Jody Klinedinst: Oh Mamma's on the Avenue

By+Kathy Jonas

Jody and Joe’s little shop around the corner from the South Bend Farmers Market was created as a cross between a European cheese boutique and a New York Italian deli. 

“We had a desire to bring an experience to the local community that was not currently offered in our area and as an outlet for our J2K CAPRAIO handmade cheese,” says Jody. The couple was also motivated to have their own business and encourage something more sustainable and traditional for their family.

“The space is not overly complicated or fussy–much like myself–but it is easy to keep organized and full and it creates the right atmosphere,” says Jody. 

Oh Mamma’s On the Avenue, 1202 Mishawaka Avenue, offers cheeses from around the world, including their own cheeses, handspun Gelato, cut-to-order specialties, and award-winning sandwiches. The idea they developed is to support small-batch/small-scale producers like themselves and be part of the current food revolution. The Klinedinsts also have an off-site commissary where they prepare items for their shop and maintain an Animal Welfare Approved Farmstead Goat Dairy and Artisan Creamery.

A cheese cave under construction on their Walkerton farm will allow them to age cheese for many months to years and to create other styles, including Jody’s personal favorite–stinky cheeses. Upon completion of the cave later this year, it will be the first of its kind in Indiana and will have the capacity to hold 20,000 pounds of cheese. The cheeses aged there will exhibit the “terroir” of the land and add another layer of flavor to the cheese.

Aside from the new cheese cave, Joe and Jody now own the shop on the avenue and have plans to dress up the façade by hopefully adding a patio and awning. But they want to keep the space small and intimate, just like the shops they’ve admired in their travels.


What three things does Jody have to have in any space she occupies? 

Something to eat, paper and pen, and cleaning supplies. 


What are some of her favorite things?

knives, goat paraphernalia, quality cheeses that I have to sample beforehand, some of which I make, and working with my family.


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