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Jun 18, 2008 05:36 PM

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.