C’est Cheese Please

Cest Cheese Please Sign

This past week I visited C’est Cheese Please, a cheese store in Cambridge (Ontario, Canada). I was visiting the area and did a search for “cheese” on my iphone maps app. C’est Cheese Please popped up and I decided to check it out.

C'est Cheese Please Store Front

I enjoy visiting different cheese shops because it is a process of discovery. Having never been to this store before, I was wondering if C’est Cheese Please would be a large cheese supermarket or a small cheese boutique. It is the latter, a small specialty cheese shop.

The inside is inviting, warm and decorated in such a way that you just know the owner has a passion for all things cheese. Although small, I found myself browsing for several minutes, soaking up the variety of merchandise on display. C’est Cheese Please sells cheese boards, knives, books, chocolates, jams, bread, etc. There is a lot of cheese stuff packed into such a small store.

C'est Cheese Please - Interior

The purpose of my visit was to see if C’est Cheese Please would have any interesting cheeses that I have not yet tried. I drifted to the cheese case.

C'est Cheese Please Cheese Case

C'est Cheese Please Cheese Case

I asked for any recommendations. The salesperson started asking me a few questions in order to steer me in the right direction. Before long she was slicing off some samples of several new cheeses that I have only read about. I narrowed my decision down to a few to bring home to enjoy.

There were business cards on the counter. I picked one up and asked the woman if she was the owner, Wendi Yates. She responded yes. I decided to introduce myself and reveal my cheese adventure and blog hobby.

Wendi remained warm and welcoming. I wanted to talk a lot more about the cheeses that she was carrying since they were so uncommon. She answered all of my questions and explained about many of the cheeses in the case and stories about them … where they came from, how they are made and why they are special. I was fascinated with her depth of knowledge.

I noticed a reader’s award on the wall.

C'est Cheese Please - Cambridge Times 2011 Readers Award

After spending just a short time in the store it was easy to understand why C’est Cheese Please was a local favorite.

As with many small business’s the success of the store is reflection on the person behind it.

Wendi Yates - C'est Cheese Please

Wendi Yates - C'est Cheese Please

I left with three amazing new cheeses and I will post reviews on them soon.

If you live anywhere in the vicinity of C’est Cheese Please, it is worth a visit if you enjoy cheese. Wendi is very knowledgeable and provided a comfortable and enjoyable shopping experience. This was cheese shopping at it’s best for me.

C’est Cheese Please
12 Water St. South
Cambridge Ontario

Dags and Willow Cheese Shop – Collingwood

Ontario has enjoyed a lot of snow this year. It put me in the mood for some skiing at Blue Mountain which is a ski resort about two hours north of Toronto.

Blue Mountain - Image from Google Images

I visited Blue Mountain a few weeks ago to ski with my family. Skiing is hard work for an old guy like me. I get tired and hungry after chasing my wife and children around the slopes for eight hours. That’s when I got a mild case of “cheese brain”.

“Cheese Brain” is when my stomach starts talking to my brain and says – “Hey brain – Go find me some cheese, I’m hungry!”

I was thinking that cheese would make a terrific Apres ski snack. I set out to find a cheese specialty store near the mountain. My online exploring led me to a website for Dags & Willow located in the town of Collingwood near the ski resort.

Dags & Willow has a good website, good enough to lure me to visit their store. Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention to their hours of operation and they were closed the day I tried to visit.

It was a cute store, in a good location, near the center of town.

According to their website the store is named after the owner’s dogs: Dagny, a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, and Willow, a Collie/Shepherd cross.

They claim to have:

“the largest collection of cheese in the Collingwood area, offering over 100 varieties of cheese at any given time & a try-before-you-buy policy that goes beyond just their superb collection of cheeses.”

They also advertise cheese boards. I would love to check out their boards since I haven’t had much luck finding a store with a good selection of high quality cheese boards.

Cheese Board from Dag's and Willow - image from their website

Their website has an option to subscribe to a newsletter, which I did. I have received two emails since I subscribed. The newsletters are well written and informative. I manage way too much email spam but Dag’s and Willow has hit the sweet spot of email frequency … not too much to annoy me, but enough to keep reminding me that they’ve got cheese I might want. It’s one, of just a few newsletters, that I actually read.

I found an article in the Toronto Star Article where Dag’s and Willow was rated the number one favorite food place in Collingwood by Michael Bonacini, a renowned chef and restaurant owner in Toronto. If Michael liked the store then I’m sure I will too.

I will be planning a stop at Dag’s and Willow the next time that I’m in Collingwood.

Goat Inc. Cheese Shop

UPDATE: October 2012 – Goat Inc. has closed and is no longer in business.

I have discovered a cheese shop very close to my home in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I never new this place existed and it took me some time to find it using web search. They don’t have an active website that I could find. I found reference to a site http://www.goatinc.ca but it doesn’t work (at the time of this writing). I did come across some basic info on the store.

Located in the Village of Clarkson, at the southern tip of Mississauga, Goat Inc. Cheese Shoppe offers the finest of hand crafted, artisan cheeses and specialty foods from Canada and around the world.

Goat Inc. is an oasis of sensory pleasure, dedicated to the enjoyment of cheese. We normally carry between 70 to 90 cheeses, all of them carefully inspected for authenticity, quality and ripeness. Our customers are encouraged to sample our cheeses at their leisure and to ask questions about any aspect of our business.

Owner/Operator Joseph Alexander Ambrus is a certified Sommelier and is always available to offer his expertise and experience in pairing fine wines with your cheese selection, to make any occasion the PERFECT OCCASION.  Come in and meet Joe, and share his passion for fine foods and even finer wines.

Contact Us:
Joe Ambrus AKA “Head Cheese”
1744 Lakeshore Road West (at Clarkson Road North)
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, L5J 4N8
Phone (905) 823-3353 Cell (416) 937-1422 Fax (905) 823-3354

It is located in a small mall with convenient parking. The shop is small but clean, well presented and has a comfortable ambiance.

The following ad is listed on the online Yellow Pages. But who uses the Yellow Pages anymore?

I also lifted this ad from a website.

The website Arthur’s Cellar (a wine importer in Ontario) had these kind words about Goat Inc.

Don’t be fooled by the name … Joe Ambrus has many varieties of wonderful cheese including Chèvre. Not only that, but he is a real master of matching the right cheese with the right wine. We visit Goat Inc. whenever we need great cheeses to go with our wines.  – Arthur’s Cellar

I also found a very nice web page on wine and cheese pairings that was prepared by “our resident wine and cheese expert, Joe Ambrus” the proprietor of Goat Inc.

UPDATE: Feb 5, 2011

I had the chance to visit Goat Inc. They specialize in one thing … cheese. They have a nice selection within their cheese case backed up with knowledgeable service and taste samples.

The Cheese Case at Goat Inc.

Their cheese offering does vary. They carry Beemester XO, Saint Agur, Niagara Gold, Frere Jacques and Chevre Noir to name a few.