Cheese Bar is the passion project of Steve Jones, a cheesemonger, educator, and cheese ambassador. He entered the cheese world in the 1990s, opening several cheese counters in the Midwest. In 2006, Steve launched his own business, Steve’s Cheese, a small retail counter in Portland that quickly developed a cult following. In 2010, the business expanded to become Cheese Bar, a cheese counter and casual restaurant that offers a rotating menu built with artisan and farmstead products. Cheese Bar allows Steve to share his pursuit of interesting cheese and beverage pairings, a fascination that spurred many collaborations and ventures, culminating in the publication his first book, co-authored with Adam Lindsley, “Cheese Beer Wine Cider: A Field Guide to 75 Perfect Pairings.”
Steve’s experience also includes wholesaling, brokering, affinage, and marketing, while working with Provvista Specialty Foods, Neal’s Yard Dairy, the Cheese School of San Francisco, and Food by Hand. He is a founding member of the Portland Beer and Cheese Festival, the Portland Firkin Fest, and Portland’s The Wedge Festival. Steve has participated in national and international cheesemongering competitions, winning the second Cheesemonger Invitational in New York City. He has served multiple times as a judge for the American Cheese Society’s annual competition, the Good Food Awards, Oregon Beer Awards, and the American Dairy Goat Association. Steve’s work has received accolades in numerous regional and national media outlets, including The New York Times, Sunset Magazine, Travel + Leisure, and Culture. He has appeared in local and national radio and TV spots, including Portland’s Live Wire radio show, NPR’s The Splendid Table, and Good Day Oregon.
Rachel’s foray into the dairy world began in 1999 at the cheese counters of The Pasta Shop in Berkeley and Rockridge Market Hall in Oakland, California. More recently, she spent two years with the wholesale department of Tomales Bay Foods, the distribution arm of Cowgirl Creamery; a position which helped reinvigorate her interest in food & beverage, but most importantly, cheese. Rachel moved back to the PNW in 2018, and she jumped at the chance to dive back into the foodie world, joining the Cheese Bar crew in March of 2020.