The Village Cheesemonger opened last month right smack in the heart of Liberty Village in the Liberty Market Building (unit 155). The neighbourhood's first dedicated cheese store melds modern features with rustic touches and two really nice guys who are seriously in love with cheese.
All the products in the store are painstakingly hand selected. The guys make numerous trips to Montreal and beyond aiming to bring back rare finds not found in some of the city's other cheese destinations . Everything in the store tells a story. The cheese has a history longer than some people's resumes and the artisan products are unique with the words "handmade" and "old fashioned" tossed around on every label. From mustard that is hand pressed, or jellies that have no preservatives or additives, I easily found something to go with the cheese I came in for.
On my inaugural visit I checked out baskets of hand painted Italian pasta ($12-$15) and the Chateau D'Estoublon Olive Oil, bottled in Chanel No. 5 bottles ($36). There was a whole pantry of fine foods, oils, vinegars, pasta, tapenades, and crackers from France, Spain and Italy.
But more about the cheese! The Village Cheesemonger currently stocks 130 different kinds of cheese with an entire case dedicated to Canadian Cheese. Not to be missed, they sell the 2009 #1 cheese in the world, Le Cendrillon .
Co-owners David Nudds and Michael Bottomley told me they want to create a business where the standard is exceptionally high customer service. Like almost all cheese stores, customers are encouraged to try the products in the store and ask questions. This is not the place for cheese newbies to feel foolish. They want you to love it as much as they do and are happy to guide you. David is the logistics guy, and Michael is the cheese guy.
Look for "cheese of the week" specials, sandwiches ("Ultimate Grilled Cheese" anyone?) on St. John's Bakery bread, and upcoming intimate cheese tastings. They can also put together a cheese board (starting at $25) or a made-to-order gift basket.
The Village Cheesemonger is open Tuesday-Saturday 11-7, and Sunday 11-6.