Prior to my dream job of Cheesemonger, I was working as a Certified Public Accountant at Deloitte & Touche. In search of my professional passion, I quit my job, began to study food, and found myself attracted to cheese. The more that I read, ate, and learned, the more I wanted to keep going. That’s when Kendall and I started hosting Grilled Cheese Club events for friends at our house. While the dinners were designed to revolve around gourmet sandwiches, they quickly evolved into guided cheese tastings and pairings. I began to travel as much as I could, visiting dairies and cheese shops collecting as many samples as possible. I followed that with a trip to France to intern with affineur Herve Mons, and then traveled with Kendall through the Alps stopping whenever we saw a “Fromage” sign. It was an amazing experience. Eventually, with the support and commitment of Kendall, I begin to build our business.
Now I am a full-time cheesemonger with part time accounting responsibilities (old habits die hard). In 2012, I was elected to the Board of Directors for the American Cheese Society where I continue my work as a member of the Judging and Competition Committee through which we (along with other amazing committee members) plan and manage North America’s largest cheese competition. Although job duties often demand otherwise, I have been behind the case since we opened and hope to be there for the rest of my life.
- Favorite Cheese: The one in front of me!
- Favorite Pairing: Ossau-Iraty (Onetik) with Hennepin (Ommegang)
- Ideal Cheese Plate: A single cheese – either a perfect Rush Creek, Epoisses, or Vacherin Mont d’Or and a spoon
- Dream Trip: Whatever trip takes me to find the next great cheese for our case
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Fleur de Sel. Or Tupelo Honey. Or Finocchiona. (I give up. Tough question).
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Come in and find out!
- Cheese-y Nickname: The Cheese Man
- Favorite Milk Type: Mixed Milk
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Pleasant Ridge Reserve because I’m a little nutty, a little sweet, a little earthy but always very dependable.
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Making you smile and hopefully becoming your friend.
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: Because they would hire me.
- Other Hobbies: Being with Kendall, eating, talking and traveling. Isn’t it great when your job is your hobby?!
How does one exactly become a cheesemonger? I’m still asking that question myself. With a Georgetown University degree in Culture and Politics and a UT masters degree in Latin American Studies, I was working at a local non-profit running a program for immigrant survivors of crimes like human trafficking. John and I knew we wanted to work together someday. (To be honest, I always thought it would be at my nonprofit!) But after running the cheese club out of our house, I quickly realized it wasn’t only John who was becoming obsessed with molds, milks, breeds, producers, and the like. And from there, the rest is history. In a way, it all makes sense. A significant portion of my youth was spent rodeo’ing (yes- even being forced to run for rodeo queen!), showing sheep in 4-H, and occasionally being dragged before sunrise to help my step-father move cattle on his ranch. From watching him, I know exactly how much work goes into maintaining a ranch, caring for your animals, and trying to make a living. (I also know I’m not cut out for it, and therefore quickly nixed any idea of moving to the country to make our own cheese!) By working behind the cheese counter, I can speak to just how much work producers put into their craft. My appreciation and awe for what they do makes every bite of cheese that much more delicious and my excitement for telling you their story that much more important. Years ago, I couldn’t have guessed I’d become a cheesemonger, but I’m very proud today to say that I am one.
- Favorite Cheese: Unanswerable, like choosing your favorite child
- Favorite Pairing: Tomme Crayeuse (overly ripe) and summer tomatoes
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Bijou, Ossau Iraty, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Hopelessly Blue
- Dream Trip: Any trip! Wanting to hit up Ireland and Greece for next two ideal trips...
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Raclette Machine – with Raclette cheese of course! (And cured meats, cornichons, bread, and tomatoes…)
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Creminelli’s Salame al Tartufo
- Cheese-y Nickname: Cheese Ball
- Favorite Milk Type: Blasphemy. Please see answer above about favorite cheese.
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Winnimere because I’ve always dreamed of being washed in beer, plus I’m firm on the outside but a softie on the inside.
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Meeting new food-loving friends and watching kiddos grow up on our cheese!
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I couldn’t let John have all the fun for himself.
- Other Hobbies: My life is pretty cheese-centric these days.
