Nestled next to a 100-year-old farmers’ market, Oh Mamma’s on the Avenue is not your typical cheese shop. While it offers more than 300 cheeses from various makers, owners Josiah and Jody Klinedinst also sell their own wedges and wheels. Branded as J2K Capraio, the product line includes both fresh and aged cheeses made with cow’s and goat’s milk. Currently, a geothermal cave is in the works so the Klinedinsts may expand operations. As if balancing a cheese boutique and a creamery wasn’t enough, Josiah and Jody are also raising four children who often help out at the shop and on the farm. “(The kids are) an integral part of what we do,” Jody says. “We’re creating something for them and that’s a huge part of our drive.”
Oh Mamma’s also boasts of a menu of homemade sandwiches, salads, charcuterie, gelato, and more, and the Klinedinsts hope to obtain a liquor license soon.
culture: Do you sell your cheeses any-where other than Oh Mamma’s?
Jody Klinedinst: If somebody can’t visit the shop, they can find us seasonally at farmers’ markets throughout Chicago: the Logan Square Farmers Market, Green City Market, and Oak Park Farmers’ Market.
culture: What does “J2K Capraio” mean and what types of cheeses do you make?
JK: J2, two “J”s—Joe and Jody—and capraio is Italian for “goatherd.” My husband has Italian heritage, and almost everything we do has a bit of Italian flair. We have our version of chèvre made with cow’s milk called Canzonetta; two marinated feta cheeses (one goat’s milk with herbes de Provence and capers; one cow’s milk with sun-dried tomatoes, pitted kalamata olives, and herbs and spices); as well as several aged cheeses including a goat’s milk Manchego style.
culture: What is your favorite cheesy recipe?
JK: It’s really simple but wonderful: Sauté seasonal vegetables with pasta, then dress with good olive oil and whatever cheese is readily available. It’s important to me not to waste food; this uses whatever you have on hand.
1202 Mishawaka Ave.
South Bend, IN
Tue.–Fri. 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sat. 8 a.m–4 p.m