The Cheese Shop, located inside Glasshalfull, opens March 9
Words and photo by Brooke Spach
When Michelle Webb and Stevie Webb moved their family to Carrboro in early summer 2020, they were eager to find a spot where they could stop in, enjoy a chat with the local cheesemonger and buy fresh, high-quality cheeses – an experience Stevie relished as a cheesemonger in Brooklyn. After an unsuccessful search, they set out on their own to create what they were looking for, and so began the evolution of The Cheese Shop.
The plan was simple: find a space and open a shop. “But it’s never as easy as all that,” Stevie says. Over the past year, he and Michelle have hosted pop-up tasting events and classes at Steel String Brewery, Pluck Farm, Belltree Cocktail Club and more. As the community became familiar with the business and their stock of cheese grew, they started selling online and introduced a monthly subscription box, the Cheese Club, in summer 2022.
Stevie and Michelle developed a relationship with Glasshalfull through these community events, and their plans for a brick-and-mortar location started to take shape. Construction for the retail space inside the restaurant and wine shop is now complete, and the couple plans to offer a rotating assortment of 50 cut-to-order cheeses, alongside an extensive collection of pairings like condiments and crackers. The Cheese Shop will be open three days a week, Thursday through Saturday (check their site for hours!), and will host a grand opening on March 9.
“These are all things that people have heard of, but we get the best that we can possibly find and bring to the people of the Triangle,” Stevie says. Their quality selection is curated from local cheesemakers, like Chapel Hill Creamery and Boxcarr Handmade Cheese, and beyond, like Quicke’s Mature Cheddar from Stevie’s native England.
On the plate pictured above is what Stevie, head cheesemonger, likes to call a tasting journey from “mild to wild”: (clockwise from 9 o’clock) a sheep’s milk brie; a 12-month aged Gourmino Gruyère, which was named the World’s Best Cheese for the third time in 2022; a Brabander goat’s milk Gouda, paired with a dark pollen chocolate; a wine-soaked “Ubriacone” cheese, which translates to “a great big drunk”; an 18-month aged mimolette; and finally, a Gorgonzola dolce.
“Good cheese works on so many different levels, like wine,” Stevie says. “You get something at the beginning, something in the middle and then something maybe completely different on the end.”
Whether you’re in the market for something creamy and funky or just want to try something new, Stevie and Michelle are more than excited to welcome you in and share stories about the history of each wheel. In the meantime, stay on the lookout for more pop-up events, and try out the Cheese Club – March’s box will feature products by women cheesemakers and winemakers in honor of Women’s History Month.