The Cheese Gallery, located in downtown Thornbury is a wonderful cheese and gourmet food shop with an in-house coffee bar, bakery, and a curated collection of home goods inspired by the gourmet foods they complement. Owner Casey Thomson ensures they focus on offering quality food and supporting local suppliers. Anyone who enjoys exceptional foods will be in a foodie paradise at this culinary shopping destination.
A World of Cheese
The Cheese Gallery really does bring the world of cheese to Thornbury. On average, they offer about one hundred different cheeses to choose from, with a wide selection from Ontario and across Canada. The knowledgeable team working the counter can always help with inspiration and the selection process. Offering full catering service, they can create cheese and charcuterie boards and boxes for up to 500 people, which are most impressive and delicious, perfect for your next cocktail party. What’s the difference? “A charcuterie board is a selection of meats surrounded by foods that complement those meats, most commonly fruits, nuts, crackers, and dips. A cheese board is a collection of cheeses surrounded by foods that complement those cheeses,” explains Casey. “Also, when you peer into the Cheese case, you’ll notice that a large number of cheeses are wrapped in tin foil. The foil layer allows very little air exchange that prevents the blue mold from growing a thick layer over the surface of the cheese and affecting flavour. Cheese is a living, dynamic food that is not in a homeostasis state.”
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
After leaving corporate life, owner Casey Thomson, who has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, wanted to open a small retail business on the main street of Thornbury. A business that would become part of the fabric of the community. “I feel that The Cheese Gallery is a culmination of every aspect of my work history. At each stage of my career, I have developed different skill sets that have all been put into play here; I’ve learned everything from sales and marketing skills to how to create successful partnerships. My experience as a teacher has taught me how to be supportive and nurturing as well as have patience,” explains Casey. “But you can’t build a business alone. Our staff retention rate is incredibly high. In twelve years, we’ve only had a total of 26 staff members. The business would not be what it is today without such an amazing team working alongside me. We currently employ ten people who all live locally. Each one of them brings their own talents to the table, but all of them are proud and passionate about what they do. I’m so proud of our incredibly cohesive team,” continues Casey.
The Big Cheese Smackdown
Every day is ‘Grilled Cheese Day’ at The Cheese Gallery, and over the years they’ve served up thousands of sandwiches. They offer gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches to take away and enjoy that are decadent and delicious. You can even call ahead and it will be ready for you at their convenient pick-up window.
All of this cheesy action inspired The Big Cheese Smackdown, a friendly but serious grilled cheese sammie smackdown. The inaugural year of the event had 16 locations in and around Thornbury and the Blue Mountains participate in this culinary challenge. Each venue came up with a unique Grilled Cheese to offer for the month of April, and after participants munched their way through all of that grilled cheese goodness, they were able to vote and rank their sandwich for a chance to win weekly prizes. At the end of April, the votes were tabulated and a winner was crowned for Grilled Cheese Supremacy. Watch for this delicious event in April.
Everything Old is New Again
Not to be outdone by a fabulous selection of gourmet foods, the giftware available at The Cheese Gallery is impressive. You’ll find a dazzling selection of antique and vintage glassware, barware, goblets, decanters, serving boards and platters. If you’re gift shopping for someone who loves to entertain, The Cheese Gallery is a gold mine of options. At The Cheese Gallery, they support over 40 local suppliers. By shopping there, you’re not just supporting one small business. You’re supporting local makers, creators and crafters as well.
Fun Fact: The Cheese Gallery is a founding member of the Apple Pie Trail, an award winning self-guided culinary driving tour that promotes the agricultural heritage of our local apple industry, the producers and the culinary destinations that offer food and beverages made with local apples. “It’s a great thing to be part of for us and gives us local, national and even international exposure. It’s a wonderful marketing tool that moves people around our region,” attests Casey.
If you’d like to know more about The Cheese Gallery, you can find them at 11 Bruce St S, Thornbury in a beautiful brick building built in 1867 or find them on-line at https://thecheesegallery.ca/. Follow them on social media through Facebook, Instagram or TikTok.