I was an archaeologist; mostly. To be more specific, I was still at the point where I was paying to be an archeologist, not yet to the point where anyone was paying me to be one. So I took a job as a beer and wine buyer in the meantime. Little did I know that the job I took because it sounded fun would completely change my entire life trajectory. Like a siren's song it drew me back to my first true love...food. My father was a chef - a chuckwagon cook to be precise (unusual... I know, but trust me, you can't make that up). When I was little we would go out to eat and I would order anything on the menu I couldn't pronounce. When the food would come, rather than telling me what I ordered he would have me try it first, ask me what I tasted, and I had to figure it out. He refused to tell me, but he always knew what I was ordering. The world at large was far more exotic to me than it was to him. I thought it was just a fun game that we would play, but really from an oddly young age we were training my palate. I thought I would become a chef too, but after a brief 11 year stint in the front of the house restaurant/bar/catering world, I realized that the madness of a kitchen, though invigorating, would probably not be my forever home. I also realized that there was a chance that the hours might have eventually lead to the death of me. I must admit though, after I left that world for good, I secretly kind of missed the characters you would meet and the beautiful chaos that was a day in a restaurant. I took everything I had learned and got a job running a boutique cheese shop in Dallas called Molto Formaggio, after which I landed at Whole Foods for four years running the Specialty department (cheese, beer, wine, coffee) at two stores in Dallas, one in Austin and one in San Antonio. It was a great experience. I met a lot of wonderful people, ate a lot of great cheese, and was given the opportunity to take and pass the first ever Certified Cheese Professional Exam. San Antonio was an adorable city, but I found myself missing Austin quite a bit. When I found out about the Wholesale Manager position here at Antonelli's I jumped at the opportunity! It has become the culmination of all of my favorite things - great people, amazing cheese, and restaurants!
- Favorite Cheese: Harbison
- Favorite Pairing: Montenebro and Albarino
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Red Hawk, Chabrin, Roquefort stuffed dates, toasted walnuts, Gaeta olives sprinkled with harissa, wild flower honey
- Dream Trip: Working the cheese caves with Herve Mons
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Duck Speck and Macabeu
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Mt Tam
- Cheese-y Nickname: The Cheese Wiz
- Favorite Milk Type: Cow
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: an aged gouda because as I get older, I’ve managed to somehow simultaneously become both stronger and sweeter.
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Getting to be a part of that moment when someone tries something for the first time and they find it so delicious that their faces light up and a goofy, love-sick grin slides across their face. It’s magical.
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: A reputation for being not only the best source for artisanal products, but some of the kindest, most service oriented people in town.
- Other Hobbies: I run from time to time, read a lot, cook, explore restaurants, listen to my records/catch live shows… (is eating a hobby?)
- Favorite Cheese: Casatica di bufalo
- Favorite Pairing: Caveman & Bourbon Cajeta
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Casatica di bufalo, Tomme Crayeuse, Brabander Gouda, Caveman Blue
- Dream Trip: A trip to any one of the Greek Islands
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Rabbit & Pork Cheek Pate
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Brabander Gouda
- Favorite Milk Type: Goat
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: According to the Buzzfeed Quiz, I'm a gouda because I'm a 'cheesy masterpiece'....really there's a quiz, you can take it here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/lyapalater/what-cheese-are-you-a-quiz?utm_term=.tvYnQR402x#.tsEXmMpqOQ
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Getting to meet new people and trying some of the best cheeses from around the world.
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I wanted to work for a company who not only believes in what they do, but a company who is passionate about creating the best cheese business out there. We are proud of our ethics and the ethics of our partners in business.
- Other Hobbies: Obsessing over my fur babies.
Food Service SpecialistI have recently returned to Austin after a 13 year hiatus. It's good to be back! I began my foodie career here in Austin with Whole Foods Market in the year 2000. While eager to experience all avenues of the food and grocery business, I spent some time in the Bakery, Specialty, and Produce departments. I was a buyer for 10 of those 14 years with Whole Foods and thoroughly enjoyed geeking out over budgeting and margin goals in perishable departments. After 14 years, I was looking for a new challenge after so long in the comfort of Whole Foods and moved on to a small and picturesque farm in Basehor, Kansas where we hydroponically grew living basil and other herbs. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience and I gained a true appreciation for the incredible dedication and hard work that goes behind every artisanally produced product that we have the good fortune of taking for granted in the world of food today. My partner received a promotion which lead to us moving to Austin and all I knew was that I wanted to be able to continue working for small artisanal and farmstead producers. I was looking at local farms and businesses in the area and stumbled upon Antonelli's. Every product you touch here has a story worth telling. I have truly missed the world of cheese since my old Specialty days with Whole Foods for just that reason. I am so happy to have found Antonelli's and be afforded the opportunity to tell the stories of small artisanal producers and eat some amazing cheese in the process!
