What did two Frenchmen living in Berlin who hated their jobs decide to do with their lives? Why, set up a little shop in Prenzlauer Berg selling the finest artisan French cheeses this side of the Alps.
The first encounter between Romain Dumond and Bastien Slovinski — and the subsequent birth of La Käserie — could have been a scene out of a comedy: Two young Frenchmen kept running into one another in a drab Berlin office block, and both hated their jobs. One was in the furniture business, the other an engineer. And they asked themselves, what is it that I wake up for every morning? The answer: cheese.
Romain Dumond travelled to France to learn the dairy trade and build up a network of regional manufacturers offering a range of traditional, seasonal cheeses. Bastien Slovinski was in charge of the business; he found a shop on Lychener Strasse and took over the management side of things. Their venture launched in 2012, and, since then, has become a hub for anyone in Berlin who simply can’t get enough of French cheese. And apparently there are quite a few of us; La Käserie is a smashing success, reported on by both German and French media.
Today the shop boasts nearly eighty varieties. Bastien Slovinski simply melts as he expounds the virtues of the Rovethym, a soft goat’s cheese that looks like a little bread roll with a sprig of thyme or rosemary tucked inside. It is made from the raw milk of Rove goats that graze the fields of Provence. You can find the exact spot on the map occupying a prominent position at La Käserie, which makes its home in the residential Helmholtzkiez district of Prenzlauer Berg.
But the map isn’t just about the cheese; Romain Dumond and Bastien Slovinski aren’t just cheese lovers and friends, they are also passionate cyclists. “After the cheese tour we always do a cycling tour, too,” says Bastien Slovinski. “That way the cheese kilos have a chance to melt off with each kilometer.” The two Frenchmen sure have a good time, as the photos around their shop will attest — here the two can be seen perched between cows, with goats on their shoulders, and with glasses of wine in their hands.
By the way, you can also get a great glass of wine at La Käserie, which transforms into a restaurant each evening. The Merlot or Chardonnay make for a wonderful accompaniment to a cheese platter. If you order in time, you can also get a piping hot Mont d’Or fresh from the oven, a creamy speciality from Jura in Eastern France.
All photos by Lena Ganssmann
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Lychener Str. 6, 10437 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
T (030) 347 234 00
Tue-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 10am-10pm