Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop embodies slow food, trusted sources

Linc Thomas

Cheese from small producers is bringing Fort Collins community members around the table.

The Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop and Bistro, a Fort Collins cheese shop run by three siblings, wants to see food connect people through people taking their time to enjoy meals with people.

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Co-owner of The Welsh Rabbit Dean Hines said food is is a way to transport to a community.

“People miss the community that is shared around food,” Dean Hines said. “There’s this whole idea around food as fuel versus food as transportation. When you’re exercising, food is fuel. But from an older perspective, call it magic or call it soul, when people sit around and share a meal, we’re transported to somewhere outside our box.”

The Welsh Rabbit is a Fort Collins business that offers gourmet cuisine and varieties of quality cheese. Siblings Dean Hines, Nancy Hines and Nate Hines co-operatively run the Welsh Rabbit. According to their website, the trio commits to love of family, appreciation of slow food and listening to the community.

When you eat cheese from a small village in France, you are tasting a part of the region, a part of the history that makes up those flavors.” – Dean Hines, Co-owner of Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop and Bistro

The slow food movement is the principle that food should be clean, good and fair, according to the Slow Food International website. The movement began in the late 1980s as a grassroots movement to promote clean and ethical food practices.

The cheese sold in the Welsh Rabbit is often sourced from small producers that uphold these same values. Visiting the shop will show the many different kinds of cheese in a wide range of prices, truly embodying the “fair” aspect of slow food. College students and cheese connoisseurs alike can find cheeses from cows, sheep, goats and even water buffalo.

“A frequent question I get is, ‘Is this cheese local?’” Dean Hines said. “Well, yes, it’s local somewhere. That is the beauty of transportation. Some of these labels might not read ‘organic,’ but I source cheese from people I trust. When you eat cheese from a small village in France, you are tasting a part of the region, a part of the history that makes up those flavors.”

But local does not always mean better. The United States is known for mass-producing food, and knowing where the food is produced is technically not knowing who produces the food. According to the US Department of Agriculture, organic labeling costs $750 dollars initially followed by regular inspection and site fees. Labels can add up quickly, and a small cheese producer would struggle to afford those exterior costs.

“Don’t fault companies for not being organic,” Dean Hines said, “The idea of trusting who produces your food is superior to the value of a label.”

Linc Thomas can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @LincThomas1.