Pay a visit to Veldhuizen Cheese Shoppe. What you discover will surprise you.

Updated: Jul 26


Stuart Veldhuizen slicing some of his beautiful cheese.

By SARA VANDEN BERGE

You have no doubt driven by the entrance to Veldhuizen Cheese off Hwy. 377 dozens of times, but chances are you have never stopped.

I’m guilty of it too. I love the cheese made by the Veldhuizen family, but rarely think to shop in their store located on the family farm between Stephenville and Dublin.

But I popped in Thursday morning to meet with Stuart (he and his wife Connie own it), and I was astounded at all the good stuff I’ve been missing.

You will be too.

SAY CHEESE!

Walking into the Cheese Shoppe is like stepping into freshness with the smell of cheese and fresh-brewed coffee filling the air.

Stuart was there to greet me with a big laugh and warm hug. He is truly one of the friendliest people you will ever meet.

I marveled at everything inside; things like Wiseman House Chocolates, Hope Springs gourmet crackers, olive oil made in San Saba and Divina sour cherry spread and Greek olives.

There is also a meat market that sells ground beef, pork, lamb, bratwurst, breakfast sausage and Pederson’s applewood and hickory bacon.

“We try to stock all Texas-made products,” Stuart said. “We always buy local when we can.”

And then, of course, there’s cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.

The Veldhuizens make about 25 varieties.

I had the chance to nibble on their best-seller - The Ol’ Redneck Cheddar – and it’s delicious.

“It’s made with a stout beer from SpindleTap Brewery in Houston,” Stuart told me.

This Hatch Green Chile Havarti is to-die for.

I also sampled other varieties like the Wooly Texas (similar to a Gruyere but made with sheep’s milk), the Jalapeno Cheddar (another best-seller that comes with a bite of habanero), the Fat Tailed Tomme (modeled after a Manchego and also made with sheep’s milk), the Classic Havarti and their newest – Hatch Green Chile Havarti, which might be my favorite.

I left the store with three bags full of cheese, olives, crackers and spreads.

Oh, and I even purchased the coffee they were brewing.

It’s called Hani and it’s fantastic too.

The Cheese Shoppe is open from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday.

You can also purchase Veldhuizen Cheese at Central Market.

TOURS, CLASSES AND OTHER COOL STUFF

The Veldhuizens offer tours throughout the week and have a slew of great things planned for later this summer and into the fall.

Plans are underway for monthly “music nights” beginning in late August that will feature Texas breweries and wineries.

This fall they plan to host classes on how to make the perfect cheese board (sign me up!) and full-day and half-day cheese-making classes.

“And when the weather starts to cool off, we will have weekend hayrides and a pumpkin patch,” Stuart said.

So grab the kids and head to the farm for some fun!

I plan to round up the girlfriends for another cheese-buying excursion!