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Dec 27, 2006 06:06 PM

speaking of cheese prices

It seems like since my neighborhood store changed hands, the cheese prices have shot way up - which really annoys me because that means driving to Whole Foods to buy cheese (not entirely a bad thing because they have amazing selection, but I've pretty much stopped buying cheese at my usual store because I hate feeling ripped off) and I guess I'm just surprised that there'e so much variation. Recently I've noticed Humboldt Fog at $29.99/# at Thriftway, $24.99/# at Metropolitan Market (my walk-to store), and $18.99/# at Whole Foods. All three stores are within about three miles of each other in the urban center of Seattle. OK, so some stores might have a lower profit margin on other items that they are trying to recoup with cheese, but still, how much gouging do they think they can get away with? I would think there should be only a few dollars difference for a given cheese in a given market, not 10! Thoughts?

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  1. And out of curiosity, I just called my restaurant's supplier, and we get Humboldt Fog wholesale for $10.86/#. I can understand doubling the wholesale price, but tripling? Ouch!

    1. I was shopping for gruyere the other day and my regular store was selling it for $29 a pound - I was stunned. There's a little cheese store around the corner from me that was selling it at almost half the price. I'm guessing that it's an item that's popular w/ shoplifters. Small, easy to tear off the wrapper so you don't beep going out the door. But that's just a guess.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bryan

        hmm, never tought about stealing the cheese..... I may have to try that, I'll sew a hidden tupperware compartment inside my jacket to hide the smell of the eppoisses

        1. re: babette feasts

          Now that's a perfume I wouldn't mind at all.

        2. re: bryan

          I recently read that stealing cheese is a bit of a problem (was it in Italy?). We're not talking shoplifiting. Hijacking loads of whole wheels of parmesan and then they cut them up and rewrap and sell them at little nondescript shops in a different part of the country.

        3. Just noticed the same thing shopping last weeks at Whole Foods in Westwood - wonderful selection but the prices are through the roof. Worse still my five year old female Chow, Zoe AKA Missus of Devil Chow and His Missus on the Board, only likes Spanish sheep milk cheese as a snack. Tried to palm the ordinary Cheddar off on her and she told me what to do with it.
          Mme Zoe and I had some discussion about the merits of a camembert that we had bought. Mme said, let's see if Zoe likes it - she turned up her nose so I guess we had the answer.

          1. Babette, I recently visited friends in Dallas. At their Whole Foods, Veal Chops were $5.00 per pound (!) less than the Seattle area. Cheese was much less expensive as well.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Walters

              Actually, Whole Foods is the best store here, price-wise for 'cheese plate' type cheese. Great selection, too. Sort of ironic, because WF has such the reputation of being too expensive.

              1. re: babette feasts

                Same here. I live in a city that is only in the last 5-ish years getting access to any "gourmet" cheeses (or much else). Those local gourmet markets that carried the better stuff also carried pretentious attitudes. If you complained about a price, or even returned a cheese that had gone bad, it was implied strongly that you were merely an unsophisticated cheese-moron. Once, when I asked the cheese *#$&^$#er where the mascarpone was, he asked me if I knew how to spell it, then said "well I saw you walk right past where we keep it so I thought you didn't know how to read the word".

                Then Whole Foods came this past April and they have better prices, better attitudes, and I have not sat FOOT in the local joint since then. HAH!!

                1. re: danna

                  Well, you could go back to the cheese *#$&$#er and order tiny slices of about 10 different cheeses and then say "I've changed my mind, I don't even like cheese."

                2. re: babette feasts

                  I have a friend in CA who calls WF "whole paycheck".

              2. It is nothing new to hear a sudden inrush of a ridiculous price scheme to hit ones better able to afford it. It is the season for greed, since cheese is a common New Years thing.

                Just do what I do best and shop around. At the local front or on the web.

                Needless to say the Christmas ham I was purchasing, ranged from $5.98 a pound to 69 cents a pound for the same brand of ham. A ham with a 20 lb average would range in cost; $5.98x20=$119.60---TO---$0.69x20=$13.80