If you like cheese, you're going to love this. A new cheese shop is coming to Oneida.

Abbey Woodcock is behind the unique idea of bringing the best cheeses from New York state and around the world to Oneida. And she's no stranger to dairy. Her grandfather, Calvin Janes, started Callee Farm in 1945 and co-founded the Oneida Madison Milk Co-Op. "I have really fond memories of spending time on the farm when I was a kid," said Woodcock. "The smell of raw milk or even raw milk cheese brings me right back to my childhood."

Woodcock never had any grand vision of being involved in the dairy industry. But that changed two years ago. "I started the Freelance Co-op in Oneida. I’ve always loved dairy and cheese, but didn’t think of starting a business around until a few years ago."

About 6 months ago, Woodcock got serious about bringing her idea to life. "I traveled to California to speak with artisan cheese makers, tour cheese shops and creameries throughout the state, and speak with chefs who use artisan cheese in their restaurants."

The Cheese Shop will feature local food products and artisan cheeses, things you can’t always find in the grocery store. "People in central New York are looking for these types of businesses and to not have to travel to bigger cities to get gourmet foods is such a bonus for our entire community."

Woodcock is still searching for the perfect location but says it'll be in downtown Oneida. "Downtown has so many exciting things happening right now and within a few years will become one of those destination communities. I am really excited to be a part of that growth, especially since it’s my hometown and where my grandparents were such anchors of the community."

A decision should be made by the end of the year with a goal of opening in the spring of 2021. But you can get a sneak peek during the Black Friday pop up cheese event. It'll be held at the Oneida Freelance Co-op on Main Street November 27th and 28th from 11am to 6pm.

Photo Credit - Abbey Woodcock

You can also order a Cheese Advent Calendar, perfect for that cheese lover on your holiday shopping list, at Freelancecoop.org/cheese.