Say Cheese! Restaurant reopens cheese shop

Few things excite a cheese fan more than an abundance of cheese, and with the return of its cheese shop, Say Cheese! Restaurant in West Reading is offering cheese lovers everything they need and more.

The restaurant at Sixth and Penn avenues in West Reading has long been a local mecca for those who appreciate not only maximum cheese, but a heaping helping of flavor.

Its menu offers the American classics — grilled cheese, mac and cheese, cheese steaks, cheeseburgers — but with a subtle twist of expertly paired ingredients that somehow make cheese even tastier.

Now, Say Cheese! has taken its commitment to delectable dairy pairings to the next level — by once again pairing its restaurant with a cheese shop.

“We’ll be carrying about 70 different varieties of artisanal cheeses, both local and imported,” said Adam Cocuzza, Say Cheese! owner.

In addition to “glorious amounts of cheese,” the store — which reopened on Friday, Oct. 14. — will offer a selection of beers, jams, honey, crackers, olives, pickles, nuts, chocolates, and other popular cheese accompaniments, according to Say Cheese’s Facebook page.

Say Cheese! opened 10 years ago with a fully stocked cheese shop, but owners decided to swap the store space for a bar area when Say Cheese! reopened after the shutdown in 2020, Cocuzza said.

But the idea of a cheese store in Say Cheese! was too delicious to abandon.

“Everybody’s excited to have it back,” Cocuzza said. “It was pretty busy when we had it.”

The restaurant’s owners bought the building next to Say Cheese! and connected the buildings, creating an open space that is accessible both in-restaurant and from a separate entrance on Penn Avenue.

Cocuzzza also noted that the new shop will soon become the area’s first wine and cheese stop.

“Wine and cheese is like peanut butter and jelly, so being both a wine and cheese shop I think is going to be great,” Cocuzza said.

He said the shop has already gotten approval to sell bottled beer and is anticipating that Say Cheese! will finalize wine approval within the next few weeks.

Coccuzza recommended Say Cheese! shoppers try his two favorites — Beemster’s Goat Gouda and Lamb Chopper, an aged sheep milk cheese from Cypress Grove, Calif.

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