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The Village Cheese Shop Opens in Wauwatosa's Historic Village

Aug. 8, 2017
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When food aficionado Sabina Magyar wanted to open a cheese shop, there was no doubt about the location. A native of the Wauwatosa area, she was always drawn to the European feel of The Village of Wauwatosa, a historic commercial pocket nestled in the heart of the city. Magyar eventually nabbed space in the former Wauwatosa firehouse building, and after remodeling, The Village Cheese Shop (1430 Underwood Ave.) celebrated a soft opening June 17.

Unique specialty cheeses are the focal point, but The Village Cheese Shop also sells edibles that pair great with cheese—cured meats, wines, artisan crackers, sweet and savory marmalades, honey and more. Magyar succeeded in bringing the European ambiance of The Village into her shop: large, blue-trimmed windows, a hardwood floor and a cheese bar, where customers can enjoy a cheese board and glass of wine, echoes the charm of Old World Dublin or Amsterdam.

“We want to highlight the great cheese we have not just in Wisconsin, but in the country and worldwide,” said Magyar. A peek in the display case reveals wheels and wedges of aged cheddar, alpine Swiss, blue, aged sheep’s milk and others. Some Wisconsin standouts include Marieke Gouda, out of Thorp, Wis., formed by a Dutch woman who came to Wisconsin and started making cheese. The Marieke Gouda is an overjarige, aged over two years. “You really don’t find that a lot,” Magyar remarked. Magyar also highlighted Bleu Mont Dairy Bandaged Cheddar, cave aged for at least one year.

Magyar formerly worked managing the cheese and wine areas at Glorioso’s Italian Market. While in New York, she worked in the wine business, and she’s a Certified Cheese Professional through the American Cheese Society.

Customers can sample cheese and purchase varieties cut by weight. Magyar said they’d eventually begin stretching their own mozzarella.

An additional case displays smoked meats, and fine Spanish and Italian olives. The specialty section stocks marmalade and jams, including Milwaukee’s 5 Lilies, and Eat This marmalade in flavors like caramelized onion. Magyar has a personal passion for marmalade; her mother crafted the condiment from fruits in the family’s garden.

The pantry staple foods include Single Source Honey, Potter’s Crackers, mostarda (an Italian condiment made from mustard oil and fruit) and canned fish, caught by traditional line catching. A focused retail wine section offers approachable wines for around $15-$20 a bottle. Unique are the 12-ounce cans—yep, wine in a can—of Oregon-based Union Wine’s quality varietals of Underwood Wine, such as rosé and pinot noir.

Customers can grab a seat at the cheese bar and enjoy a changing menu of cheese and meat boards and bar bites. Magyar has just rolled out a kitchen menu featuring four sandwiches and two salads. Try the Tosa Muffuletta sandwich with soppressata, mortadella, provolone and giardiniera on a seeded roll; or the Greek on Greens salad with mixed greens, sheep’s milk feta, olives, thyme and balsamic vinaigrette. The Village Cheese Shop also offers hot ham and rolls on Sunday.

During the short time The Village Cheese Shop has been open, Magyar said it’s been very well received, despite opening during construction happening throughout The Village. They also offer gift baskets, custom trays and gift certificates.

For more information, visit villagecheesetosa.com.

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