Alleva Dairy, otherwise known as the oldest cheese shop in America, is a community staple that has been bringing incomparable Italian cheeses to NYC for 130 years.
However, the historical Little Italy shop is facing the risk of permanent closure, potentially bringing business at this century-old spot to a halt for good.
Its legendary roots began with Pina Alleva who first immigrated to NYC back in the 1800s. Since then, the business has been passed down through various members across five generations of the Alleva family, now currently helmed by Karen King.
According to the Post, Alleva Dairy failed to cover $509,106 in rent throughout its operation during the pandemic. Monthly rent for the store amounts to $23,756; therefore, nearly two years of rent is overdue. And if business doesn’t pick up, it may be the end for America’s oldest cheese shop.
Not only was there a lack of tourists in Little Italy throughout the hardest parts of pandemic, the unfortunate closures of nearby businesses in the neighborhood that used to rely on Alleva’s many products only added to shop’s loss of profits, noted the Post. Though King turned to take-out and catering services, it wasn’t enough. As reported by the Post, King shared: “We’re fighting to get some time to pay up. That’s all we’re asking for.”
Moreover, “If Alleva Dairy closes, it is the cornerstone of what Little Italy is. And the tradition and culture. If we leave, there’s another part of history going south,” shared King, as mentioned by ABC 7.
Though it’s highest praises come from its homemade mozzarella and ricotta, the shop offers more Italian fare and quality to-go entrees like sandwiches, dried meats, and pasta that you can’t get just anywhere.
You can do your part to support this struggling NYC business by stopping by at 188 Grand Street.
Find out more about this slice of NYC history here.