grateful for the community support she’s received. She said locals have truly been at the heart of the sustainability of the business. Cultured Fine Cheese sees increased visitors during the holidays and from June to August. The additional floor space that accompanied a move in November 2018 has allowed Daley to welcome and assist more customers. She feels honoured that many of her regular customers introduce their visitors to the shop with a good measure of homegrown pride.
The shop’s most successful sellers include Swiss cave-aged Gruyère, and Canadian classics such as Appletree smoked cheddar and Lindsay clothbound cheddar.
Depending on the season, the shop can have anywhere from 100 to 125 varieties available from importers in Canada and Europe. Some suppliers even hand-deliver their goods.
“A big highlight of 2019 was having the opportunity and honour to feature Klondike Valley creamy cheese from Dawson,” said Daley.
Varied suppliers allow the shop to offer a broad selection that has increased since the November expansion. This, in turn, has increased sales. The oil and vinegar bar has become a draw and the diversified selection includes cheese and many accompaniments from sweets to savouries, local to import. Cultured Fine Cheese has become a specialty shop that offers the necessary ingredients for a fabulous meal and the perfect snack.