Finally, a Cheese Shop (And Then Some!) for Telluride Gourmands
TELLURIDE – “This must be a summer batch,” Over the Moon co-owner Maura Coulter says from behind a counter lined with shiny tins of Sicilian olive oil and baskets brimming with Lavazza coffee and handmade Italian pastas.
She cuts a thin slice of the Tomme de Savoie cheese and holds it up like a trophy. “See how yellow it is? That’s from the chlorophyll the cows are getting, eating all those greens up high in the Alps.”
Coulter, a self-confessed cheese fanatic, is ebullient as she discusses the genealogy of the cheeses in the cooler at the Telluride shop she runs with her daughter, Hallie Coulter Conlin.
Conlin smiles from her post behind the cash register. “She is the cheese person,” Conlin says emphatically, as her mother pulls out another wheel of cheese – this time, a thick, pale yellow hard cheese from the Basque region of Spain, called the Idiazábal – out of the cooler and onto her cutting block.
In this store, its rustic wooden shelves loaded with such surprising finds as yuzu marmalade, escargots, rose-petal confit and rhubarb bitters, the mother-daughter duo is perfectly at home: Coulter, the cheese connoisseur, in her crisp white apron brandishing her cutting knife, and Conlin, the doe-eyed shopkeeper who selects an eclectic panache of other wares ranging from olden day-inspired Rupalee scissors to high-end soaps and candles to local Stephanie Morgan Roger’s cards, prints and paintings.
The Coulters first moved to Telluride in 1990; they left in 1997, however, and were gone for over a decade, before Conlin moved back to town three years ago.
Coulter had talked about following her foodie passions and opening a cheese-and- charcuterie shop for years, and Conlin (who married lifelong Telluride resident Brian Conlin last summer) decided to take her up on it. Coulter, whose background is in design, was living outside of Boston, making a daily three-hour commute to work. “Hallie called me up and reminded me that I had always talked about doing this,” Coulter remembers. “Then she said, ‘And I want to be your partner’ – and that was it for me. My car was packed and I was here within six weeks.”
The mother-daughter duo unveiled Over the Moon in July, and the shop is a treasure trove for local gourmands, with everything from Fleur de Sel (French sea salt) to duck fat, paté, truffle oils… and, of course, the cheese and charcuterie.
Blackboards hanging throughout the shop advertise its eclectic cheese and meat offerings, from its acorn-fed, Iowa-raised Berkshire hog prosciutto to the Wisconsin Hook’s Cheese Company’s seven-year cheddar, the Western Slope-based Avalanche Farm and Dairy award-winning goat-and-pork breakfast sausage and some of Europe’s finest old-world cheese varieties.
Coulter, who grew up in Boston with a cheese shop on almost every corner, was thrilled bring a gourmet cheese (and more) shop to Telluride, with her daughter as her business partner.
“The response has been great,” she says. “We’re really excited about our products, and our customers seem to catch that enthusiasm.”
Over the Moon also serves wine by the glass, with a communal-style seating area where customers are invited to enjoy a slice of cheese or sausage or two, in the shop’s easygoing atmosphere. They also offer party cheese plates and cheese-and-meat plates in all sizes.
Over the Moon is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Sundays from 12-5 p.m. The shop is located just off Colorado Avenue, behind the Patagonia store. For more information contact email@example.com or call (970) 728-2079.