#People - 28 Juli 2023

A paradise for cheese lovers

If you like to try out different cheeses, the humidors in various Coop branches are perfect for you. Cheese lovers can choose from over 200 varieties in the ‘Chäs-Hüsli’ cheese huts. The sales team has unique cheese expertise.

Almost everyone’s mouth starts watering when they walk into the little "Chäs-Hüsli" cheese hut in the sprawling Coop branch in Villars-sur-Glâne near Fribourg. "At the moment, we have around 200 types of cheese here," says Claire André, the site manager.

Depending on the season, there are up to 270 varieties. Whether you’re looking for unusual French soft cheeses, the artisanal and innovative speciality cheeses from the Purcrü dairy of Emmi subsidiary Baumann Käse, or Kaltbach products, cheese lovers are sure to find something to tickle their taste buds.

There are ten such humidors in Coop stores, such as in Biberist, Geneva and here near Fribourg, all operated by Baumann Käse.


Like being in a cheese cellar

We have to pause time and again when trying to take photos, because customers keep flocking to the little wooden house and want to talk to the staff. You can hear water being sprayed from the top, because the climate has to be optimal for the cheese: 90 percent humidity at around 13°C.


"It’s like in a cheese cellar. It allows us to show customers something they’ll otherwise never see," says Matthias Leimbacher, regional manager of the humidors. The wheels of cheese are smeared with the typical salt solution once a week.


Friendly and skilled

The work of the four-person team in the humidor is varied. In the morning, an employee fetches the cheese, which is packaged in portions, from the cooler. All the wheels are stored in the humidor and must be cared for every day. "We cut out the bits that are no longer fresh, check the best-before dates and fill the display cases with packaged cheese portions," says Claire.


At the heart of their work is sales. "Alongside hygiene, that’s the most important thing," says Matthias. "We want the customers to come back, so we are kind and friendly." Of course, that alone is not enough, adds Claire. "It’s crucial that we give good advice, which is why we need to know the cheese and have a good understanding of the flavours."

“At the beginning, I had to try a lot of different cheeses. That’s the only way we can provide customers with the best possible advice.“

Claire AndréHumidor Site Manager, Coop Villars-sur-Glâne

The key is trying the cheese

That’s why every new wheel of cheese that arrives in the store is pre-tasted by the team. "Every cheese tastes different. This is the only way we can provide customers with the best possible advice," says Claire.


When she took up her job here two years ago, she knew very little about cheese. "So I had to try a lot of different cheeses. If you don’t like cheese, you’ve come to the wrong place."

Do you take the smell of cheese home with you? Matthias laughs. "My wife doesn’t like cheese, but she’s never complained about unpleasant smells." The humidor teams, as Matthias ensures, are in regular contact with each other and conduct training courses together.

"This means we all know each other. The mood in the teams is good." Claire nods. "But we also want to do a good job. The best thing is when customers are satisfied. The advice, but also discussions and chit-chat – it’s all important, which is why we are open and communicative."

Caring for our people

We will provide a place where everyone feels welcome, valued and inspired, and offer growth opportunities for all our employees.

This might also interest you

Stories Emmi Shop Emmen: great team, top products

#People - 14 october 2022 | A top tip for people who love top-quality dairy products: shop at the Emmi Shop Emmen to save money and help tackle food waste. You’ll meet a dedicated team – manager Erika explains why her shop is so popular.

Stories Nothing works without team “Blue”

8 October 2021 - Emmi is white – dairy products and employees dressed in white. Not entirely: there's also team "Blue", the technicians. They often go unnoticed until a machine breaks down and their help is needed. However, their work is not only vital, but also exciting.

Stories Spread across the whole world

#People - 20 January 2023 | A team of eight working together across the globe? Find out more about the exciting world of the Emmi Group with its subsidiaries in 15 countries.

Stories “A good atmosphere is important”

11 February 2022 - 100,000 Gruyère cheeses are stored in Fromco SA's sandstone cave at the Emmi site in Moudon. A dedicated team takes care of the delicious cheeses. Despite automation and sophisticated technology, employees understand their craft. Three things are important for the boss: safety, quality and humor.

Emmi Stories


Stories from the world of Emmi