Here, cheese master Laura Werlin names her favorite places in the country to find the best cheese selections, shopkeepers and innovative businesses.


1. Fairfield Cheese Company, Fairfield, CT

Laura Downey and Chris Palumbo run this new shop. I love their enthusiasm and their selection. It’s not extensive, but it’s well-chosen. And they’re really easy to understand when they talk about their cheeses.

2. The Cheese Board Collective, Berkeley, CA

This worker-owned cooperative is an institution for a good reason. It’s been there since the 1960s, and I shopped there as an undergrad at Berkeley. It’s run exactly as it always was, though their selection has grown, and they added a pizza place next door with live bands. But it all began with cheese.

3. Star Provisions, Atlanta

Tim Gaddis is an unsung hero. He is just tireless in his efforts to source great cheese and to teach people about it. I can always find ones from the South I haven’t heard of before.

4. The Calf & Kid, Seattle

Sherry Levine has chosen some fantastic cheeses from the Northwest, many of them very small producers that most people haven’t heard of.

5. Gourmet & More, San Francisco

This is a new store in the city and I love the concept of transforming a little apartment into a shop. Owners Josiane and Laurent Recollon really know their stuff. 141 Gough St.; 415-874-9133