iN PHOTOS: Vernon cheesemonger delivers top quality wedges - InfoNews

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iN PHOTOS: Vernon cheesemonger delivers top quality wedges

From left: Maylia Janzen shows owners Matt and Brittney MacLaren how it's done, while Judy Donnelly looks on.
May 08, 2019 - 4:45 PM

VERNON - Sitting outside his newly opened downtown Vernon store, Matt MacLaren admits he was a bit nervous when he opened his brand new business, Wedge Cheesery, just three hours earlier.

"There was so much anticipation, that first half an hour, the first time you go to use the till, the first time you cut a chunk a cheese... it's the first time you're trying these things for someone else not just for yourself," Matt said. "It's definitely a little bit nerve-racking."

Now, just three hours after the cheesemongers soft opening he's more relaxed.

Matt along with his wife Brittney MacLaren have opened Wedge Cheesery on 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon. Today's, May 8, soft opening was a lot busier than the husband and wife team thought it would be.

The cheesemongers sell a variety of cheeses from all over B.C., Canada and the world, as well as an array of accoutrements to accompany the cheese.

So why a cheese store?

"I'm a fan of cheese with everything," Matt said. "There's no specialty cheese stores in Vernon, so we thought why not we'd like to bring our love of these different types of specialty cheeses to the town of Vernon."

The couple has an entrepreneurial spirit, with Brittney closing her nursing business, Vernon Home Support to run the cheesery, while Matt continues with his job as a realtor - although neither have every run a retail business before.

"[It's] pretty similar to jumping in the deep end and seeing if we can swim," Matt said.

What they may lack in retail experience seems to be made up with a passion for the product. Whether it's a specialty Quebecois cheese or a pasteurized, unpasteurized, or thermalized cheese, the cheesery carries a variety of products not available anywhere else. Matt is also adamant their products are still far superior to higher-end pre-packaged cheese in supermarkets.

"You're definitely going to get a better tasting experience from a cheese fresh off the wheel," Matt said. "Off the wheel, it literally melts in your mouth."

The newly opened cheesemongers.
The newly opened cheesemongers.

So what differentiates good cheese from bad cheese? 

"A good cheese is something that's really made with love, brought to you by the farmers," he said. "You can basically taste love."

Wedge Cheesery also has enough room for just over a dozen people to sit and eat, and will soon be licenced, allowing patrons to pair a cheese board with a glass of wine. "You have to have wine if you're going to have cheese," Matt said. A panini maker should soon be up and running, allowing for gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

While some downtown businesses have expressed concern about crime and antisocial behaviour in the city's core, Matt's confident about the store's location. Every downtown core has issues, he said.

"When you come to a downtown core in a city you should be able to find everything you're looking for within walking distance," he said. Sitting just half a block away from the recently opened Hot Bread Shoppe on 31 Street, Matt said being a stone throw from the bakery should be good for business.

The cheesery will also stay open until 6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and until 7 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, giving those who finish work at 5 p.m. a chance to shop.

For more information check out the Wedge Cheesery website here. They're precisely at 3026 30 Avenue.

Brittney and Matt Maclaren stand outside their new store.
Brittney and Matt Maclaren stand outside their new store.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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