Tag Archives: the cheese board and wine seller

35 Years, 35 Memories #13/14: Engagements


Lori Bullard writes: “My husband and I met for the first time at the Cheese Board. It was twenty years ago on the Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday. At that time, they were open for breakfast and we both stopped in for respective business meetings. At the end of his meeting he came over to our table and said, “How do you guys rate? You got to have breakfast with this pretty lady and I had to have breakfast with these two ugly guys” (referring to his clients). Everyone laughed and he walked out the door. As he was passing by the big window in front of the restaurant, I actually thought to myself, “There could be my future husband just walking away…”. I asked the staff working that day if anyone knew who he was. They came up empty, no clue.

Two weeks later I bumped into one of the staff members while Christmas shopping at Meadowood. She told me the guy I asked about the other morning stopped in recently and left his business card. He requested, “If you see her come in again, please give her my card and have her call me.” I did and the rest is history.

Eighteen months later we were engaged. It took about a week to get my engagement ring setting back from the jeweler. When it was ready, Rich suggested he present it to me at the place we met. Attached is a token photo taken that very happy special day. I have been a loyal customer all these years. I would have had them cater our wedding, but we were married out of town. The Cheese Board has impeccable service and I always leave with a happy belly. This place will continue to have a sentimental place in my heart. Congratulations on 35 Years!!”

Jamie Krahne writes: “My favorite memory … meeting my soon-to-be husband, Joe Kulikowski, at The Cheese Board. We were both having lunch (separately) and noticed each other. Almost five years later, we eat there at least once a week (usually more) and are getting married next month.”

Such a great memories and we love being a part of their lives. Love the photo of Lori and Rich!

35 Years, 35 Memories #11: Meet The “Cobbettes”

Sometimes you just become part of the family. I’ve known Bill and Cathy Cobb for all of my adult life and therefore, all of their children’s lives. Known by me as the Cobbettes, these kids, now adults, are a precious part of my personal and business life. I am so delighted that they shared their “Debbie’s Place” memories with me. — Debbie

“There are so many great memories of The Cheese Board that it is hard to pick just one. I know I began my love of SporTea at The Cheese Board as well as for delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. In fact it is still a tradition for any Cobb who eats at The Cheese Board to take pix and send to the rest of the family for the sole purpose of letting them know they missed out!”

“It took me until I was in high school to realize the actual name of The Cheese Board. I always thought it was called “Debbie’s.” Our family always said “let’s go to Debbie’s for lunch today.” We still do but I learned that I should use the official name for others after telling my friend to meet me at “Debbie’s on California Ave.” This was before cell phones so she was driving up and down the street trying to look for the restaurant to meet me for lunch. Whoops!

I love the friendly atmosphere as soon as you walk in. The staff are always so friendly and remember you. One even knows I love goat cheese and always offers to swap the cheese on the special for goat cheese. So sweet. Debbie also knew how much I love the carrot cake there. I usually hate carrot cake but love hers. So, when I go, I order a chocolate chip cookie for my appetizer and then have carrot cake for dessert. I was pleasantly surprised at my high school graduation when The Cheese Board catered the party and Debbie made sure to bring me my very own carrot cake so I wouldn’t have to share with anyone.

It’s also so nice to see Debbie walking around and speaking to the customers, checking in on their family, friends and lives. Actually I have never felt like a customer, but more like family.

Now, as the only sibling currently living in Reno, it is my duty to take photos of my lunch (including the chocolate chip cookies) and send to my siblings to make them jealous. It brings me such satisfaction to rub it in!”

I would say that the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are pretty much heaven on earth. I love those turkey sandwiches and focaccia and … everything!

The fact that it’s been Reno’s go-to place for catering in pretty much the only important time frame of Reno’s history (i.e., my life) is also pretty sweet. But what is really cool is how we don’t call it The Cheese Board but we call it Debbie’s 🙂 which pretty much sums up how close we are with it (and how she always knew she had catering reserved for Manogue graduations even before Mom reserved it. One time someone called up months in advance for reservations but Debbie said no because she knew mom would need us catered!).

I’m hungry now…

I will never forget as a little kid the Oranges and Sourdough Bread that I would only order (yes, that was my entire meal) … awesome they had that personal meal for me and damn was it good!!!!!!!!!!!!

Like I have said before, lucky me to have these wonderful people in my life. Good job Crush!!

Thanks for the memories, Cobbettes, and for sharing your lives with all of us at The Cheese Board! –Debbie

35 Years, 35 Memories #2: Sandy Macias Remembers


“When thinking of The Cheese Board, I immediately flash on a fresh, genial entrepreneur, Debbie Branby, in her first venue in Arlington Gardens. She’s dressed in a uniform with a crisp apron, eagerly taking my sandwich order — and educating me on cheeses beyond cheddar. Flash forward to 2016, and look at her now: from cheese and sandwich shop owner to the experienced caterer and restaurateur behind Reno’s favorite bistro. What a ride!”

–Sandy Macias

Sandy Macias is not only one of The Cheese Board’s earliest customers, she was also for many years a  food writer and editor at the Reno Gazette-Journal. During her tenure there, she covered many of the new cheeses and specialty food items we were bringing to the Reno area, along with events and tastings. Sandy and her husband, Sam, have become dear friends over the years. Lucky me!


35 Years, 35 Memories #1: The Cheese Board in 1981


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.

— Debbie

What Would You Like To See On Our New Website?


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!

A Reno-Tahoe Party Catering Sampler from The Cheese Board in Reno







It has been a wonderful and fun holiday catering season for all of us at The Cheese Board Catering Company in Reno. This is a tiny sampler of all the yummy hors d’oeuvres and entrées we’ve cooked up for our clients and their guests this holiday season. Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation goes out to our fabulous clients, our fantastic team at The Cheese Board, led by Chef Kaimi Coonrad, our front-of-the-house team led by Caitlin Fletcher, and our catering sales and service team, led by Krista Phillips (who, incidentally, also took all of these great photos at events this season!). From all of us at The Cheese Board, best wishes for a safe and satisfying holiday season, and Happy New Year!

Spectacular Thunderbird Lodge Wedding Catered By The Cheese Board

Fall is a magical time to get married at Lake Tahoe, and last Saturday’s event at the Thunderbird Lodge was no exception with bluebird weather, the lake like a millpond, and an adorable Reno couple tying the knot in front of family and friends. Debbie Branby, Chef Kaimi Coonrad, and the catering team from The Cheese Board arrived early to make everything “just so” for a glorious wedding reception, with passed hors d’oeuvres and a yummy wedding buffet set up to take in the view. Wedding guests enjoyed a wonderful guitarist playing while the drinks flowed and laughter filled the air. Reno’s own Eldorado provided a gorgeous wedding cake, and a rocking DJ kept things moving well into the evening. Our thanks to the charming couple for letting us be a part of their special day. Wedding catering at Lake Tahoe: It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!



The Cheese Board To Host Cal Ave Artists Market July 14 & 28

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!



A Western-Themed Open House, Catered by The Cheese Board

By Krista Phillips, Director of Catering Sales & Events

Usually, Open Houses have simple needs that must be met: a cheese display, something sweet, and of course, beer and wine. This time, my client gave me a challenge: something “Western.” Okay…Western it is. At first we were going to do a nod to Western with the menu with an elegant touch, navy lamour linens downplayed with a beautiful, elegant sunflower centerpiece. I know what you are thinking: if you are going to go Western, you need to go all the way. Well, you’re right…and so was the client.

Here’s the menu we put together:

Tequila Lime and Mango Chicken Skewers

with and avocado crema drizzle

Petite Empanadas

filled with lightly spiced black beans, corn,

tomatoes, cilantro, and jack cheese

served with house-made pico de gallo

Pulled Pork Sliders

ancho chili spiced pork topped with cilantro slaw

In petite ciabatta rolls

Fresh Vegetable Platter

served with cumin lime aioli

Mini Chicken Tostadas

with avocado, red onion, peppers.

cotija cheese, with a fresh orange and cilantro crema

Green Chili and Cheddar Dip

Served warm with tortilla chips

With the right mix of bandanas and burlap linens, the tables looked the part. Galvanized tubs and bandana linens made for an effortless set-up and went perfectly with the theme. The cocktail tables had denim linens with simple hurricane candles wrapped in faux barbed wire. I literally put those together 20 minutes before the event started, they were that easy! Finally, Devonwoods tied it all together with the happy sunflowers in galvanized steel containers, a pop of blue from the irises, and tying in the Western theme with strands of wheat. They also sourced some mini hay bales that we placed on the food table to add the final touch.

Floral by Devonwoods


Linens by Creative Coverings


Rentals by Camelot Party Rentals