Scheffler’s Deli & Cheese is a family-owned business that has been at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, Ontario, for over 20 years. Co-owner, Odysseas Gounalakis, ACS CCP, started working part-time at the St. Lawrence Market in 1982. He had just moved from Greece to go to university to become a math teacher. Odysseas met his wife in the cheese shop they were both working at. After they married, an opportunity presented itself to open their own deli in the market. Scheffler’s Deli & Cheese has expanded from deli meats and olives, as Odysseas has become more knowledgeable in food and especially cheese. Odysseas, his wife, and three children all help out in the store. “We are continuing to expand our products and knowledge the more passionate we become about food,” says Odysseas.
The store offers around 450 cheeses from around the world. “Slowly, American artisan cheeses are becoming more available to our market and there have been some fantastic cheeses coming from California, Vermont, and Wisconsin,” says Odysseas, “we can’t wait to get our hands on more.” As for other international cheeses, Odysseas was recently in Tuscany and fell in love with a 6-month old Pecorino di Pienza wrapped and matured in walnut leaves.
Sheffler’s Deli & Cheese is also well-known for their prosciutto selection, carrying 11 different types from various countries, including Pingue Prosciutto from Niagara, San Danielle Prosciutto from Italy, and Serrano and Jamon Iberico from Spain. They also sell a variety of charcuterie, both locally made and imported. Another store focus is antipasto, olives, oils, and balsamics. In addition, they have a selection of cheese accoutrements such as crackers, compotes, chutneys, and jams.
This extensive product line makes Scheffler’s Deli & Cheese quite unique. “Customers are always telling us that when they come across something they aren’t sure where to find in the city, they bet we will have it for them,” says Odysseas, “and if we don’t, but it’s available in Canada, we will go out and bring it in for them.” With so many products in an 850 square foot store, it’s amazing they can fit 25 staff members in there on Saturdays!
The store has partnered with the St. Lawrence Market Kitchen and provides a series of cheese classes. This spring will mark their third series, where they try to hold at least three classes in the spring and three classes in the fall. Scheffler’s Deli & Cheese has taught everything from food and alcohol pairings, to creating your own cheeseboards, to selecting before dinner and after dinner cheese selections. An upcoming class will be, “British Empire Cheeses,” with a focus on exploring Canada’s historic relations with Britain from the perspective of cheese.
Scheffler’s Deli & Cheese is open Tuesday – Thursday, 8 am – 6 pm; Friday, 8 am – 7 pm; and Saturday, 5 am – 5 pm. They are closed on Sunday and Monday.
93 Front St. East, St. Lawrence Market
Toronto, ON M5E 1C2
ACS Member Discount: 15% off cheese & charcuterie purchases