The Cheese Store’s storied legacy could be continuing
Posted On April 8, 2023
Apr. 7—WATERTOWN — Say cheese! A beloved north country specialty store that announced it was closing after 51 years may have a new lease on life, literally, and that’s more than Gouda news for people who have made the store part of their routine.
When The Cheese Store announced in March that “the rumors are true” and that it would be closing on Wednesday, responses to that Facebook post were swift, and as of Friday morning, its Facebook page had 326 comments, including:
—”This is sad news. I know things happen, but wished it wasn’t The Cheese Store.” — John E. Jenner
—”Another north country icon gone.” — Dan McCargar
—”Wow. So sorry to hear this. We loved having it shipped to Tennessee.” — Robin Young
—”Beyond devastated! Don’t think any other place will be adequate for cheese curd!” — Penny LaJuett
—”My husband is a native to the area and insists I bring Jefferson Bulk milk cheese curd to him in N.C. or mail it. It is simply the best! The legacy has to go on somewhere, somehow.” — Brenda McCabe
Ms. McCabe and other fans of The Cheese Store, operated by Jefferson Bulk Milk Co-Op at 19401 Route 3, may get their wish of a continued legacy. The closing may be temporary.
“Our plan is to have somebody else take it over for us and we’ll just be the landlord,” Jefferson Bulk Milk Cooperative president Steve H. Lee said Friday. “We’ll continue running it as it is. That’s what our plan is. We have three or four people interested and we should have an announcement next week.”
Mr. Lee said the cooperative, which has 22 members, has been gratified by the community response following the closing announcement. But he said the decision to close came down to a realization of the needed time and resources.
“It’s a wonderful little store,” Mr. Lee said. “But we’re 22 farmers and we really don’t have the ability to oversee it and to manage it ourselves. That was the main reason. Without having that oversight, we’re not able to take care of the little details that…