When Olivia Sutton opened her tiny cheese shop, Harper & Blohm, in Essendon in 2013, customers came in asking for cheddar. By the time she shifted into bigger premises in Brunswick this month, they were asking for comte, the venerable French cheese made from unpasteurised cow's milk.
"I realised that what they actually wanted was a hard cheese," says Sutton, who has begun the education process anew in Sydney Road.
The shop champions artisan and seasonal cheese, including European mountain cheeses at risk of extinction. "We cut to order," says Sutton. "I don't mind how small a piece people buy because I'd rather they buy what they need it and enjoy it while it was at its best."
Alongside the cheese is a small selection of free-range charcuterie, cheese board fixings, and a tight list of cheesy snacks such as toasties and a daily quiche and a salad, made by chef Ian Alexander (ex O'Connell's and Gills Diner).
Open Mon 10am-4pm; Wed-Fri 10am–6pm; Sat 9am-5pm.
365 Sydney Road, Brunswick, harperandblohm.com