“Nestled in the farmlands”
The Cuba Cheese Shoppe is nestled in the farmlands of southwestern New York State where cheese has been a principle product since the late 1800's. Cuba, at that time, was the "cheese center of the world." The Shoppe is located approximately 75 miles southeast of Buffalo, NY. We greatly appreciate each and every customer and look forward to shipping our cheese all across this great country. The cheese industry has been a part of this area (particularly Cuba, NY) for many generations. Numerous small cheese factories studded the countryside at various crossroads in the late 1800's. The farmers took turns in hauling a week's production of cheese to Cuba. Ultimately, most of the cheese was shipped by canal or by railroad to New York City and other markets. Cuba, at that time, was the "Cheese Center of the World!" The price for cheese was established at a meeting at the Kinney Hotel on West Main Street in Cuba each week and was accepted as the price in the nation and the world. The first cheese company was formed in Cuba in 1871, known as Ackerly, Sill and Co. The business partners were Hosea Ackerly, Andrew Ackerly and Daniel Sill. The company needed storage space for their blocks of cheese, so a three-story building was renovated in 1889 - the current Shoppe building. Ice from nearby Cuba Lake provided the means of refrigeration and was used successfully until the late 1930's. Cheese Plant & Storage - Circa 1924 - 53 Genesee St. Upon the death of Daniel Sill in 1915, William Ackerly and Alvah Renwick entered the business. The company became known as Ackerly and Renwick. From 1933 to 1941, the company was know as Ackerly and Windsor. William Ackerly and James Windsor were partners in the business in those years. South Cuba Cheese Factory - Circa 1926 Cuba Cheese Factory Workers - Circa 1924 The plant was sold again in 1943 to I. vanZwanenberg and E.S. Moses when the name of The Cuba Cheese and Trading Company, Inc., came into existence. In 1953, I. vanZwanenberg passed away and his son, Nico, entered the business. A new, fairly modern cheese plant was built in South Cuba in 1956. It kept this name for over 34 years when in 1977, the plant's name was changed to Cuba Cheese, Inc. Additional storage facilities were added to the new plant in 1963, and it was no longer necessary for the cheese to be aged and stored in the huge Genesee Street building. However, the business offices of the plant were still maintained there. Mr. vanZwanenberg and Mr. Moses ran this very successful cheese-making company for 50 years. In 1975, the officers of Cuba Cheese Inc. decided to open a retail division so that Cuba Cheese, gift items, and other cheeses could be available to the public. A mail order service was also started. A front portion of the Genesee Street building was renovated and the Cuba Cheese Shoppe was open for business in the summer of 1976. The Cuba Cheese Shoppe - Circa 1976 The plant was sold in 1983 to H.P. Hood and in 1984 the corporate name became Empire Cheese, Inc. However, the plant was sold again in 1993 to Great Lakes Cheese of Hiram, Ohio, who are the current owners. The plant in Cuba has kept it's Empire Cheese, Inc. name. In 1991, the plant decided to get out of the retail business. The Cuba Cheese Shoppe, with existing property and building, was sold to Jeff Bradley of Cuba. In 2007 a renovation to expand the store was accomplished along with an addition to the mail order packing room in the back. The current Shoppe continues to promote Cuba Cheese. They sell over 300 varieties of domestic, imported and local cheeses, gourmet foods, gift baskets, gift items, kitchen wares, cheese curd, salt rising bread and more. They have added a wholesale truck delivery service and deliver to over 140 stores in the Western NY and Northern Pennsylvania areas. A fund raising department was started in 1994 and over 100 organizations participate in this program. The mail order business has greatly expanded to include an in -house mailing list of over 80,000 customers across the United States. One of the main goals of the Cuba Cheese Shoppe is and always has been to promote the wonderful New York State Cheddar cheeses that originated in 1887 at the Ackerly and Sills Plant. The demand for New York State cheese has been and is due in large measure to its characteristically unique flavor, a certain sharpness. This distinctiveness is attributed to the soil and water peculiar to this area near the Great Lakes. Because of the fodder and the water that the cows get here, they give milk that makes cheese with a distinctive sharp flavor. The Cuba plant, Empire Cheese Co., is well known for it's mozzarella and provolone. The Great Lakes plant in Adams, NY produces the majority of the NYS Cheddar and cheese curd. The Cuba Cheese Shoppe consistently promotes local products from around the area - honey, chocolate, sauces, Amish goods, jellies and jams, mustards, bbq sauces, and more! Contrary to public belief, the Cuba Cheese Shoppe does not own the Cuba Empire Cheese plant nor is cheese made in the basement! Cheese was once produced, stored and packaged in this great old building, but those times are long gone! We will continue to provide the best customer service and quality cheese products for years to come!
The Cuba Cheese Shoppe is a landmark and an icon in Southwest New York State. They literally have EVERYTHING cheese in their store and it's sourced from local dairy's. While they don't make anything in shop, they do cut and package here which is always fun to watch. I bought some garlic-flavored cheese curds and was not disappointed. They squeaked like a charm.
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Cuba Cheese Shoppe
- Sun - Sat: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
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