IN 1896, when the Kaune family moved from the Midwest to Santa Fe, Henry Kaune opened a general store. His philosophy: Provide grocery staples at reasonable prices, plus hard-to-find specialty goods. In 2003, Cheryl Sommer and her husband, Kurt, purchased Kaune’s Neighborhood Market, and they remain equally passionate about maintaining these values. Case in point: The shop has provided home delivery for years, allowing staff to develop close relationships with elderly and otherwise homebound customers.
Cheese buying at Kaune’s Neighborhood Market is a team effort, shared between Cheryl and Anthony Montoya. Every Wednesday afternoon, Kaune’s samples a beer, wine, or spirit alongside a food item (usually cheese). A happy hour, indeed.
culture: What local cheeses do you recommend?
Cheryl Sommer: Tucumcari Mountain Cheese Factory makes Jack cheese with green chile. (I also recommend) two riffs on triple-cream cow’s milk cheese from The Old Windmill Dairy: one with green chile and one with chipotle and spices.
culture: What’s your favorite cheese to bring to a party?
CS: Parmesan. But if I’m entertaining at home, triple creams, which I try to pair with something sweet, like apricot preserves. Or I may offer some Italian cheeses with meats, olives, and whatnot.
culture: What is the weirdest cheese pairing you’ve had—and did you like it?
CS: Nettle Meadow Farm out of New York offers a spreadable goat cheese that has lavender and honey. I’m not always partial to floral flavors but it was surprisingly delicious.
511 Old Santa Fe Trl.
Santa Fe, NM
Mon.–Sat. 8 a.m.–7 p.m