User Reviews and comments on Cheese Emporium & Fine Foods
From: cheesed off customer on Jul-22-2007
I could not believe the experience I had at the Cheese Emporium on Mount Pleasant last Friday. I thought I would treat myself to a brie and prosciutto sandwich for lunch. I'd been to the Cheese Emporium before for sandwiches but, not seeing a menu sign, I asked if they made them. The man serving me, somewhat briskly, said yes they make grilled sandwiches. Although, I would have preferred un-grilled, I said OK, and asked what kind of bread they had. He said white or brown so I said white. Then he took out a very nice looking bun, cut it and sliced some prosciutto on it. The bun looked great and as he was about to put the cheese on it, I told him to please not grill it because I would prefer it plain.
He said "no, it must be grilled". I said I'd really prefer it not be grilled but he said "you can't have it that way because it's our signature sandwich". (What “signature” - it was being custom made for me!) I said I would really like it plain and once again he said I couldn't have it unless it was grilled. I just couldn't believe it - it appeared grilling was mandatory! (I felt like Jack Nicholson in the diner scene in Five Easy Pieces.) I was desperately trying to think of a clever way to re-order and say “hold the grilling” but with blood pressure rising, I said if I had to have it grilled, then I didn't want it. He yelled at me and told me to "get out and never come back".
I was dumbfounded. I said I would not be back and started to leave the store already sorry about not getting my sandwich. Before departing I did tell the man (who by now had a scary insane look in his eyes and quite the threatening pose) that I was going to post this incident on the internet. Looming toward me as if on the attack, he yelled that I was "ridiculous and unprofessional". By now quite alarmed, I hastened my departure.
Somehow I don't think that this "soup Nazi" approach to customer service is going to create lines up at the Cheese Emporium's door.
From: traveler from montreal on Sep-21-2007
i just bought $50.00 worth of cheese from this store this morning and i'm already starting to think that i should've spent more money there. this is indeed an emporium. at 9:45am today i showed up in front of the store hoping he'd show up early (opens at 10). i left toronto for montreal today. i didn't have a lot of time to waste as i was getting ready to hit the road. he did show up. very friendly guy. he seems to know a lot about cheese. all his suggestions were great (i went with 4 different types and they are GREAT). very good quality cheese. i live in montreal and we get A LOT of french cheese from france here but i gotta tell you this guy's selection of english, canadian or high end french cheese beats 'le fromentier' or any other store here that i know. i highly recommend this place. i'm going to be back in december and will buy MORE.
about the incident in the previous post, there are certain 'house rules' which might be difficult to understand. last may i was in 'il fornello' an italian resto on yonge near st clair and the waiter(s) refused to pour drops of balsamic vinegar over the olive oil in the little dish with olive oil they bring you before the meal to eat with italian bread. i insisted in vane. they said it's a special olive oil and that's the way is should be eaten. i wasn't happy. but in the end the food was very, very good. i'd go back there anytime.
From: satisfied costomer on Sep-26-2007
Cheese Emporium is by far the best specialty cheese shop in Toronto. I don't exactly live close by but its worth the drive. The selection of european, as well as canadian cheeses are excellent and the staff is quite informative and helpful. I recently had a dinner party and the 12 year old quebec cheddar was a huge hit, the staff informed me of all the best cheese choices to accent my wine, and the cheese tray was turned out beautifully. But be advised, go there with an appetite because the staff are sure to offer a few tastes. Im sorry to hear that some may not feel the same, however I would defanately recomend this shop to anyone hosting a get together.
From: Shelley Swartz on Oct-05-2007
I was at this store during the summer to pick up some cheeses and I noticed their products are way over prized comparing to the little gourmet shop down the street from them. They have good cheese but so this Alex Farms. I won't be buying products from them when I can get the same thing for a $ 1 less per box....its crazy.
From: Jester from church street on Oct-10-2007
GAY BASHING! I couldn't believe how homephobic the people at cheese emporium are! A couple of weeks ago as I was entering the store I heard loud conversation and laughter with a male customer. They were enjoying bashing gay people, especially men, and had lots of fun exchanging gay jokes. As soon as I entered the store the conversation suddenly stopped but I felt so weird the way they would look at me. I looked around, said nothing and walked out. I will never go there again! Their prices are way too high compared to Alex's Farms anyway!
From: Harold Colos on Oct-17-2007
I was lucky enough to find Cheese Emporium about a year and a half ago just taking my dog out for a walk. I've had nothing but positive experiences at Cheese Emporium.
The selection as well as the freshness of the products are the best in the city. I'm a little Shocked at the coments made about the staff as they have been nothing but good to me. They always have great suggestions. I also love that they always let you try before you buy to ensure your getting something of good quality and obviously something you'll like.
They've even given a gift or a small item to me at no cost on a few occasions which i no else ever does anymore.
If you are or know anyone that loves cheese i recommend you check this place out. I will never buy from anyone else aslong as i live in the Toronto area again.
