Bring together a local commercial interior designer from Wisconsin and an entrepreneur from the Midwest who’s a cheesemonger and what do you get? The answer is Shea Cheese, a recently opened American artisan cheese shop in a quaint neighborhood retail center at 10880 N. 32nd St., Suite 19, between Cactus Road and Shea Boulevard in Phoenix.

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Beth Katz, Principal of KatzDesignGroup, helped bring the vision of a neighborhood cheese shop to life for Co-Owners Jenny Zink and Izaak Myers.

Katz refers to the retail shop as being in the “Sheaborhood.”

“When I met Jenny for the first time, I said that I had to get this project,” Katz said. “I have been a ‘cheesehead’ since birth. I browse the cheese section of the grocery store as if it’s the Nordstrom shoe department. We had a really great time designing this boutique cheese shop. I am excited for the success of Shea Cheese.”

Katz converted the 700 SF space into a cozy shop with shelves, refrigerators, and a display case filled with every accoutrement associated with American artisan cheeses including crackers, meats, nuts, and sauces. Breise Construction performed the tenant improvement work.

“I moved to Phoenix from Iowa and there was a cheese shop in our small town. When I got here, I said, ‘I want a cheese shop in my neighborhood. That’s what pretty much planted the idea,” Zink said.

Katz was instrumental in helping Zink and Myers navigate the City of Phoenix building permit process. Katz was hired in July and Shea Cheese opened in early November.

“Beth was fantastic to work with,” Zink said. “We found her through a restaurant consultant. She was listed a woman-owned firm with restaurant design experience. We emailed and she responded the next day.”

In a previous profession, Zink was a freelance photographer in Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa. In 2020 she took “cheese classes” online as COVID-19 shut down most businesses and schools. She is a certified Level 1 Cheesemonger.

“We thought about naming the shop Say Cheese, but our location off of Shea made for a fun and memorable name,” Myers said.

Katz’s retail and restaurant design expertise includes locations such as Mochilero Kitchen, The Parlay Kitchen & Cocktails-Scottsdale, St. Amand, Yogi’s Grill, Scoopwell’s Dough Bar, Bellissimo’s, Mancuso’s Restaurant, Naked Q, Yogurtini, and The Gladly.

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