- Favorite Cheese: I love all cheese! But right now I'm really digging Dunbarton Blue and Sternschnuppe.
- Favorite Pairing: Nettle Meadow Kunik and a bright Sauvingon Blanc
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Speck, Gruyere and Cornichons
- Dream Trip: I'd love to go to Denmark and Sweden
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Tasmanian Honey
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: June's Joy
- Cheese-y Nickname: EMMAnthaler
- Favorite Milk Type: Any and all
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Challerhocker, surprising people endlessly with complex nuttiness
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Being able to represent the incredible work that goes goes behind every taste of cheese, telling their stories, sharing their passions.
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: ecause everyone who works here is amazing! And getting to try a plethora of amazing products everyday is an awesome perk.
- Other Hobbies: Hanging out with my family, spending as much time as possible with my awesome three year old son. I also love hiking around Austin, reading mysteries, collecting records and cooking.
I’m from Austin, born and raised. I spent some time in Seattle working as a baker. And lived in Los Angeles too… spent three years there. I worked in private homes cooking for Alzheimer’s patients, in a pastry kitchen making desserts and creating an artisan cheese menu, and had an amazing time working as a cheesemonger at the artisan market/restaurant, Farmshop. My life has since become very food positive, service driven, and about small-batch appreciation.
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Caveman Blue, Valdeon, Oma, Kunik, Robiola Rochetta… accompaniments would just be baguette slices and wine.
- Dream Trip: My dream trip would be to go to Argentina. Visit Buenos Aires and make my way down to Tierra del Fuego to see the Southern lights. But taking a trip into space would be pretty rad too.
- Other Favorite Shop Product: La Quercia Berkshire Prosciutto.
- Cheese-y Nickname: Curd Nerd
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: eaten. If I were a cheese, I would be eaten.
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: The thing I love about being a cheesemonger is talking with people about cheese and sharing those certain cheeses that are absolutely to die for. We might not have anything in common and I might not know anything about you, but we both love cheese.
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: We all have the laid-back attitude about cheese. It isn’t a stuffy, high brow thing. It’s cheese, it’s food, it’s delicious! It’s just something that we love and we love sharing.
- Other Hobbies: I write about cheese, I explore new restaurants and new food, I have a good workout regimen, I cook for friends and family, and a huge list of books to read. Are these hobbies? I feel like these are just things I do.
I visited a wonderful cheese shop the late 1980's when I lived near Summit, New Jersey, just west of New York City. I had never been in a shop where the cheese was laid out on long wooden shelves behind the counter. Most of the cheese was at air-conditioned room temperature, and it was fresh, a wonderful experience! I have been in love with natural cheeses of all sorts since then. My wife, Sue, and I have traveled in Europe, and a little in South America over the years, and we have always sought out and enjoyed local cheeses and specialty foods. For me, these are learning experiences as local specialty foods reflect the culture of which they are a product. I am passionate about cheese, I love good food and wine, and I love to cook. As owners of the Federal House Inn Bed & Breakfast in western Massachusetts for several years, Sue and I served a delicious breakfast for up to twenty-four guests every morning. Running a B&B is hard work, but creating delicious breakfasts for our guests was a huge reward for me, and providing an elegant dining experience provided the same reward for Sue. Antonelli’s Cheese Shop provides delicious cheeses and related products, and an elegant tasting and purchasing experience (both at the shop and at the cheese classes). Consequently, I feel right at home here.
- Favorite Cheese: Epoisses
- Favorite Pairing: Bucheron and moderately Chilled Chablis
- Ideal Cheese Plate: One each of Antonelli’s seven major styles of cheese, Marcona Almonds, and fresh pear slices
- Dream Trip: A cheese tour of France, Spain or Italy
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Thinly sliced Speck
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Moderately ripe Camembert
- Cheese-y Nickname: Mozzarella Di Bufala Bill Cody
- Favorite Milk Type: Goat's milk
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: An aged cheddar, salty and sweet with a long finish
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: To be around cheese and to be part of the wonderful food scene here in Austin.
- Other Hobbies: Cooking, wine, travel, bird watching and enjoying music.
