This is Sydney’s premier cheese store and a cheese lover’s paradise. Formaggi Ocello is a store that specialises in only the finest rare cheeses, sought from suppliers across Europe and the globe.
There are many cheese stores in Australia, but only one Formaggi Ocello.
Pay homage to fromage
Cheese-obsessed couple, Carmelo and Sogna Ocello, started Fromaggi Ocello 19 years ago. Their mission was simple, and one shared by cheese-lovers all over the globe: to source rare, interesting, and traditional cheeses that have been made for hundreds of years, and bring them to Australia to be introduced to a whole new audience.
The story began with a humble goat cheese farmer who allowed the couple to take over his stall at the Entertainment Quarter, selling a simple hand-ladled goat cheese from Queensland to hungry audiences. From there, the passion grew until it could no longer be restrained and had to have a life of its own. The result is a Surry Hills store that’s packed to the brim with local and exotic cheeses, boasting Australia’s largest artisan cheese selection with more than 200 cheeses to discover.
Ocello’s specialty is in rare cheeses, and Carmelo and Sogna take pride in selecting cheeses that have been made in certain seasons at altitudes where animals roam freely and milk quality is at its best. Every year, they travel extensively throughout Europe to discover new cheeses to populate their flagship store and please their audiences. To maintain the highest quality conditions, the fresh cheese is air freighted back to Australia and left to mature in their purpose-built maturation room – which is visible to customers in the store and a physical embodiment of many cheese lovers greatest fantasies. Storage in the maturation room allows each cheese to age to perfection, in specific temperature and humidity conditions that allow it to develop prime flavour and texture.
Cheesy goodness to last a lifetime
Ocello’s store boasts more than 200 high quality cheeses, all specially selected by the couple. Many of the store’s suppliers use cheese recipes and techniques that have been passed down within one family for generations, and they seek out the world’s best cheesemaking regions for their discoveries: Loire Valley, Piedmont, Zurich, Devon, and Tasmania, to name just a few. There are Italian cheeses, French and Swiss cheeses, farmhouse cheeses, English and Irish cheeses, Dutch cheeses, Spanish cheeses, American cheesies and even high quality local cheeses made right here in Australia. And it doesn’t end there.
The couple’s passion for everything about la dolce vita means you can also find high quality produce, wines, and other small goods in their store, as well as premium cured hams from Italy, local leg ham, and salami and saucisson to your heart’s content. There are jams, honeys, crispbreads, truffle products, olive oil and balsamic, prosciutto, olives, pasta, sauces, and wines from the world’s best wine regions. Basically, everything you might need to perfectly accompany your plate of sensational cheese. For extreme gourmands, Ocello even makes cheese wheel wedding cakes – because with cheese this good, who needs a sugar high?
Read about some of the exclusive & most passionate producers in Australia in CHEFIN’s team deep dive into New South Wale’s best producers.