The Cheese Department in our San Francisco store offers a surprisingly wide variety of cheeses in a limited space. Led by manager Rizalde Mendoza, the department takes its cues on what to stock from our flagship store in Kentfield. And though the tastes of our San Francisco customers vary from those in Marin, the core of our selection is consistent across all stores.

We take pride in the fact that we stock many local cheeses from Sonoma, Petaluma and Castro Valley. We especially love Cowgirl Creamery, and our customers do too. The aged, triple-cream Mt. Tam is very popular here in San Francisco due to its amazingly creamy texture and hints of white mushroom. Cypress Grove’s goat cheese is also very popular, especially the top seller Humboldt Fog. We currently stock the seasonal Humboldt Fog Dill Remix right now that features a ribbon of dill and hand-harvested dill pollen, and it’s only available for a limited time. Cypress Grove’s Sgt. Pepper is a combination of peppers, spices, and pepper threads and goes great with pasta, while their Truffle Tremor packs a huge truffle wallop and goes great on a burger.

With summer and outdoor eating on the horizon, we love us some fresh Mozzarella right now. Berkeley’s Belfiore Cheese Company makes fresh, Italian-style “Fior di Latte” (fresh mozzarella in water) that is out-of-this-world, and the reliable BelGioioso offers mozzarella that is always delicious as well.

Grilling cheeses are a popular item with Memorial Day approaching—we have plenty of pepper jack and blue cheese options for adding some fun to your steak, our Halloumi cheese is perfect to char on the grill with some herb oil, watermelon, or cherry tomatoes. Halloumi a staple at our cookouts every summer—give it a try if you’re not familiar!

For salads, we have a number of crumbly cheeses such as feta, Cotija, and queso fresco that will all add a nice salty bite to your vegetables.

In April we took a trip to Wisconsin for a cheese tour. It was a fantastic experience, and we realized there were a lot of great Wisconsin cheeses that we haven’t been able to bring out to California yet. We negotiated with the large vendors out there and will hopefully be able to offer a lot more of those cheeses here soon—keep an eye out for a number of new cheeses from Wisconsin on the shelves in the coming weeks.

Overall, the stock of our San Francisco store is about half local and half European cheeses. We carry a large selection of cheeses from France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, including the decadent La Tur, an incredibly creamy, soft-ripened cheese from the Piedmont region of Italy made from a blend of sheep’s, cow’s and goat’s milk.

If there’s anything on our shelves that piques your interest and you’re not familiar with, just ask us and we’re happy to offer samples. If we don’t have something in stock, just let our manager Riz know, and he’ll be happy to offer some samples of similar cheese that he recommends. If you buy it and don’t like it, bring it back and we’ll give you a full refund. So stop by soon and try a variety you’ve never had before!