The Cheese Board Expands and the Papi Chulo Movement Grows
The Cheese Board Collective is the kind of place where you’re happy to stand in a hour-long line that may or may not wrap around the block depending on what day and what time you attempt to make it through the golden doors. Golden, because what lies beyond is the best of what life has to offer: CHEESE!
The cheese-themed mecca is a staple in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto on Shattuck Avenue, and for good reason. The tasty treats inside will wake you up at night with cravings for sweet and savory baked goods, wedges of artisan fromage and pizza with none other than their legendary green sauce. Dipping pizza in a tart and spicy green sauce may seem unnatural, but you have to understand that Cheese Board pizza is a magnificent rotating mutant that demands an equally unique condiment.
The papi chulo sauce is just as much a reason for the Cheese Board’s wild success as the cheese goods themselves. And successful it has been. The worker-owned co-op has been in business since 1971 — and before, if you count some of its previous iterations — but the slices came later after employees realized the pizzas they were making in the back for themselves just might sell. They started slinging pizza for the public and pretty soon, the public started showing up in droves.
Little by little, the shop that draws hordes of hungry patrons to both its bakery and pizza storefront a few doors down has had to expand their operation. Enter the next phase of the Cheese Board Collective.
Berkeleyside recently followed up with folks over at CBC to find out exactly what’s going on with the piece of neighboring property they snagged at 1500 Shattuck Avenue last year. The space that once housed the Produce Center has been in a sort of limbo but it was recently discovered that construction has been going on beyond the papered windows. Upon inquiry, it was discovered that the they began work needed to connect the two spaces during a week-long summer service break. They lowered the sidewalk and the floor inside to level out the two shops. They’ll soon cover the floor and cut through the wall inside, which will put them well on their way to once again expanding their footprint and their ability to sling even more delectable goods.
It is not known exactly when the new space will be open for business but they did say they will be expanding the products they offer as well as the space it’s offered in. Cheese Board member Cathy Goldsmith told Berkeleyside:
“[T]he space will be more of us: some new products, a reimagined cheese counter, more grab-and-go items, and more room for customers. We will be using a third of the space as a production kitchen.”
The additional production area will help the collective accommodate the demands of the ever-slithering line, although they don’t intend to add significant customer seating. But lack of seating has never stopped the masses from showing up at their door and with new products to offer, it doesn’t look like that will happen any time soon.
And that is just fine with us.