Spread & Co owners turn love of cheese into a restaurant

Spread & Co. owner Rosemary Ewald sports a cheese tattoo, but she said her cheese business was actually driven by her love of making items like jams and pickles from scratch, as well as the role food played in his life.

“My mom worked at the cheese factory and my parents met while working in restaurants,” Ewald said.

Ewald started his business in 2016 as a delivery service. At the time, her husband, Austin, was working as a chef in Austin. Ewald sourced the cheese herself, made jams, mustards, pickles and crackers from scratch, and built and delivered large, elaborate cheese platters. In early 2019, Austin quit his job, and in late 2019 they opened their first brick-and-mortar restaurant and cheese shop in the Jefferson Square mall.

“It’s a really loyal region,” Ewald said. “A lot of these companies have been here for 20 years. I think it helped us survive the pandemic.

In late 2020, the couple opened a second location at The Contemporary Austin’s Laguna Gloria. Laguna Gloria is a sprawling 1916 Italian-style villa surrounded by 14 acres that serves as an art museum.

“We were definitely very scared because growth didn’t seem like a good idea,” Ewald said.

Beyond the cheese platters, the menu has expanded to include all-day breakfast items. Ewald said some of the most popular items on the menu are Monger’s Grilled Cheese, which includes three cheeses chosen by the store, and two sandwiches which include pork toast made with pork shoulder and charcuterie wedges – the Frenchie and the Spamwich.

“The fact that we’re doing everything from scratch made it easy to transition into breakfast and lunch,” Ewald said. “And then, being a cheese factory, we can focus on the cheese at the heart of everything.”

About James Almanza

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