by Catherine Gilmore for the Johns Island Farmers Market
When it comes to fresh, local cheese, Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse is at the top of its game in the Lowcountry. Owners Greg Tatis, Monica Jaramillo-Tatis and Pete and Heather Holmes work hard to provide an array of Charleston-themed cheeses that have that authentic, raw flavor desired by connoisseurs. However, it doesn’t take a connoisseur to recognize that these cheeses are special, a far cry from those found at the grocery store. Whether it’s for personal enjoyment or for gifts, the Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse has something special for everyone.
Current owner and partner Greg Tatis was approached years ago about making cheese while he was the general manager at a local restaurant. The owner of the restaurant’s son expressed his desire to begin a cheese making business and asked Greg if he would help due to his culinary experience. Greg accepted the challenge and began his partnership making a small assortment of artisan cheeses. About two years in, however, Greg was asked by the restaurant owners’ son to take over the operation until the full investment was returned. Being the general manager of his restaurant and running Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse proved to be nearly impossible, so he enlisted the help of a few friends.
Pete and Heather Holmes were in the process of relocating to Charleston when they began toying with the idea of a partnership with Greg and his wife Monica. The two couples had known each other for years and Pete and Heather were in need of jobs in Charleston; after their first look into the cheese operation they decided that they wanted in. Pete and Heather became official partners last February. Since the partnership, the business has grown about 1200% in productivity.
When it comes to taste, Pete says the secret is the Hickory Hill Milk they use from Edgefield, South Carolina. The folks at Hickory Hill Milk never give hormones or antibiotics to the cows and the milk has the classic, cream line flavor that is so highly sought after. This milk, along with creative flavors made from natural ingredients are what makes the Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse’s cheese so special and such a gem in the Lowcountry.
Though they participate in a farmer’s market almost every day of the week, the Johns Island Farmers Market was the Cheesehouse’s first. Therefore, the owners or one of their representatives always make sure to attend every Saturday. The Johns Island market has opened up a world of opportunity for them, between every day cheese lovers turned loyal customers to chefs at high end restaurants, the market has proven to be extremely valuable to their business and most of their revenue can be attributed to connections made there. Come sample and take home their vast array of cheeses from the Johns Island Farmers Market every Saturday from 10am-2pm.
The folks at the Charleston Artisan Cheesehouse may be contacted by phone or e-mail.