A gourmet cheese shop with a huge selection from regional American dairies and abroad comes to Montclair at the end of March. Construction is almost complete at Tallmadge Cheese Market in the old Café Sultan space.
Owner Allin Tallmadge, a Verona resident and former Mac computer salesman, discovered “the amazing flavors of local Italian cheeses” on a trip to Tuscany a few years ago. Once back in the U.S., he dedicated himself to learning the ins-and-outs of cheese retail, studying with the area’s foremost cheesemongers–at Artisanal and Murray’s Cheese in Manhattan, then at The Cheese Shop of Ridgewood and finally at Eden Gourmet in South Orange.
A member of Slow Food USA and the American Cheese Society, Tallmadge is hopelessly passionate about cheese. He’ll keep 125 to 200 cheeses on-hand, including Brie, Fontina Val d’Aosta (a nutty, easy-melting cow’s milk cheese from northwest Italy), Cantal (sweet, milky cow’s milk cheese from Auvergne, France), and small production runs from operations in the Northeast, Wisconsin, and California.
Tallmadge will also offer shoppers a full Mediterranean pantry that he’ll build as he discovers great products–things like preserves, spreads and condiments, pasta, grains and beans, plus his favorite olive oils and vinegars. “I am a strong supporter of sustainable food production and desire to back the efforts of small producers and farmers making natural and healthy foods,” says Tallmadge. “Like so many in Montclair, I want to know where my food comes from and who makes it.” Bread from Calandra’s and Gina’s on Walnut Street will make putting a quick weeknight spread together in a pinch easy, especially with Magnolia’s wine shop steps away.
Tallmadge renovated the former restaurant space, brightening it and shrinking the kitchen, where he plans to eventually turn out creamy macaroni and cheese and hearty vegetable and cheese pie for takeout. — Emily McKenna
Opening hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sunday, 12:30-5 p.m.
Tallmadge Cheese Market, 38 Upper Montclair Plaza, Upper Montclair, 973-744-2464