Cheesemonger in Training I am a newlywed and recently moved to Austin, after living in the same suburb of San Diego my entire life. I am a graduate student studying Conservation Biology, focusing on promoting sustainable agriculture and getting community to connect with their food and where it comes from. I have a small herd of Nigerian Dwarf goats that I am hoping to move here from San Diego soon. I had a hobby farm which I supplied friends and family with fresh vegetables, eggs, chèvre, and yummy canned goods. I love connecting people with food and feel like Antonelli’s is a great place to do that!
- Favorite Cheese: Do I have to pick just one?
- Favorite Pairing: Fresh chèvre with jalapeno jelly on a baguette
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Moses Sleeper, Majorero, a sharp cheddar, and Smokey Blue.
- Dream Trip: Traveling the countryside of France and visiting small farms
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Marcona almonds
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Dèlice de Bourgogne
- Cheese-y Nickname: Crazy goat lady
- Favorite Milk Type: Goat
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Burrata. I hold up well on the outside, but I’m a softie on the inside
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: I feel like I’m never going to stop learning about all of the awesome cheese that is out there!
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: Being around cheese and great, cheese-loving people sounded pretty good to me
- Other Hobbies: Kayaking, gardening, canning, baking, crocheting, spending time with my husband and animals
Director of Events
I’M FROM A SMALL TOWN IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS BUT MOVED TO AUSTIN AS SOON AS I COULD! I CAME HERE TO PURSUE A DEGREE IN NURSING. A FEW LIFE CHANGES LATER, I GRADUATED IN 2016 WITH A BACHELOR OF ARTS IN PHILOSOPHY WITH MINORS IN BIOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY AND A PROFICIENCY IN LATIN. THE GRAND PLAN WAS TO HEAD OFF TO GRADUATE SCHOOL TO BECOME A PHYSICANS ASSISTANT BUT MY LOVE FOR THIS CITY KEPT ME HERE. WORKING FOR THE ANTONELLI’S IS A DREAM COME TRUE! I COME TO WORK EVERY SINGLE DAY SUPER EXCITED TO INTRODUCE OUR GUESTS TO ARTISANAL PRODUCTS. MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS ARE INCREDIBLY CONFUSED ABOUT HOW I ENDED UP HERE AT ANTONELLI’S SINCE I CAME FROM A BACKGROUND IN HEALTHCARE. IT’S SIMPLE. THERE’S NOTHING MORE ALLURING THAN THE POSITIVE CULTURE, THE AMAZING PRODUCERS, AND THE DELICIOUSNESS THAT COMES WITH ANTONELLI’S CHEESE SHOP. PLUS, WHO DOESN’T WANT TO THROW CHEESE PARTIES WITH AMAZING FOLKS 3 NIGHTS A WEEK? I HAVE THE BEST JOB EVER.
- Favorite Cheese: FREE CHEESE!
- Favorite Pairing: A LOCAL BEER AND AN ARTISANAL CHEESE—IT’S THAT SIMPLE
- Ideal Cheese Plate: A WHOLE WHEEL OF HARBISON SURROUNDED BY PICKLED PRODUCTS, CHARCUTERIE, AND FRESH BAGUETTE
- Dream Trip: LIVE ABOARD SAIL BOAT TRIP TO SCUBA DIVE WITH TIGER SHARKS
- Other Favorite Shop Product: ROBERT LAMBERT’S RASPBERRY CHAMPAGNE JELLY
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: CHEVRE AND APRICOT JAM (MY FIRST LOVE)
- Cheese-y Nickname: FONDUDE
- Favorite Milk Type: WATER BUFFALO, BECAUSE WHO IS CRAZY ENOUGH TO MILK A WATER BUFFALO?! MAD RESPECT!
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: A STINKY, GOOEY WASHED RIND BECAUSE I’M ALWAYS RUNNING ALL OVER THE PLACE
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: TALKING ABOUT OUR AMAZING PRODUCERS AND CHEESE SCIENCE ALL DAY LONG
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I COACHED THE ANTONELLI’S KIDS IN SOCCER AND FELL IN LOVE WITH THEIR ADORABLE FAMILY AND POSITIVE ATTITUDE
- Other Hobbies: I LOVE PHILOSOPHICAL READING, TAKING MY PUPS ON DOGVENTURES, WATCHING DOCUMENTARIES, EATING GOOD FOOD, AND EXERCISING AT A LOCAL CROSSFIT BOX
Hi I'm Isabel! I'm also from Austin, born and raised. I am currently a graduate accounting student at UT. I thought it would be fun to do something completely different this semester and that's how I ended up at ACS. A few weeks ago I was biking past ACS and it hit me that working in a cheese shop would be a fun, different thing to do this school year. There was an opening in the events department, so I applied and here I am! My ultimate dream is to one day run my own alpaca farm/hostel and working at ACS has provided me a lot of insight into how small businesses operate - insight I hope to apply to my own business ventures.
