You can make shelter-in-place a little more bearable by indulging in the foods you love, especially cheese. Fortunately, some of the best specialty retailers will ship their curated collections of fine cheeses across the country.
Whether you’re looking to figure out the perfect gift for the dairy enthusiast in your life, discover new varieties yourself, find all the accoutrements to elevate your own cheese board game or just have a slab of fromage next to you while you watch Netflix, the independent purveyors have you covered. Through them you’ll be able to partake in the wide world of cheese from the comfort of your home and at the same time help purveyors and artisans who’ve seen their in-person business take a hit.
“When you buy local artisan cheeses, you’re supporting our whole communities—from the four family farms we work with to our skilled cheesemakers and the people who get it to your table,” says Beecher’s founder Kurt Beecher Dammeier. “And you’re ensuring that not only do our businesses and people carry on beyond this pandemic, but that the craft of each artisan is not lost along the way.”
From velvety soft-ripened Brie to bold tangy blue, these eight standout merchants have the delicacies you need—and deliver nationwide.
Celebrating 80 years in business, Murray’s has evolved into a world-renowned specialty food destination that offers the finest selection of cheeses from around the globe. The New York City-based company continues to ship its wide array of artisan products and curated collections across the country, and is doing everything possible to support independent cheesemakers and food producers.
Murray’s is also sharing their passion for cheese through new virtual classes, which bring their popular NYC classroom experience nationwide, as well as five monthly clubs including Cheesemonger’s Picks of the Month (showcasing several unique cheeses hand-selected by cheesemongers) and Munchies of the Month (featuring the best of Murray’s delicious cheese and charcuterie).
After Paula Lambert fell in love with fresh mozzarella in Italy, she decided to bring the art of cheesemaking home to her native Texas. Since 1982, her tiny downtown factory in Dallas has made award-winning cheeses the old-fashioned way: by hand. While it’s no surprise that freshly prepared spheres of the soft, creamy namesake are a best seller, Mozzarella Company actually produces more than forty different varieties of handmade dairy products—which can be shipped nationwide every Monday through Wednesday. The online retailer categorizes items by taste, type, and texture, and offers DIY cheesemaking kits, a monthly club, and themed collections like Aged To Perfection, Got Your Goat, Italy All The Way, and Los Tres Amigos.
Since 1996, this Virginia-based retailer has been importing premium products from small and family-owned producers all across Spain. La Tienda’s collection of authentic Spanish provisions covers all bases, including an especially robust selection of cheeses—from pasture-raised sheep’s milk manchego produced in La Mancha to rich, creamy buffalo blue cheese from Catalunya. Bring the best of Spain to your doorstep with one of their artisan cheese samplers.
This family of stores began in 1978 with a vision of creating an authentic European shopping experience in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Today, owners Ihsan and Valerie Gurdal operate four outposts—three in the Boston area and one in New York’s Essex Street Market. Formaggio Kitchen offers a variety of fine specialty food items and provisions, but is best known for its cheese. The team travels to dairies, cheesemakers and cheese agers throughout the U.S. and Europe to source premium products that reflect the traditional methods and ingredients of a region, while spotlighting sustainable practices.
Bestsellers include an 18-month-aged reserve Swiss gruyère, a raw French cow’s milk comté and a bold blue cheese from Vermont, which can be shipped nationwide by the half pound or as part of a tantalizing sampler. There’s even monthly subscriptions for next-level cheese connoisseurs.
Founded by friends Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, this California-based creamery has been manufacturing its own award-winning, organic cheeses for more than 20 years. Cowgirl Creamery products can be found at select retailers and Bay Area farmers’ markets—and are available to the masses thanks to nationwide shipping (some orders even qualify for free overnight). Choose from a dozen fresh and aged signature cheeses and superb collections such as a special Mother’s Day Box filled with the bestselling triple-cream Mt Tam, a nutty aged goat Gouda, and sweet treats, or the The Good Neighbors Collection. This selection spotlights full-flavored, award-winning cheeses from some of the brand’s favorite creameries—and $10 of every sale is donated to chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen organization that provides emergency food relief to communities affected by Covid-19.
Cheese Care Package
Created as an of-the-moment cheese experience, Cheese Care Package has everything needed to make an over-the-top decadent board: several fine cheeses selected by master cheesemakers, two boxes of crackers, and accoutrement. Each kit also includes tasting notes, fun facts, an introduction to sensory evaluation, and a story of one of the employees who are directly supported by this new direct-to-consumer, social-distancing-friendly offering.
The company spotlights the very best cheeses in the U.S., such as Old Chatham in New York’s Hudson Valley—the nation’s most awarded sheep milk creamery—and other local artisanal brands that focus on goat, sheep, and cow milk. Selections vary from week to week, with special packages offered for Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. (Pro tip: get $25 off your order with promo code CHEESE25).
Tennessee’s majestic mountain retreat, Blackberry Farm, produces all of the cheeses served in the estate’s impeccable farm-to-table restaurants. Cheesemaker Chris Osborne is especially smitten with the Brebis, and with good reason—the rich, supple cheese is the Farm’s most award-winning variety. “At this time of year, when it’s spring-early summer, there’s nothing better than Brebis. It’s light, acidic, and very clean. This cheese is brilliant with a strawberry salad or roasted beets. It’s a simple, clean expression of what quality sheep’s milk cheese can be in Eastern Tennessee.” Find this seasonal stunner and an array of enticing collections in the Farmstead shop.
Additionally, Blackberry Farm is hosting their first-ever virtual cheese tasting on Friday, May 15 at 8pm EST—join in on Instagram Live as culinary pros talk and taste through signature cheeses and great wines to drink with them.
Beecher’s Handmade Cheese
Under normal circumstances, visitors to Beecher’s retail locations in Seattle’s Pike Place Market and New York City’s Flatiron District can watch the cheesemakers hard at work while browsing a well-curated selection of dairy products. Though these shops are temporarily closed, the handcrafted cheeses—which are always free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners, and hydrogenated oils—are still available for shipping nationwide. You can’t go wrong with the Best of Beecher’s boxed collection featuring the brand’s greatest flagship and signature goods. And while you’re at it, add on some of its famous Mac & Cheese.