Artisanal cheesemaker sets up shop in Lebanon

After traveling from Spain to Seattle to southwest Ohio, artisanal cheesemaker and Madrid native Cecilia Garmendia is finally home.

Lamp Post Cheese, a business she co-owns with her husband, Ryan Tasseff, opened its first shop on Oct. 24 in downtown Lebanon on 107 E. Mulberry St.

The window-lined shop houses a cheese production space that includes an aging room, retail area and tasting room. Their focus is unmistakably on local and regional artisanal producers and the surrounding community.

The retail area offers cheeses from producers such as My Artisano and Urban Stead in Cincinnati alongside other Ohio cheeses that include sheep milk cheese from Kokoborego in Mount Gilead, goat-milk cheese from Lake Erie Creamery in Cleveland and grass-fed cow milk cheese from Canal Junction Farm in Defiance. Cured meats from North Country Charcuterie in Columbus round out the local lineup.

The shop also carries some European items such as Gouda cheese from Holland and quince paste from Spain.

The tasting room, which includes a bar, seats about 25 people. It’s open on Friday and Saturday evenings with limited service and a short menu of cheeseboards with cured meats, wine and canned beer. Look for local and regional beers such as MadTree and Hoppin’ Frog and wine from Skeleton Root and Meranda-Nixon.

“We’re planning events like wine-and-cheese and beer-and-cheese tastings, along with cheesemaking classes,” Garmendia said.

You can peer into the production room from the sidewalk. In there, Garmendia expects to make around 1,000 pounds of cheese monthly. She hopes to be up and running in a few weeks and add her own cheeses to the retail area at the end of January.

Lamp Post is known for its Haya, Apollo and Toby cheeses. Its Haya cheese is inspired by Tomme cheese, made predominantly in the French Alps and Switzerland. The Spanish-inspired Apollo cheese is a semi-soft cheese press-wrapped in cheesecloth and aged with a light rub of paprika and olive oil. The Toby cheese is a slightly sharp English-style cheddar wrapped in cheesecloth and brushed with butter.

The shop is home to Garmendia in more ways than one. Not only does she live just blocks away, she now has a place to craft cheeses from her European upbringing and make them more accessible to the community.

“What I really like about cheesemaking is that you can share it,” Garmendia said. “I really like sharing food with people.”

Grace S. Yek is a contributing writer for Journal-News media partner WCPO. Read more of her stories at

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WHERE: 107 E. Mulberry St., Lebanon

HOURS: Retail: noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays (closed Sundays through Tuesdays); tasting room: 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

MORE INFO: 513-934-7376;

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