Located on the at the intersection of Gerrard and Coxwell in Toronto, you will find a new little shop that just opened it’s doors called THE PANTRY.
While this boutique store may appear tiny in size, we all know that good things come in small packages, and in terms of some of great Canadian artisan cheeses, this statement could not be more true in the case of this shop. Owner and operator Jeremy Lago is a Sommelier, now turned Fromager who has hit the nail on the head when it comes to filling Toronto’s needs for all things cheesy goodness.
Focused on solid relationships with local farmers, Jeremy has brought to Toronto a celebration of some of the best assortments of Ontario artisan cheeses that we should all feel extremely proud of. From the creamy Crossroads Sheep Gouda, to the handcrafted Five Brother’s cheese with traits of Gouda and Swiss; or an aged variation of an Oxford harvest cheese called Tipsy that has soaked for 6 days in a Merlot Cabernet. Last but not least, my personal favourite, The Aged Five Brothers, with its the creamy, mouthwatering, nutty and caramel like flavouring. Walking into the shop, there is no way your taste buds can even accurately anticipated what you will experience.
In fact, anything you find at The Pantry is nothing short of spectacular. The shop also specializes in offering locally sourced accompaniments (for exceptional pairings), and an olive and pate bar to help you put together a perfect afternoon or evening plate to enjoy alone or along with friends and family. Being a Sommelier too, it goes without saying that Jeremy is the best at making exceptional recommendations for wine and cheese unions.
It should also be mentioned that he even does cheese wheel wedding cakes. Yes, you read that correctly.
Last night I had the pleasure of attending The Pantry’s first wine and cheese pairing party hosted at The Lazy Daisy’s Café. Organized along with the fine folks from Fielding Estate Winery, a large group of us sat down to a well-informed lesson on the art of the paired tasting. Leading with explanations on textures, colours and tastings notes the group of us were in inseparable cheesy heaven.
I cannot say enough about not only buying local goods, but also the benefits on shopping from local small businesses – which The Pantry is quickly topping that list. There is not a chance you will leave this shop feeling unsatisfied. It is quickly becoming one of the hot new shops in the east end of town.
Thank you Jeremy for celebrating some Canadian food talents and for teaching us the pleasure of fine food feasting. www.thepantryfinecheese.com. @pantrycheese