Thirty-five years can go by very quickly! This month, we are celebrating the 35th anniversary of The Cheese Board by sharing stories and memories from me, customers, family, and our team. This whole process — collecting stories/memories — has invited a lot of reflection on where we started, the people we have touched, the village it takes to keep a small business alive, and how we have evolved. It’s not earth-shaking stuff; we haven’t cured cancer, but we have had some happy impacts on many peoples lives, whether it was introducing someone to a delicious cheese, concocting a special sandwich that a customer eats three times a week, or that perfect (at least in the most important person of the day’s — the bride’s — eyes) wedding.
So here we go on my 35 year stroll down memory lane. Thank you for indulging me, and for your friendship and support over the years. And, yep, that’s me, on opening day in 1981 in my 200-square-foot cheese shop in Arlington Gardens, where it all began.
We’re getting ready to re-do the website for The Cheese Board, so we thought we’d ask the obvious question: What do YOU (our amazing and valued customer!) want to see in the new website? To knock a couple things off of the list, YES, we are going to responsive web design, so you can surf on your phone or tablet, and yes, we are going to incorporate our new Instagram account, so you can see “hot off the grill” photos of our catered events, business lunches, weddings, and what-have-you. So there’s that. But if you’ve got a moment, we’d like to hear from you about the types of things you’d like to see (and yes, we’re moving the Daily Specials up so it’s one click to yumminess when you’ve got that Cheese Board craving! From all of us here at The Cheese Board, thank you for 35 fabulous years of sharing the joys of the table — and the joys of your life’s many celebrations — with us!
We’re doing our part to support Reno’s Artown this summer by opening up The Cheese Board‘s parking lot on the corner of Hill St. and Cal Ave. on Saturday, July 14th and Saturday, July 28th for the California Avenue Artists Market, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Once you’ve loaded up on local art, stop in for Chef Kaimi’s fabulous omelets and pancakes featuring fresh fruit from Reno’s own farmer’s markets or maybe a glass or two of great California wine. It’s all for the sake of art — come on down and do your part at 247 California Avenue in artful Reno, Nevada!
We admit it. Deli-style dining does seems a little odd at first: You place your order, grab your number, go sit down, and we bring your order out to you. In fact, it’s the #1 thing that our beloved “newbies” mention when they arrive at The Cheese Board. “I’m confused. This looks like a ‘sit-down-and-wait-for-a-waiter’ type restaurant. Where’s the hostess? What do I do now?” Luckily, Kaitlin or Georgia or Grace (our front-of-the-house team) can usually spot newbies and gently guide them through the deli-style dining at The Cheese Board. So, how did we get here—and more importantly, would guests in 2012 prefer to be seated, or stay with the status quo?
In the beginning (picture the early ’80s, with guys and gals sporting bi-level haircuts and listening to Wham! on Walkmans), a guest would walk up, ask for a ham-and-cheese, and hang out while Debbie or her sister made a yummy sandwich. They’d complete the transaction, and the guest would walk out and go on her merry way, until one day, Debbie thought, “You know what’d be really great around here? Chairs!” And thus, the present-day Cheese Board restaurant was born.
Over the years, we’ve asked our customers, “Would you prefer “table service,” with a waiter or waitress to take your order?” and time and again, our customers say, “Actually, no, I kinda like that I can come in, get what I want, and leave when I want without having to wait around for a wait person to bring me the check.” So, that’s why we do it. But this is 2012, and we’re always looking to improve ourselves, so please, weigh in with a comment below if you like the way it is, or if you’d like to see us deliver table-side wait service at lunch.
We’re on the edge of our seats with excitement to see what you think!