Somewhat akin to the feeling I had walking down the candy aisle as a child, I now feel my dopamine factories firing off as I near the wall of cheese in certain grocery stores. The difference is that while I pretty much knew by color, texture and shape what each candy was like, the plethora of cheeses can be overwhelming to the point I mirror my Netflix behavior (scroll for 30 minutes, consider trying something new, wind up watching The Office…again). Thankfully, for those of us lucky enough to live in Fort Worth, the cheese daddy is here to make everything ok.
Rachel Wylen is a force. Her passion for her craft is invigorating. Her knowledge of the product would be intimidating if it weren’t for the inclusive nature with which it’s delivered (think less bestowed, more shared). She is as adept at identifying what flavors will excite your palate as she is at explaining the science behind how those flavors work.
So as cheddar sharpens with age, Wylen’s years of travel and culinary work have honed her skills. From Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in Austin to Zum Löwen in Germany, she has accrued a masterful understanding of cheese, and praise be to Cheesus that she has returned to her hometown of Fort Worth and opened Funky Town Cheese Company.
Wylen came back to the Fort at the end of 2020 to be with her ailing grandmother, and while here she picked up on the cheesy conundrum I mentioned finding myself in earlier. “There’s no one in Fort Worth to bridge this gap between artisanal maker and consumer.”
So, she got to work building a bridge…with a cheese truck. Funky Town Cheese Company officially debuted at ArtsGoggle in April 2022, and has spent the past year frequenting locations such as Friday On the Green, The Holly, Hotel Dryce, Watauga Artisans Market, Keller Farmers Market, Avoca Coffee, Rahr & Sons and many more.
While food trucks are certainly not uncommon, one dedicated to cheese is. Wylen knows of only two others in the country, and they are located up North in cooler climates, closer to where many cheeses are produced. Despite lacking those benefits, Funky Town Cheese Company offers up to 30+ artisanal cheeses and 5-7 different cured meats on any given day. “I do everything cheese related from retail cut to order, snacks to go, classes, boards and events,” Wylen says. “My cheese selection is seasonal and often rotational based on what I can get my mitts on.”
Eventually, she would also like to get her mitts on a brick and mortar storefront, but plans to continue the cheese truck even after that milestone is reached. After all, bringing education and unrivaled flavor to the people, in the streets, is how this magic all started in the first place.
“At the end of the day, cheese is for everyone,” Wylen says. “It’s made by real people on real farms with clean, beautiful products. If we don’t support these makers they will disappear forever, which is just not something I can abide by.”
Check out our 10 year aged Cheddar Pantone matching video below!