What started as a corner grocery store transformed into the House of Cheese in the mid 60s after Danny ventured to Switzerland on vacation. Here’s a look into just a few special trips that have shaped our product offerings, food knowledge, and helped make us who we are.
The Trip That Built the House of Cheese — Danny Di Bruno Visits Switzerland, 1965
In 1965 our co-founder, Danny Di Bruno, traveled to Switzerland where he first experienced “food as theater.” He sampled tons of cheeses during his visit, where stories were told about the makers—he even saw a 200-pound wheel of Gruyere. He knew he had to bring this experience back to his store. Upon his return to 9th Street, the House of Cheese was born, and Danny and Joe began importing plenty of cheeses like Emmentaler, Gruyere, Havarti, Goudas, Fontina, Blue Cheeses, and many more.
From 30 Cheeses to More Than 600 — Emilio Travels to France, 2001
In 2001, our Vice President of Culinary Pioneering, Emilio Mignucci, traveled to Paris where he explored the famous Rungis Market and the Salon International de l’Agroalimentaire—the largest food innovation convention in the world (i.e. The greatest food field trip of your life). At SIA, Emilio hand-selected the best of everything and brought them back to our stores. The partnerships and relationships developed on trips like these allow us to source the most amazing, high-quality items.
An Italian Immersion — Emilio Flies to Italy, 2008
Emilio is in flight again! This time he journeys to the homeland—Italy where he attended the CIBUS International Food Exhibition. He stayed with the Bartolini family, where he experienced cultural differences firsthand—the focus of food and family, using fresh regional ingredients, and how important terroir (the complete environment, including soil, topography, and climate) is. A highlight from this trip was meeting Gianni Cora, a cheesemaker in the Piedmont region, who makes an incredible Robiola cheese.
CCP Certification Trip Round 2—From Wisconsin to California!
First in Madison, Wisconsin, and then San Francisco, California, our cheesemongers studied their hearts out and came home with their well-deserved Certified Cheese Professional titles! Our VP of Culinary Pioneering, Emilio Mignucci, serves on the board of the American Cheese Society and was part of the team that created the Certified Cheese Professional Exam™ (also known as CCPE™). This exam is the only one of its kind and is the highest standard for cheese professionals. Currently, Di Bruno Bros. proudly employs seven CCPs. We are sending three more cheesemongers to take the CCP exam this year, wishing Tommy, Ann, and Malachy much luck!
A Wheel of Comté Chosen by Hand — Mark Goes to France, 2013
Our cheesemonger, Mark, traveled to the beautiful Jura Mountains in Northwest France and personally hand selected a wheel of Comté cheese from over 30 different wheels from the underground caves at Marcel Petite. Mark’s choice of wheel had a flavor profile that was delicate, floral, fruity, and slightly lactic. Stop by our stores today and try the Comté S’Mark Reserve!
Off to Italy, Netherlands, France, and More
Our trips dedicated to culinary discovery will never end. We take our position as the city’s leading merchants of artisanal food seriously, which is why we have an entire division devoted to exploring the rapidly expanding world of fine foods. Emilio and our buyers just got back from a trip to Italy, our monger Leslie is spending time in France and Spain, and another monger Ann is traversing Holland—but the planning never stops. When our team comes back, they share stories, photos and videos with the rest, and in turn they pass those unique moments and experiences on to our customers.