From: Monica on Nov-10-2007
Wow! This was the best shopping experience I have ever had. I had the chance to try a large variety of cheeses and the choice to buy the ones that fit my budget. I was advised to buy better & cheaper stuff than the one I choose, and I was allowed to try the taste of the olive oil! I have so much more knowledge about high-end food right now, since the owner took the time to make me understand about differences in quality and the way to recognize quality. The choices the customers have fits all tastes and all budgets. Very impressing!
From: mbqr tudyfkng on Nov-17-2007
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From: Sandy Smith on Nov-22-2007
Although the shop has wonderful products, the staff are snarly, rude and downright lacking in any basic social skills. Forget about getting a good experience at this store. I have given it three tries only to be made feel uncomfortable - never again!
From: Alexandra P. on Nov-22-2007
I am so glad that people are seeing the staff at this store for what they are - barbarians. I recently moved to the neighbourhood form western Canada and was drawn by the array of products, although quite overpriced. On the few occasions I ventured to enter the store, I was never greeted with pleasantness, rather a lengthy stare as if I were a thief. One of the young women had just returned from having a cigarette outside and proceeded to serve me without washing her hands. I declined my order and left in disgust! The staff made no attempt to apologize, but made some snarky remarks in a foreign language and laughed. I urge others to not frequent this establishment and will go to their competition.
From: Izabella on Dec-02-2007
I was very impressed with this store. The staff was kind, knowldgeable and helpful. The product is of very good quality at different prices, so you have where to chose from.
I have never seen anywhere in Toronto another store where you can try before you buy. And nowhere else in Toronto you can find so much information about the food you buy.
From: Big D on Dec-13-2007
hey Alexandra P The Cheese emporiums a fantastic store and u probably were trying to steal something
From: Charles on Dec-16-2007
I just came back from the new location Avenue rd and Melrose...(right across the street from the harveys) and i must say that they've done it again ...what a beautiful shop and the same excellent staff!!!
From: Ari Williams on Dec-17-2007
I was at this store and found their gourmet products to be way high compared to their neighbour down the street, next to the chocolatier. Small privately owned boutique and very very nice place. Not only were the prices high but the staff was very arrogant. I'm not usually picky but found the ambiance not so great and if you go to Alex Farms on Bayview they also let you sample the cheese, most places will let you.
From: Michelle on Dec-31-2007
Agree with previous reviewer. We bought some cheese (Etorki) + 12 yr old cheddar. No prices on the cheeses. Back home, we do some internet research and compared to other places - they are way, way overpriced. I feel like I was ripped off. Last time I'll go there. Let's see how much longer they stay in business.
From: Claudio on Apr-22-2008
Hey, at the Cheese Emporium they try to serve us there best, and respect to all the customers who have good remarks about the Cheese Emporium, no one is perfect and for the comments from Alexandra.P why she might of served you right away was because they have gloves so they don't infect your food. As well there sandwiches are delicious and are to be grilled because it's a paneenee or however you spell it, but back to the topic its given that name for a reason a meat or cheese sandwich that is grilled. Other then that the Cheese Emporium serves you to there fullest giving you an explanation about your cheese so you know a little more when you leave maybe you might not get the perfect employee but always keep in mind they might be new and just started the job.
From: Employee on Aug-09-2008
As a former employee at cheese emporium i would like to redeem myself as well as the other employees and say that no matter where you shop there will always be some people nicer than others. I can only speak for myself when i say that i always tried to be professional and helpful to any customer. I apologize for any negative experiences that you may have had however you must understand cheese emporium, like any other shop, has had many employees and it is unfair to judge or stereotype the entire staff according to an individuals mistakes..
As for the prices, the staff has no decision on the affordability of the products.
From: Dolores Smith on Dec-02-2008
Going back to the two posts regarding the customer's right to get what they ask for versus a specific offering related to "house rules" for serving a certain way...the grilled brie/prosciutto and olive oil with balsamic at the restaurant: I think it is the responsibility of the employee to explain why their establishment has decided to serve an item only a certain way and then still leave it up to the client to have their wish. As an olive oil importer that has now spent almost two years experiencing and thinking about olive oils almost 24 hours per day (yes, in my sleep/lack of) I can say it is true that some extraordinary, very good quality, olive oils are much better enjoyed without the strong balsamic vinegar or do not mix with this vinegar's taste (olive oils are like wines, and have their own food pairing particularities). Unfortunately, it would be too expensive for the Cheese Emporium to create a second sandwish to show the taste difference to the client, but it could have been done with the olive oil!
From: Sammy on Dec-10-2010
Having moved to Western Ontario for school two years ago, I can say I've searched far and wide for a cheese store that can even come close to comparing to the variety at the Cheese Emporium. I've tried 6 different Cheese and fine foods stores, and none of them had the specific cheese I was looking for. I've also tried to buy some prosciutto, and am sad to say none of them tasted the same as they did when I bought them from the Cheese Emporium. I heard from a friend that they can vacuum seal your cheeses to last longer, so hopefully next time I'm back in Toronto I can bring back a months supply :) Over all very good store, and have never had a problem with the staff. All very knowledgeable, especially the owner.
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