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My first regularly paid job once we moved to San Diego was working at Venissimo Cheese in Mission Hills. This was hilarious to most people… that a girl from Wisconsin had to go to California to work with cheese. Now looking back I can laugh about this, but it was sad at the time that I was lucky to get that job and that I had to try really hard to get it. The small freelance work that I was doing wasn’t enough to afford my groceries nonetheless my rent, like I said I was really lucky to get this job. My schedule overlapped with when deliveries came in which lead toĀ unpacking all the cheese and finding new homes in the refrigerator cases. This wasn’t a drag however, I got to see all the care that went into packaging the little bites of heaven. At that time I was always fascinated with the labels on the cheese. From time to time people would save the labels and make collages with the labels. I was always more fond of the imported labels over the american, they seemed more exotic or more rooted in history. So when I found this link on cheese labels I was instantly taken by to my days at Venissimo. I particularly like the Cerva label from Norway, the simple layout is a great example of type and image.

My memories extend far beyond the labels: getting to eat as much cheese as I possible could, taking home leftover bread (see earlier where I mentioned that we could not afford groceries), learning about the complexities of cheese beyond “Colby” cheese, and best of all the friendships I made! I searched to find a photo of my time at Venissimo, and I stumbled on this one from a wine and cheese tasting held at the store. I can’t imagine what the customers thought of these monkeys wearing packing as muscles. We did have the best customers though!

Three monkeys in muscle suits.

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