SARDIS - Baby swiss, longhorn, casino brick, farmers, green onion, danish cream harvarti and applewood smoked cheddar are just a few of the 87 varieties of cheese and cheese spreads that Able's Cheese of Sardis carries for its customers.
While cheese is the most obvious item offered by the popular shop, located along Ohio 7 about midway through the village, it also sells a variety of groceries and specialty items such as jams, jellies and wine.
Rhea Caldwell, owner of Ables Cheese, said most of the regular patrons of her cheese shop typically stop at the village post office just across the highway before making their daily stop at her store. She said the store has been a staple in the community for nearly a half-century.
Rhea Caldwell, owner of Able’s Cheese, displays a deli meat and cheese tray that is being prepared for one of her customers.
Photo by Scott McCloskey
"We have travelers that always come through ... and they'll stop in and get some cheese ... some trail baloney, something to eat, before going down the road," said Caldwell, who has owned Able's since 1988. "We're just basically like a little deli - a one-stop grocery shop," she said. "Everyone kind of knows that it is here and it is like a family tradition. Grandparents brought their kids, and now those kids are coming. ... We try to get the best quality of cheese we can. It has got to be good stuff. We're not selling string cheeses or anything like that.
"The thing that makes it the best is the customers and the employees. ... My employees are awesome, and the customers come in every day and you get to know them on a first name basis," said Caldwell, who noted she made it a point to keep the same "weathered looking" hardwood floor that is original to the store when she purchased it nearly 25 years ago. She said many travelers have stopped back in the shop and said, "You still have that same (hardwood) floor."