What’s the last place you might expect a recommendation from Vegan Grand Rapids? Might just be a specialty store carrying cheese from all over the world. As strange as this sounds, we highly recommend The Cheese Lady as your place to score vegan butcher goods in Grand Rapids.
One of the hottest vegan food trends is the rise of the vegan butcher. Cropping up across the country and Canada, these unique stores offer all sorts of vegan meats, cheese, and other deli items. A pretty wild concept, but one that is succeeding. One day Grand Rapids will have its own vegan butcher, but until then, we’re lucky to have retail shops such as The Cheese Lady.
Up front, it’s important to note that The Cheese Lady is a specialty cheese shop. Cheese shops sell dairy-based cheese, a lot of which, well, stink. That odor can be as off-putting as a stroll next to the fishmonger at the Downtown Market, but that aside, we think it’s worth holding your nose.
The Cheese Lady, smartly seizing the opportunity for the vegan market, is sourcing plant-based meat and cheese from The Herbivorous Butcher in Minneapolis. On the meat side, we’ve tried Canadian bacon, capicola ham, pastrami, hickory smoked bacon, and Italian sausage. The inventory is ever-changing, but we’ve had cheese varieties from dill Havarti to Swiss, to truffled camembert. If you’re not sure what to get they’re happy to offer a sample. Cheese is priced by the pound (unless you just wanna buy the whole thing – we’re not judging).
Take the meat, cheese, and some good bread, and you’ll be making some amazing ooey-gooey grilled sandwiches!
You can also pick up wine and beer as well as some other specialty items such as pickled vegetables, jam, and roasted nuts – and of course, crackers. There are also some non-food items like locally made handmade pottery, and art.