Cheese whiz

Laura Conrow


Laura Conrow is one of two co-owners and founders at Wedge—A Cheese Shop, a specialty cheese shop in midtown. Wedge has been open a little over a year and was recently chosen as the location of the October Reno-Sparks Cash Mob that happened last week. The Reno-Sparks Cash Mob is a group of people who pledge to spend $10 to $20 at a local business, chosen by the organizers, in one day each month in order to promote local businesses.

So, tell me a little bit about Wedge.

We carry over 100 artisan and farmstead cheeses. We carry meats, everything that goes with cheese, so there’s wine and beer. We make sandwiches. We have nectars and jams and everything. About a third of our products come from the west coast, about another third from the rest of the U.S., and then another third is from international sources.

You’ve been open for how long?

We’ve been open for 14 months. We opened a year ago July.

Why did you decide to open a cheese shop?

I have just wanted to have a cheese shop for a long, long time. I’ve been a cheese lover all my life. And I just kind of started getting into it as a dietary, other-than-cow’s-milk cheeses. Years ago, I started seeking out sheep and goat milk cheeses and realized what a fascinating world it was and just thought I had to get into this business somehow.

So why did you choose to open it here?

My partner, Peter, was familiar with this area. I was actually living down in the Carson Valley, and he suggested Midtown. He just had a really good sense of what was going on down here and the potential and he pointed it out, and I said I agree. This is just a wonderful, exciting place to be. There’s so many new things happening. Rent was nice and affordable, too.

Why did you choose to be in Reno, in general?

Well, Reno doesn’t have anything like this, or it didn’t before we got here. So that was kind of nice to be the first artisan cheese shop. The culture is developing so nicely here, and it was time for some specialty food shops. So the reception has been wonderful.

And how has it been here in Midtown?

It’s been great. We’ve had a really positive response. We’ve had a lot of people coming in the store. A lot of people have heard about us word of mouth, and they say, “I’m so glad I finally came in,” or people walk by having lunch from somewhere and say, “What? Reno has a cheese shop? That’s so awesome!” And they come in, and the best compliment I could ever get is having them come in and say, “I feel like I’m in Europe!” That kind of traditional cheese shop, so that’s great.

How do you feel about being chosen for the Cash Mob?

We’re so grateful to have been chosen. It’s great to have new people come in because they can be new customers. I think the Cash Mob is a great idea, and I’m going to make sure to support future ones.