San Juan Island Cheese
The much anticipated opening of Friday Harbor’s new cheese and wine shop is almost here. By the end of this month, San Juan Island Cheese (temporarily called The Maker and the Monger) will have a full stock of artisan cheeses and wines ready for retail, along with prepared products from regional small food producers.
Owners Richard and Sherri Daly have recently completed “all-things-cheese workshops” in Portland and San Francisco, and traveled a series of cheese tours, visiting small dairies and cheese makers between Friday Harbor and Seattle, and Seattle to Portland. Their goal is to carry 100 cheeses, from the Pacific Northwest (WA & OR), California, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Europe.
They believe that, as with wine, the climate, wild yeasts, cultures, and amount of sunshine affects the flavors of cheese as well; thus their aim to find regional-specific cheeses to pair with the regional-specific wines they’ll carry. Pacific Northwest wines and craft beers will be a big chunk of the selection.
The building, right across from Coho Restaurant, has been brightly remodeled to allow cheese and charcuterie cases and indoor seating for 12 to 16 people; out back is a mini oasis with seating for 20 to 25. The menu includes cheese boards, charcuterie meat boards and sandwiches prepared with locally-baked breads and crackers, and salads. Cheeses are cut to order, or you can pick up a “grab-n-go” package for spur-of-the-moment picnics. Sherri, a cheese-maker herself, will be on hand to offer knowledgeable advice on selections for cheese platters for parties or special occasions.