A passionate love of cheese was one reason Aleana Young wanted to start a gourmet cheese store in Regina.
That’s her good answer, she says, as to why she opened up Takeaway Gourmet two years ago. But there was something else driving her as well.
“The bad answer is I had started a new job and was really not happy, and was looking around for something else to do,” she said.
She decided to look at two alternatives — apply to the University of Regina to complete her PhD, and, at the same time, apply to a credit union for start-up money for a business.
“I heard from my credit union before I heard back from the U of R and then recklessly signed a lease, and decided to open a gourmet food store during a little bit of a recession,” she said with a trace of self-deprecation.
“But so far, so good.”
Young has found a customer base that appreciates specialty cheese, whether it’s one rich with black truffle or one akin to eating butter, or a special wheel of rare aged Gouda grown on an island in Holland by one family from one herd of cows.
The shop’s owner says there’s a cheese for every taste at Takeaway Gourmet. (Takeaway Gourmet/Facebook)
The other appeal of the business, aside from the cheese obviously, is working with people, said Young.
Even at times where she worked an office job with regular weekday hours, she continued to keep a part-time job at another Regina food shop, Pacific Fresh Fish. That not only allowed her to indulge a taste for gourmet seafood, but gave her a chance to be part of daily lives.
“It never felt like work the same way sitting at a desk for eight or nine hours did.”
Now, she gets to indulge in some of her favourite tastes and find a cheese for every palate at Takeaway Gourmet.
While she did eventually hear back from the University of Regina and was accepted into a PhD program, Young said for now she’s going to focus on her business — giving people the cheese they want.
“The good people of Regina seem to love their fancy cheese and I love them.”
with files from Jen Gibson and Saskatchewan Weekend