Melbourne's #1 Food Market

Trader Profile: Manny, The Cheese Shop Deli

We sat down with everyone’s favourite Deli operator, Manny from The Cheese Shop Deli, to chat about life before Prahran Market, the most unusual product he’s sold and what some people may not know about him.

What did you do before owning The Cheese Shop Deli? 

I immigrated from South Africa to Australia in 2016 on a business visa. I had previously opened a supermarket and a bottle shop in South Africa but when I moved here, I bought The Cheese Shop Deli.

What do you enjoy most about owning The Cheese Shop Deli?

I love serving customers and interacting with different people.

What is the most common question you get asked?

Customers always ask for sheep and goat’s milk cheeses as it can be hard to find good quality ones.

What are the top two products you sell at The Cheese Shop Deli?

Soft cheeses and Comté are always popular.

What is the most unusual product you have sold?

There is an American cheddar that is wrapped in lavender and coffee that we sell when it is available. We have also previously sold an English Cheddar made with elderflower.

What is something people may not know about you or The Cheese Shop Deli?

Some people know that I was born in South Africa, but most do not know that I am from a Portuguese background and my wife has a Greek heritage.

What’s your best cheese tip?

To keep cheeses at their best, store cheeses in an airtight container or wrapped in foil and keep refrigerated. 

How does your day start?

I get to the shop at 6.30 am to setup. I unpack the cheeses and get the store ready for the day’s trade.

What is your favourite cheesy dish? Why?

My favourite dish is baked potatoes with cheese because I like to experiment with different types of cheeses. 

When it’s not cheesy, what is your favourite dish? Why?

Cozida a Portuguesa which is a national Portuguese dish – like a stew. I enjoy it because it reminds me of home.

What is your earliest food memory?

My earliest food memory is pancakes with sugar and cinnamon rolled up. Mum made it once a week and we looked forward to it.

What do you love most about being at Prahran Market?

Being at the Market, you get to try a wide variety of food in one place and it’s authentic with a social endeavour.

What do you love to do on your day off?

On a day off it is nice to relax and spend the day with my family. I will grab a coffee in the morning and sometimes we will get into the garden and do some work in the afternoon.

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