Welcome to Venissimo, home of all the best cheese from all over the world.
Venissimo Cheese was founded by Gina and Roger Freize in San Diego in 2004. But it almost never opened.
The owner of the retail space we wanted was not interested in splitting the large space, nor leasing a little wedge to an unknown business in an unknown industry. Who wants to buy just cheese? After spending months calling and faxing them reasons to let Venissimo in, Gina overheard that the owner would be at the site on a certain day. So she snuck in with a cheese plate to let the product speak for itself. Needless to say, the owner was convinced and agreed to lease the space the very next day!
Hence, our flagship Venissimo Cheese opened its doors in Mission Hills on January 17, 2004, with just 50 cheeses on its shelves. Roughly three years later, we opened our second location in Del Mar. Our third shop downtown - complete with an Academy of Cheese (AoC) educational program - opened in 2009. In 2014, we opened a satellite location in North Park inside Bottlecraft Beer Shop. And in 2016, we joined the group of artisans in the vibrant Liberty Public Market in Liberty Station. To date, we've had more than 2000 cheeses on our shelves and continue to share the joy of cheese through our four San Diego area neighborhood shops.
Our mission is to do for cheese what Starbucks® did for coffee! "Someday, camembert will be as well-known as cappuccino," says Cheese Wiz Gina. We will do this by sharing the goodness and glory of cheese. Literally - when you visit the shop, you can taste anything you like. Friendly & expert cheesemongers plus descriptive receipts (complete with pronunciations, country of origin, milk type & more) aim to take the intimidation out of artisinal cheese shopping.
We offer a flexible wholesale program to restaurants, caterers & other gourmet professionals, with no minimums & staff training available. Get what you need when you need it. Contact the manager at any of our neighborhood shops to learn more.
Where to next? Stay tuned.
In the meantime, check out some fun stories in the news...
Behind the Counter with Vend
San Diego Union Tribune Easy Cheese Making at Home
United Hemispheres Adopt-An-Alp
San Diego Magazine Favorite Spaces
Exploring Wine Pairing Wine & Cheese
SD Voyager Meet Gina Freize
Locale Magazine Fun Family Food Finds
San Diego's Cheese Revolution from Food by Frances
Hot Gouda & Cold IPA Enjoy Venissimo + Bottlecraft in North Park
When Beer Met Food Cutting the Cheese at Bottlecraft Beer in North Park
City Beat Venissimo Teaches Perfect Pairings through Academy of Cheese
Savor San Diego PBS Program Sharing Passion & Dedication Behind the Counter
Thrillist Best Grilled Cheese in San Diego
San Diego Foodstuff Test Driving Amazon Fresh
San Diego Business Journal Venissimo Partners with Amazon Fresh
City Beat Cheese & Beer Together
Eater New Shop in Bottlecraft
City Beat Wine & Cheese
Specialty Food Magazine Sheep Milk Cheeses
San Diego Reader Fresh & Fluffy, Taste Anything at Venissimo
Pacific Magazine Brie Mine for Valentine's Day
Union Tribune Cheese Dream Comes True
San Diego Magazine Cheese Making Coming Soon
Sunset Magazine Cheese Lovers Club Membership a Great Gift
Pacific Magazine Venissimo Heading to The Headquarters
San Diego City Life Real Estate Serving Downtown Residents
Union Tribune Heading to The Headquarters
Huffington Post Venissimo Voted One of Best Cheese Shops in World
Del Mar Times Venissimo Expands to Larger Space at Flower Hill Promenade
Los Angeles Times Food Cheese by the Beach
San Diego Magazine Del Mar Expands to Add Classes
Gourmet Retailer Sampling Program Key to Venissimo
San Diego Reader All the Best Cheese from All Over the World
Panini Happy Sharing Favorite Grilled Cheese Recipe
Serious Eats Venini Panini at Venissimo
Entrepreneur Using QR Codes in Business
San Diego Reader Delicious $7 Lunch
San Diego Reader Queso Diego Cheese Club Launches
Sign On San Diego Super Diners Choose Cheese Boards
Mint Life Honey with Blue Cheese
San Diego Union Tribune Venissimo is Kid-Friendly
Sign on San Diego Venissimo's Great Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
KNSD TV Score for Small Business
Sedimentality Craft vs Kraft Cheese
San Diego Foodstuff Cheese Making Basics at Venissimo
Pacific San Diego Magazine Venissimo Brings Cheese to San Diego
Union-Tribune Best Cheese Plates in San Diego
Entrepreneur Owner Gina Drives a Vespa
Gaslamp Ball Best Cheeses for Padres Game