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Cheese Shop North of Boston?

I'm looking for a good cheese shop, or store that has a good quality cheese selection north of Boston. Moving out of Boston area soon so I'll miss ease of access to Formaggio & Boston Cheese in Rozzie!

Thanks for any suggestions!

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  1. Joppa Fine Foods in the Tannery building or Grand Trunk on Pleasant Street, both in Newburyport have fine cheese, or Whole Foods Market in Andover has a very nice cheese dept.

    1. Market Basket in Reading actually has a decent supermarket-style cheese selection. For cheese-shop style selection, I head to Whole Foods in Woburn. Our Glass Wine Co, in Saugus also has a small but interesting cheese selection.

      1. South Portland Maine: " The Cheese Iron"
        (or is this to far north ?)

        5 Replies
        1. re: Peter B Wolf

          My 3 "go to" cheese shops are Formaggio (of course!), Joppa Fine foods in Newburyport and The Cheese Iron in Scarborough, ME.

          Living close to Newburyport, Joppa frequently provides great cheese selection and good service and I find Grand Trunk pales in comparison.
          Yesterday's purchase for a beer/cheese get together:

          Black Diamond Cheddar - Canada
          Tournevant Cheddar - goat cheese cheddar - Canada
          Great Hill Blue- raw cow's milk blue - Massachusetts
          Tomme de Savoie- semi firm cow's milk - France
          and a well-aged, gouda-like cheese from Holland whose name escapes me

          Further north I would have previously recommended Enoteca Italiana in Kittery but recently I have found the selection and service to have dropped off a bit. I don't recommend any of the grocery stores- WF is OK - but Philbrick'sFresh Market in Portsmouth has a decent selection.

          Both Portland and Portsmouth have surprisingly few choices for good cheese...can anyone add anywhere on the North Shore?

          1. re: merrvally

            I'm curious what makes you feel Grand Trunk pales in comparison to Joppa FF. I shop Joppa more and just recently found out about Grand Trunk, but I saw some of the same cheese at both places and the woman at GT knew what she was talking about with the cheeses.

            For your beer/cheese get together, where did you purchase your cheeses?

            1. re: Infomaniac

              Got my cheese at Joppa (and some beautiful bread from Annarosa's!). I find the selection at GT to be smaller and less interesting and the male behind the counter didn't have a lot of knowledge to offer. I do like the shop - I like how they display herbs, salt-pack capers, equipment, etc - but feel its more of a "boutique" that has cheese than a purveyor of foods.

              1. re: merrvally

                Thanks, and I agree. I read about GT here and went to check the place out, and as you said, the feel is more of a boutique than anything else.

                1. re: merrvally

                  I'll speak up a little for Grand Trunk here - I do agree that the selection is smaller than Joppa (I shop both stores frequently), but I feel that the smaller selection tends encourage better turnover of product. Jeremy, the co-owner, tends to know where the cheeses are from and tries to learn about the producers. He is also pretty free with tastes if you ask. (Joppa also has knowledgeable staff and *also* gives samples).

                  I think we're incredibly lucky to have two great cheese shops in one town.

          2. I agree with the earlier suggestions of the Cheese Iron, Route 1 in Scarborough, Maine.
            A truly fine selection of cheeses, salami, proscuitto, etc. Not cheap, but so worth it.

            1. How far North ? Ned's in Gloucester has a wonderful selection....buratta a couple of weeks ago was to die for ...reminds me of Formaggio except on Cape Ann ....and lots of other good gourmet stuff

              1 Reply
              1. re: capeanne

                Ned's Groceria is awesome. Great stuff. Also lot's of Italian markets with great cheese selections, Borelli's in Methuen, North-end market in Lawrence.

              2. Not sure what OP means by north of Boston, but Angela's Pasta and Cheese shop in Manchester NH has an excellent selection of cheeses.

                5 Replies
                1. re: whs

                  HI Everyone, by 'north of Boston' I basically mean anywhere as far north as Portsmouth/Kittery. Thanks for all the suggestions, I definitely can't wait to check them all out!!

                  1. re: kparke30

                    C'est Cheese in North Hampton is another great place to check out! It's right on Rt 1

                    1. re: RedHouse

                      I HAD to check out C'est Cheese on the recommendation of RedHouse. I found their selection to be very nice and the service excellent and most importantly, knowledgeable. They have a wide selection of other food products - crackers, vinegars, some meats, sauces, chocolates, butters, etc.- and it looked like they may have had some prepared foods but I arrived very close to closing and didn't see anything displayed in the case.

                      I got a 7 year cheddar from Canada, an Ader Kase (a blue) from Wisconsin and a Grayson, a semi-firm Tallegio-like from Virginia that is one of the stinkiest I have in a long time - I asked for funky and they produced it. All the recommendations were right on.

                      1. re: merrvally

                        I'm glad you liked the place. We've been going there for about a year now....and always have great service. I usually end up getting some really great cheddar, maybe something smoked...and will splurge on some St. Agur blue now and then.

                        1. re: RedHouse

                          Guests were wowed by the cheeses this week...they were delicious!

                          Also found fresh figs - for the blue, of course - at Golden Harvest produce in Kittery.

                2. Check out Butter's Food and Wine in Concord, NH - great folks and some very nice things!


                  1. If you're willing to travel to NH especially to peep at the leaves (please take some home if you'd like) try Angelas Pasts and Cheese in Manchester.


                    1. Angela's is indeed fabulous....they have a wonderful selection and they are very helpful. I've used their advice to select some beautiful cheese platters over the years with great success!

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: juliemaeboyle

                        Finally checked out Joppa Fine Foods yesterday, was very pleased to see excellent selection of cheeses. Owners worked at Formaggio so the cheese display & helpfulness is very reminiscent of Formaggio, as is many pantry items in store. Very nice wine & beer selection as well as cakes from Buttercream in N'port! Purchased Roaring '40s Blue, Mimolette & Shelburne Falls Farmhouse Cheddar...enjoyed all very much.

                        I then proceeded on down the road to Tendercrop & of course went a bit crazy....stocked up on some unique pantry items, some of their own gorgeous chard, apples, carrots, etc. Also some pre-marinated steak tips & chicken. I usually prefer to purchase my meat w/o marinade but am looking forward to trying these as they appear to be very popular.

                        All in all an excellent 'foodie' afternoon!!

                        1. re: kparke30

                          Ah - the only thing you missed was the fantastic bread at Annarosa's in the Tannery near Joppa - as well as the croissants made by a true master.
                          Happy to see a mention of Buttercream Bakery, too!

                          1. re: pastrytroll

                            Just recently visited Standard Bakery in Portland for the first time. I expected to be wowed and the display of breads was impressive. I tried croissant, baguette and brioche for a very specific comparison to Annarosa's.

                            Although the product was VERY good...and again, the very obvious skill for artisan breadmaking is apparent in the displayed breads I didn't try... it was not as good in flavor or texture as Annarosa's.

                            We are so lucky to have this fantastic bakery nearby!

                            1. re: pastrytroll

                              In addition to the outstanding croissants at Annarosa's, I can't get over how good the pizza bagels are there. They are expensive at $3.95 each but they are worth every cent.

                            2. re: kparke30

                              We buy Tendercrop's marinated chicken and turkey regularly. The meat and the marinade is all natural and we think Very tasty. Love Tendercrop!!