New in Spokane: Saunders Cheese Market

Saunders Cheese Marketguest post by David Blaine Last December, Kim Morin and her husband stopped at Seattle' s Cheese Cellar to buy supplies for a holiday party. During the drive back to Spokane they couldn't resist eating bite after bite of the cheese. The conversation sparked by their moving picnic led Kim on a nine month journey that ended last month when she opened Saunders Cheese Market at 210 S. Washington.

Kim's hunch that Spokane was ready for a specialty food shop with a singular focus has proven to be correct. Even though the sign is not yet installed and the grand opening won't be until after the first of the year, Kim is shocking her suppliers with the volume of cheese moving through the store. She restocks her 115 varieties every Thursday in preparation for the Friday night crowds.

Saunders, named after the grocery store that once occupied the building, is a shrine to artisan cheese. The staff is well informed and eager to cut samples. Cryo-vac wedges are nowhere to be seen; instead the wheels of Sally Jackson Guernsey and Mt. Townsend Seastack are held at the perfect temperature and humidity until they are cut to order and wrapped in paper.

Though Kim has her hands full keeping up with the retail business, she has begun selling to local restaurants as well. By sharing some of the demographic statistics she gathered during the business start-up with chefs she hopes to show that Spokane is indeed a cheese town.

In addition to restaurant sales Saunders has been doing wine and cheese pairings with their neighbor Vino! A Wine Shop and will be at November's Epicurean Delight charity event. Kim loves Spokane and wants to be active in developing the food community. Her commitment to bringing something new to town will no doubt inspire more entrepreneurs. Already, construction has begun in the space next to Saunders that will sell flowers and chocolates.

Saunders Cheese Market 210 S. Washington St. Spokane, WA 99201 509-455-9400

Hours: Tuesday 12 to 5 p.m. Wed-Thurs 11 a.m to 5 p.m. Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday