Peeking through the windows of a narrow corner space where Acland Street meets Carlisle Street, you will most likely see Katia and Sabrina Cappadocio slicing prosciutto, babbling in Italian and spooning fresh ricotta onto locally made muesli. The Cappadocio sisters have joined Luca Calcaterra (Il Fornaio) and the Filippelli brothers (Il Fornaio, The Last Piece, Brighton Schoolhouse) to bring what Mark Filippelli describes as the, “Part Italian, part modern nutrition” of La Formaggeria to St Kilda.

The Cappadocio family has produced cheese in Italy since the 1960s, making it by hand using a completely natural process. Showcasing the tradition at Il Fornaio, the ladies produced soft ricotta, bulbous scarmorza, delicate buffalo mozzarella and modern inventions starring chili and herbs for 18 months until they exceeded the amount of cheese you can make before needing a new level of dairy licensing. The solution: a micro cheese lab.

When the lab opens in late May – a windowed room at the back of La Formaggeria – the sisters will be on show every day making cheese. Accompanying the cheeses (more than 100 different types) and Italian goods, a local nutritionist has curated shelves of locally made produce from small, quality suppliers, featuring maple-sweetened Port Melbourne chocolate, Mayver’s nut spreads, natural body creams, macrobiotic muesli, fresh produce including heirloom tomatoes and even toilet paper. Behind the counter, paninis are built to order, the muesli bar induces paralysing indecision, cold-pressed juices and smoothies are mixed with fresh fruits and vegetables and the ‘brew bar’ warms the soul (especially the peanut butter Mork’s hot chocolate).

A mixed bag of sorts, Filippelli explains, “We wanted it to be a staple store.” But La Formaggeria is no ordinary shop. Drop past on the weekend to score a free nutritional consultation, book a cheese-making class and walk out with a Clement coffee.

La Formaggeria
72 Acland Street, Saint Kilda
(03) 9534 1111

Mon to Fri 7am–8pm
Sat to Sun 8am–7pm