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Shop Talk: Boise Co-op

Launched as a health food shop 45 years ago, the Boise Co-op has since grown considerably, moving two times before finding its current home in downtown Boise in 1996, with a second location opened in Meridian, Idaho, in 2015. Each co-op’s cheese department functions as its own specialty cheese shop, overseen by Boise Co-op’s two American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals Dorota Siejek-Hendershot and Lacey McNeff. Their departments boast a wide selection of both Idahoan and international cheeses, with approximately 200 options between them. 

“We develop strong relationships with all of our local cheesemakers and are very grateful for their support to get their fabulous cheese to our customers, even if it means battling through a snowstorm or traveling for five hours to make a delivery or sample product,” says McNeff. 

Boise Co-op also hosts a number of fun and educational events, such as cheese-and-alcohol pairing classes, food show–style events that let customers try new cheeses, and a 16-cheese bracket during the second week of March to see who will be crowned the “Big Cheese.” 

culture: What’s the strongest cheese in your shop? 

Dorota Siejek-Hendershot: Paradise Spring Farm Mahogany Ridge. It is an organic, raw, biodynamic Alpine-style cheese from Teton Valley, Idaho that’s made only in the springtime. 

culture: What’s your go-to fondue recipe? 

Lacey McNeff: L’Etivaz, raw-milk raclette, and Emmentaler. 

culture: If you were stranded on a desert island, what would be the one cheese, one meat, and one accompaniment you’d want to have? 

DSH: Just one!? Well, if I had to pick, I would go with Mt. Townsend Off Kilter, Toscano salami, and Castelvetrano olives. 

LM: It’s tricky to pick just one, but I’m leaning towards Parmigiano Reggiano. I’d skip the meat (in hopes of catching something wild on the island) and I’d pair it with fresh figs and crusty bread. 

888 W. Fort St. 
Boise, ID  

Mon.–Sun. 7 a.m.10 p.m.

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