If you’re a lover of all things sharp, creamy & aged, it truly doesn’t get any cheddar than the Cheese Boutique in Toronto’s Swansea neighbourhood!
The big boast is their selection of 500(!!!) gourmet cheeses from all over the world, which you can pair with more fine fare, like cured meats, farm fresh produce, and oh-so-sweet baked goods! The Pristine Family who run Cheese Boutique have a passion for their titular product that is almost palpable; excitement for quality and deliciousness shines on every shelf and counter in their boutique!
(But don’t take our curd for it; check out the Cheese Boutique’s outsanding rating of 4.8 stars on Google, based on almost 2,000 evaluations! Customer and peer reviews don’t lie!)
Today, I had the pleasure to speak with Afrim Pristine, one of the owners and Maître fromager (aka Cheese Master) of the Cheese Boutique. He shared his top favourite cheeses and gave me the inside scoop of what’s coming next his business!
Afrim was a delight; sincerely one of the nicest and most passionate business owners I’ve met. Despite being a busy rainy morning at Cheese Boutique, (and Afrim being pulled from one phone call to another), he found the time to chat with me and shared what makes their establishment stand out from the rest:
First, their philosophy. Afrim shared that the strength of his four-generation family business – operating for over 52 years – stems from experience and expertise. Always with a smile, they strive to source the best products for their customers at the most reassonable price. It is important to Afrim that the store – which he runs with his brother Agim – is not pretentious. Instead, they aim to foster a laid back family-friendly environment where everyone feels welcome; in this way, I think the shop mirrors the neighbourhood it’s situated in – sweet Swansea!
When it came to cheese, the conversation took on a more excited tone. “Quality” and “best of the best” were the words used repeatedly to describe the fine fare that they sell. If you read this blog regularly, you know that the members of the Urbaneer team are huge supporters – and enthusiastic consumers – of Canadian-made products. So I was delighted to discover that Afrim’s family has a passion for supporting local farmers and Canadian suppliers; about 100 of the cheeses that they sell in their store are made in Canada, while the other 400 or so come from an additional 18 countries! (It’s almost mind boggling to imaging the size of the selection isn’t it?)
Speaking of things that originated in Canada, here’s a fun fact: Afrim was inspired by his adorable Ontario-born Newfoundland, Simone, and created (in partnership with @qualitycheeseinc) a cows milk triple cream cheese in his dog’s honour. Look at that cute mug on the packaging! This cheese has a rich buttery flavour, and is super tasty!!
At the end of our conversation, I asked him quick-fire questions about his favourite food at Cheese Boutique. He replied that his taste changes according to the seasons, but right now he loves and recommends the following items at Cheese Boutique:
- Fresh Italian Burrata Cheese
- French Goat Cheese from either France or Quebec
- Le Bleu d’Elizabeth Blue Cheese
When he’s not working, you’ll find him either busy writing a sequel to his first book ‘For the Love of Cheese: Recipes and Wisdom from the Cheese Boutique’ or travelling as the Food Network host of Cheese: A Love Story. The show follows iconic and exciting cheese adventures all over the world that will make you want to book your next vacation!
“So what’s next?”, I asked. While always evolving and expanding, one area specifically that Afrim and his brother are currently focusing on is their Cheese Boutique Bottega, where they serve daily fresh baked goods that are all made in-house. (They also sell some of the best coffee in the city, in my opinion!). At the Bottega, you’ll also find cookware, fresh loaves of bread, and cookies & sweets.
Finally, cheese lovers, I’ve kept the best for last: the Cheese Boutique has a cheese vault that contains some of the rarest cheeses on the planet. Recently, a couple even got engaged in the vault… cheese love is definitely in the air here!
Come and visit one of the Swansea community’s favourites: The Cheese Boutique!! It’ll make you brie-live in magic!!
Today’s rainbow certainly ends with a pot of golden gouda! Follow it down to Cheese Boutique!
Tiffanie and the Urbaneer Team.
*Title photo courtesy of @Afrimpristine
Wouldn’t it be lovely to put down roots in this picturesque pocket of the City, with such a supportive community of businesses fulfilling all your daily needs? Here’s our fab new listing in Swansea that we think everyone should see!
We call it, A Stylish Family-Friendly Townhouse In Desirable Swansea. This 3bed 4bath townhome truly is an urban oasis! It offers 2100+ square feet of functionally designed space, a secure private garage, plus a patio garden off the family room and a terrace off the entertainment level – all of which overlook an idyllic woodland ravine! For those seeking a quiet respite from the ravages of everyday living, this west-facing residence offers a bucolic setting unusual for a central city address!
Have questions or want to book a private tour? Please contact Cynthia Rose! Cynthia@urbaneer.com
We are also delighted to have recently SOLD this all brick, 2-storey detached Edwardian residence, which has all the charisma of hard-to-find vintage properties but has been thoughtfully modernized to accommodate today’s busy urban lifestyle and new models of family living! Take a peek at this handsomely restored and renovated Stately Purpose-Built Duplex With Lower Level Suite, Steps To High Park!
Forgive us a bit more hubris, but here’s another listing we SOLD on nearby Durie Street: ‘A Sun-Soaked Swell Dwell In Swansea‘ – for $576k over asking!!
Plus a Vintage Bungalow Perched On The Slopes Of Morningside Avenue just around the corner on Morningside Avenue that we SOLD for $650k over asking!!
Now more than ever, it is essential to plan a well-researched, data-driven, tactical strategy if you are in the market for a new home. Especially in changing times, when the pandemic has prompted many to shift their focus and objectives. Have yours changed? Please know The Urbaneer team is here to help!
May we be of assistance to you, or someone you love?
The Urbaneer Team
Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000
– we’re here to earn your trust, then your business –
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*Love Canadian Housing? Check out Steve’s University Student Mentorship site called Houseporn.ca which focuses on architecture, landscape, design, products, and real estate in Canada!