A few days into their honeymoon, John Antonelli told his wife, Kendall, that he wanted to quit his job and do something in cheese. Instead of urging him otherwise, Kendall became interested too, and thus began their mutual love affair for all things cultured and dairy. Eventually they opened Austin’s small and beautifully curated Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, which features cases of artisan cheeses along with salumi, preserves, beer, wine, and chocolates. At any given time, about 25 percent of the products at Antonelli’s are locally sourced.
The shop has relationships with several Texas dairies, including Blue Heron Farm, Brazos Valley Cheese, CKC Farms, Pure Luck Farm & Dairy, and Sand Creek Farm. The shelves are also stocked with jams and preserves from Austin’s Confituras, chocolates from local Kakawa and The Chocolate Maker’s Studio, and beer from nearby Jester King Craft Brewery, Argus Cidery, and South Austin Brewing Company. Any customer entering the shop can expect a cheesemonger to guide them through choosing and tasting a number of cheeses, which are cut fresh to order and can be purchased in any quantity. The Antonellis believe that every cheesemaker has a great story to share; they just need help sharing it. Across the street, the shop offers cheese classes and private tastings throughout the year. They also have a healthy wholesale operation, providing cheese plates to many of Austin’s finest restaurants.