Glen Ellen: Raymond & Co. Cheesemongers – Probably the best cheese shop in the Bay Area
I am so in love with this shop, not only do I stop by whenever I’m somewhat in the area, I will probably make a special trip during the holidays to purchase my cheese here though the Cheeseboard is much, much closer.
The selection is small, the prices are high and it is a trek for me.
So why am I obsessed? The owner of this tiny, charming and intimate shop is obsessed with cheese and that shows in the quality of choices.
Not only will you tastes exquisite cheeses, the owner chats about what makes them great which can be anything from the process to details about the cheesemakers to how many goats, cows or sheep are on that farm and special breeds. There was some sort of goat breed for one cheese that has short clipped ears.
Another plus is that when he is not in the shop, he has trained the staff very well and they are also extremely knowledgable and seem to share a similar passion for cheese. It's not just a job.
I may give myself a birthday gift this year and do the one hour cheese tasting at the shop. My understanding is it is outside by the river and includes a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread.
From the site “John takes you deep into the cheese one at a time. He doesn’t limit himself to a specific number of cheeses and has been known to sample every cheese we have. This is an intensive hour focused on the fundamentals and tricks of the trade used to eek out certain tastes.
They also do large events. More info is on the web.
Looking at the cheeses on the Raymond website doesn’t even scratch the level of detail that available on each cheese in the shop. Here’s just one example
“Snow Canyon $28.00 lb
5-12 months old made on raw milk at Rockhill Creamery, Cache Valley, Utah
This is destined to be a great American cheese. The wide open paste of the younger ones with well spread eyes gives way to tight glacial marks in the older versions. Both are great: the younger is like eating a poached Bartlett pear, the older lets layers of caramel and chocolate unfold in the mouth. We have only younger ones at the moment.”
On Thursday that burrata A16 gets from Los Angeles is also overnighted to this cheese shop.
Raymond & Co
388 Devlin Road, Napa, CA 94558
I am currently loving the "bo poisse" from Bohemian Creamery. We are truly blessed in the cheese department.
Wow, I just read the website and the tastings sound fabulous. I've been meaning to treat myself to one of the classes at The Cheese School for awhile now, but now I'm torn. Please do report back when you go.
Raymond & Co website: http://www.raymondcheesemongers.com/
Cheese School of San Francisco
2155 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
John Raymond is a genius. This is a great store, and John has established importing relationships with some of the finest cheesemakers in the world.
He also sells at some of the farmers markets.
See this thread of three months ago, as well:
Glen Ellen-Raymond & Co. Cheesemongers