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Shop Talk: Chasing the Cheese

chasing the cheese

Nothing frustrates turophiles more than a lack of good cheese. When Julie Austin officially opened Chasing the Cheese in Peterborough, Ontario, she’d already served as an unofficial local supplier for a few years, taking orders from friends and neighbors on her frequent visits to Toronto. She streamlined the process by creating a group notice email—and as her loyal following grew from 12 to 300 addresses, opening a retail space seemed a natural transition. As both a businesswoman and a mother, Austin combines her roles easily. Opening a business “is not unlike nurturing a child and making them grow,” she says.

Now a bustling shop that offers cheese, charcuterie, jams, and much more from nearby and international suppliers, Chasing the Cheese provides a welcome stop for cheese lovers. Future plans include a catering kitchen and a space for private events and tastings. While the growth is exciting, Austin remains committed to her roots: the chase for delicious cheese. 

culture: Where did the name “Chasing the Cheese” come from?

Julie Austin: My world involves a lot of kid stuff. I thought, “I bet there’s a Sesame Street reference to cheese.” So I Googled it, and, sure enough, there was a Sesame Street skit called “Chasing the Cheese.”

culture:  What can a new customer expect when they walk in?

JA: We’re here to make sure it’s not overwhelming for them. Cheese is only four ingredients. It’s supposed to be enjoyable.

culture:  What’s the most important aspect of the cheese business?

JA: It is a labor of love. That’s what this is about. People come in here and we get to know them and hear their stories.

330 Charlotte St.
Peterborough, Ontario

Mon.–Fri. 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Photography by Esther Vincent

Madeline Upson

A longtime lover of cheese and wine nights, Madeline finally gets to use her love of cheese in an actual job as Editorial Assistant at Culture Magazine. She lives in Boston.

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