Specialty shop turning out to be a big wheel in downtown Oneida
ONEIDA — At Callee 1945, you don’t have to be chary when choosing your cheeses.
Located at 134 Main Street in Oneida, Callee 1945 officially opened its doors on Sept. 1 in 2020 — in the midst of the pandemic.
Abbey Woodcock and Casey Baney, who describe themselves as business and life partners, are the brains behind the operation and work to keep the greater Oneida area stocked with all the specialty cheeses and goods one could ask for.
“When we opened, we still had the mask mandate and more. And while it made things tricky in the beginning, we worked through it,” Woodcock said.
Woodcock used to own a successful marketing business, but like many during the pandemic, she reevaluated her life.
“I was getting burnt out and thought that a cheese shop could work in Downtown Oneida,” she said. “I grew up on a dairy farm and while I never wanted to work in the industry, I had always been obsessed with food.”
Specialty groceries are few and far between in the greater Oneida area and Woodcock said she noticed people going all the way to Syracuse to buy certain cheeses and other products. “I thought a local option would work and turns out, I was right,” she said.
There’s a wide variety of cheeses for sale, so if you’re looking for a cheddar to chill and to chop and to serve with some chives — Callee 1945 has you covered. Maple Sriracha WindsorDale, beer washed gouda, buffalo mozzarella, stilton, blue, camembert, and havarti are just some of the kinds available. And while cheese is first and foremost at Callee 1945, that’s not all they sell. Specialty olive oils, ghost pepper infused pepperoni, prosciutto, chorizo, jams, sweets, and savories of all kind are also available.
And new to Callee 1945 is its cocktail bar, headed by Baney.
“Our bar is only open until 8 p.m., but it’s become very popular — especially on Friday nights,” Woodcock said. “And we even offer non-alcoholic cocktails.”
After getting their liquor license, Baney said he dusted off his old bartending skills and started preparing specialty cocktails — each paired with an appropriate cheese.
“I never envisioned being back behind a bar again until Abbey and I started talking about this shop and what we wanted to do,” he said. “It reminded me I truly enjoy being behind a bar, telling jokes, and making people happy.”
Both Baney and Woodcock said that while it’s busy at Callee 1945 and it’s a lot of work, they’re having a lot of fun.
“We definitely work, but we have fun, I love it,” Woodcock said. “I get in here in the morning and I’m excited. We have a blast every day.”
Callee 1945 has been doing so well, Woodcock said they plan to expand into the building next door.
For more information or to order online, visit Callee 1945’s website at www.callee1945.com
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