- Favorite Cheese: Gouda
- Favorite Pairing: Washed rind and a good IPA.
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Mt Tam, June's Joy, Cabot Clothbound, Moses Sleeper.
- Dream Trip: Kyrgyzstan for the World Nomad Games.
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Cheese Tasting notebook. It's like a diary for all your cheese-y thoughts.
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Brabander gouda. There's a reason it's my favorite.
- Cheese-y Nickname: I'll get baaaack to you on that.
- Favorite Milk Type: Sheep (see above)
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: A blue cheese to match my dogs. I've got two blue heelers.
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Getting to do the cheesemonger shuffle across Duval to get from the shop to the house.
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: To learn about cheese of course! And to be around interesting, cheese-loving people.
- Other Hobbies: Reading in my hammock at the park, visiting alpaca farms, traveling.
I moved to Austin 7 years ago with no real intentions of getting back into the food business. Since then, I've worked FOH, BOH, in food trailers, and started a handmade pasta company. Working with cheese is a really satisfying way to engage with producers both here and abroad.
- Favorite Cheese: Bianco Sardo
- Favorite Pairing: Just put some Delice on a baguette, and I'm good.
- Dream Trip: Piedmont
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Currently: Grafter from Texas Keeper
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Sweet & Tangy Mustard Seeds
- Favorite Milk Type: Sheep
- Other Hobbies: Bird watching
Cheesemonger in Training 26 from Los Angeles. New to Austin and enjoy exploring new parts of town.
- Favorite Cheese: Challerhocker!
- Favorite Pairing: Breasola
- Ideal Cheese Plate: A medley of sharp cheeses
- Dream Trip: Personal: Japan Cheese Trip: England
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Tanzania 60% peanut butter and chocolate bar
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Raspberry Champagne Jelly
- Favorite Milk Type: Cow
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Glarner Alpkase
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: No one is ever in a bad mood when they're eating cheese!
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: Their emphasis on teaching customers as they enjoy their cheese and the staff are wonderful people
- Other Hobbies: Anime, Hiking, Finding new places in Austin
Cheesemonger in Training
- Favorite Cheese: St. Pete’s Select Blue Cheese (hometown pride!)
- Favorite Pairing: Widmer’s 10 Year Aged Sharp Cheddar and Cider Jelly
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Kunik, Cave Aged Marisa, Pantaleo and Caveman Blue
- Dream Trip: Backpacking through the gorgeous landscape of Alaska
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Dick Taylor’s Fleur de Sel (everyone deserves chocolate!)
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam
- Favorite Milk Type: Sheep
- If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Fiore Sardo (sweet and zesty with a splash of fruit)
- My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Putting smiles on people’s faces
Production Cheesemonger in Training
Cheesemonger in Training
I have lived in the Hyde Park neighborhood since moving to Austin two years ago. I’m so excited to be able to serve the members of this community and share with them the amazing products that Antonelli’s has to offer! Before moving to Austin, I graduated from Ithaca College in upstate New York with a degree in music education. In addition to my work at Antonelli’s, I teach private trombone lessons to public school students in the Austin area.
- Favorite Cheese: Brabander Gouda
- Favorite Pairing: Raspberry Champagne Jelly
- Ideal Cheese Plate: Bent River, Good Thunder, Brabander Gouda, SarVecchio, and Caveman accompanied by prosciutto, bread.
- Dream Trip: I would love to travel all around Europe to eat wonderful food and soak up the history!
- Other Favorite Shop Product: Rare Hawaiian Organic Kiawe Honey
- Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Texas Pecan Brittle Bar
- Favorite Milk Type: Goat
- Why I wanted To Work At ACS: After being a customer at Antonelli’s, I wanted to work in a fun, friendly, environment where I can sell products I believe in.
- Other Hobbies: I play trombone in two community ensembles and I love to explore the outdoors.
Your Love of Cheese Here! If you want to be a part of our team, check out the employment page of our website for current positions. Look forward to tasting and talking cheese with you!