Your Cheesemongers

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.

Sunshine

Director of Operations

 

I’m Sunshine, and I’m the Director of Operations here at Antonelli’s. I decided I wanted to be a part of this company after my first meeting with John. The passion for not only all things cheese but people and doing what is right that exudes from both John and Kendall is inspiring. I have met the most amazing individuals in the food world in Austin, and I work with what I feel is one of the best teams in business.

  • Favorite Cheese: This is just as hard as asking who your favorite kid is.
  • Favorite Pairing: Harbison with acorn prosciutto from La Quercia and dried apricots.
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: Robiola Bosina, Red Hawk, Cave Aged Marisa, and Caveman. It would have a jam from Confitures, quince paste, castelvetrano olives, acorn prosciutto from La Quercia, Sopressata from Underground Meats, and dried persimmons.
  • Dream Trip: A cabin in the woods when its snowing anywhere in the world….but nothing too remote.
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Mayana chocolate bars.
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Brabander Goat Gouda topped with Bourbon Cajeta from Blue Heron Farms.
  • Cheese-y Nickname: I think my name is pretty unique already.
  • Favorite Milk Type: All of them. Really. I tend to lean more towards goat, but I’ve never met a milk type (or cheese) I didn’t like. Including water buffalo milk cheese.
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Epoisses speaks to my soul because it’s complex and intense.
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Seeing someone’s eyes light up when they find their perfect bite.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: The people!! The cheese is the plus.
  • Other Hobbies: I’m obsessed with SoulCycle!

Emma

Inventory Manager

I 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.

Alex

Director of Wholesale

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.

Dick

Delivery Driver

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.

Andrea

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

Evan

Director of Events

I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin so I truly am a Cheesehead! I grew up on the isthmus, between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona and I’ve always been a big water guy. Boating, sailing, fishing, swimming…you name it, I love it. My mom has been involved in the food and restaurant business for over 30 years so I was exposed to the foodie world at a young age. I started working in restaurants at the age of 14 and this is where I was introduced to events and catering, which are my passion in this business. That led me to Antonelli’s, where I am the newest director on the team. I love what we do and what we stand for, and I cannot wait to see where we take this company in the years ahead!

  • Favorite Cheese: Brillat Savarin
  • Favorite Pairing: Pure Luck Chevre and Robert Lambert's Wild Blueberry Lemon Jam
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: Brie, Manchego, Bay Blue, Prosciutto, Soppressata, Fig Jam and Mustard Seeds
  • Dream Trip: Spending a month in Italy eating cheese and drinking wine
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Wine
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: June's Joy
  • Cheese-y Nickname: The Cheese Whisperer
  • Favorite Milk Type: Cow
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Drunken Monk
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: Eating Cheese Allllllllll Daaaaaaayyyy Loooonnnnnnnng
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I love the brand, love the cheese, and love the people, but most of all I love that our mission is "Do Good, Eat Good"
  • Other Hobbies: Traveling, Yoga, Exploring New Food/Restaurants and anything outdoors

Nick D.

Office Manager

I moved to Austin from New York in 2008 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: Fiore Sardo
  • Favorite Pairing: Just put some Delice on a baguette, and I'm good.
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: Summer Snow, Fiore Sardo, Rogue River Blue
  • Dream Trip: Piedmont
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Grafter Rose from Texas Keeper
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Sweet & Tangy Mustard Seeds
  • Favorite Milk Type: Sheep
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: There's always amazing cheese within 10 feet.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: Great people, and a chance to be involved in the conversation about how and where we get our food.
  • Other Hobbies: Playing Music, Bird Watching, Riding Bikes, Building Stuff

Nick K.

Shop Lead

 

I grew up in a small town in Minnesota that was famous for 2 things: inventing the Tilt-A- Whirl and making the first blue cheese in America! The Caves of Faribault opened up back in the 1850’s originally as a brewery, but in 1936 a food scientist and Roquefort-enthusiast bought the caves and started making the first blue cheese ever on American soil! After attending college at the University of California at Berkeley, I moved back to Minnesota to work with Faribault Dairy, the current operators of the Caves of Faribault. I spent almost 3 years working in the caves making world-class blue cheese and as a Cheesemonger in their retail shop. I decided to move to Austin last year to escape the frigid cold of the Minnesota Tundra. I heard from a friend about the incredible cheese shop in Austin, and I was thrilled to accept the opportunity to join the Antonelli’s Cheese Team!

  • 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

Cara

Internal Sales

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.

Emma H.

Cheesemonger in Training

I am currently finishing up my neuroscience degree at UT Austin and hope to head to med school in a year where I can pursue my dream of working with global health initiatives around the world. I hope to also one day attend culinary school and continue to pursue my love of food on the side.

  • Favorite Cheese: Sottocenere! It's an entire Italian truffle pasta dish wrapped up in a cheese. Eating it is like getting a hug.
  • Favorite Pairing: Widmer's 10 year Cheddar with our pure Cider Jelly.
  • Ideal Cheese Plate: A plate with all of the goudas that we sell and a fork and knife
  • Dream Trip: To Scotland!
  • Other Favorite Shop Product: Bourbon Cajeta. It goes on EVERYTHING!
  • Go-To-Product To Evoke Customer Happy Dance: Raspberry Champagne Jelly. There is nothing that that doesn't taste good with.
  • Favorite Milk Type: Definitely goat.
  • If I Were A Cheese, I'd Be: Bay Blue! Looks like blue cheese, tastes like ice cream.
  • My Favorite Thing About Being A Cheesemonger: I love working a job where there's no limit to what you can learn. It keeps things interesting and it never stops being a challenge.
  • Why I wanted To Work At ACS: I've always been interested in the science behind making food, especially bread and cheese. The fact that tiny changes in atmosphere or location can create an entirely new product is fascinating.
  • Other Hobbies: I love to read, run and bake.

Your Name

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!