Article Originally Published by Caleb Yum on North Texas Daily
Justin Bonard offers the ability to experience the tastes of complex cheeses, fine wines and more at Ten: One Artisanal Cheese Shop.
Ten: One opened about a year and a half ago and sells cheeses sourced from all over the world, along with wine and other accoutrements made in house. The shop also offers virtual cheese tasting lessons and does deliveries and pick up orders.
Bonard is the owner, of Ten: One and has had extensive experience with cheese in the past. Before Ten: One, he hosted beer and cheese parties for years until he decided to open the first artisanal cheese shop in Denton.
“I was tired of driving to Dallas for good cheese and a good cheese shop experience, so I opened a cheese shop in Denton where we can do all those things we like to do, like wine and cheese pairings and beer and cheese pairings,” Bonard said.
The goal of Ten: One is to pull customers away from the brands typically offered at a grocery store by introducing customers to the gourmet crafted cheese in their shops. Bonard said Ten: One tries to get them to understand there are real people behind the gourmet cheeses they eat.
“Cheese is often overlooked and underappreciated,” Bonard said. “If you ask anybody on the street if they like cheese, 9/10 people are gonna say, ‘Oh my gosh, I love cheese,’ but then you say, ‘Who’s your favorite cheese producer?’ and then it’s just, blank.”
Knowing exactly where in the world their cheese comes from is important to Bonard as well. Different regions in the world make their own styles of cheese, and Ten: One gets its cheese from different parts of the globe.
“There are very distinct producers… cheese coming from this place tastes different than the exact same cheese made somewhere else,” Bonard said. “We’re definitely trying to educate people, and you kinda unconsciously teach your palate to broaden and expand, and pay more attention.”
The cheesemongers, or a person who sells cheese, at Ten: One also aim to educate customers on the variety of cheeses offered.
“Your monger can answer questions a sticker can’t about the probability of you enjoying it based on known likes and dislikes, or even make suggestions for recipes or pairings,” Ten: One cheesemonger Benjamin Matt said. “It’s almost alchemical how much cheese is a blend of science and art, and it’s our job to navigate its nebular quagmire.”
Bonard said Ten: One is still “an adventurous new concept” in North Texas, especially with the rising popularity of cheeseboards in formal dining restaurants.
Despite the complexities that come with tasting cheese, Bonard said Ten: One knows how to help the most novice of tasters.
“If somebody only knows cheddar, that’s fine, we can start off with cheddar, there’s actually a huge range of flavors and profiles for cheddar,” Bonard said. “So you start with something that’s gonna be really approachable, that everyone’s gonna like, then you gradually start pushing their buttons to try new things.”
Matt said he believes the reason Ten: One is able to offer a unique experience to their customers is because of how much their workers care about their product and the fact that they like what they do. He calls the experience of being involved in Ten: One “quite satisfying.”
“There’s a part of us at every step in the process, [from] figuring out the order to pairing and creating new accoutrements to artfully garnishing a board,” Matt said.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Bonard said his favorite part of work was making a big cheeseboard for guests in the shop, accompanied by a recommended bottle of wine or beer, and seeing the “enjoyment on the guests’ face.” However, with the virus shutting down a lot of business options for dine-in, Bonard has had to temporarily adjust that part of Ten: One’s business.
“We’re doing these delivery packages and stuff, and the same concept, we pick out wine or beer and cheese to go,” Bonard said. “We do get a lot of feedback that is rewarding when [customers] say, ‘Oh, that wine and that cheese was so good, that made our Thursday,’ that is really satisfying too.”
Natalie Poteate is one of Ten: One’s satisfied customers. She said has been pleased with the cheese and wine pairings offered and suggested by the cheesemongers.
“I’m terrible about picking out a bottle of wine from the stores but if they recommend something, you know you are going to love it,” Poteate said.
Ten: One Artisinal Cheese Shop can be found at 515 S. Locust St.
Featured Image: Courtesy Ten: One
Source: North Texas Daily