Get to Know Anita and Ed of Casa Onofre

Hello, our names are Anita and Ed Onofre of Casa Onofre. We’re a husband and wife team originally from Ecuador. We lived in New York from 1999 to 2017, and have called NOVA our home since Feb. 2017. We have two kids, Diego and Ana, who work with us in our business.

How/why did you start your business?

We have always loved to host family and friends over. During the pandemic, we started making boards as gifts for our friends and families. Ed started learning more about food styling. We received very positive feedback and decided to pursue it as a stepping stone towards our dream of owning a cheese store! We think food is a natural way to connect with people of all backgrounds, and sharing a cheese board is a great way to create a communal experience.

Tell us a little bit about your work/life balance. As small business owners, our work-to-life balance is a little unbalanced at the moment. But we love to spend our time off with our family. We visit our kids, take long walks, make food or dine out.

What is a typical day like for you? We begin our mornings making a good breakfast! Then we each take care of work outside of our business together. The afternoons are dedicated to our business, and in the evening we make dinner and watch our favorite show together.

What motivates you to work hard? To make our dreams possible.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Our proudest accomplishment was starting our business. Sometimes we can be our harshest critics, so it was definitely a challenge to accept the front role in our business. The Alexandria community has been so welcoming and supportive!

What did you want to do when you were little? Fernando: When I was little I wanted to be an attorney. Anita: When I was little I wanted to be a doctor.

First job? Our first job was in a bank in Ecuador, which is also where we both met. Ed is a couple of years older than me, and he was already working there when I joined the team.

What’s something that has surprised you about your chosen career path? There’s so much to learn in the world of cheese! From the history, to the fundamentals of cheesemaking, to serving and tasting, you just never know enough. As the great Anne Saxelby said, “behind cheese there’s a great story and it’s not always about flavor”. We’re excited about taking part in this journey and keep discovering.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received? To always hold responsibility for your actions and to be honest.

If you could choose to do anything for the day, what would it be? We would love to spend time in the countryside, go for a long walk and take in all that fresh air.

Favorite/most rewarding part about your business? Our favorite and most rewarding part of our business is making our clients happy. We love helping our clients discover and learn about cheese, as well as taking care of their cheese-related catering needs.

Who knows you best? Our family

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? We see ourselves as owners of a cool cheese store in the DMV!

What can we find you doing in your free time? How do you enjoy downtime? Definitely cooking! Drinking wine, listening to music and chatting with our loved ones.

List of favorites

Music – Instrumental

Meal – cook or order in? – Definitely cooking!

Drink – Sangria

Tv series – Food Documentaries, anything about Cheese!

Vacation spot – Europe

Item of clothingAnita: a pair of black slacks! Fernando: Coats

Life hero – our mothers! We come from strong women.

Season – Fall

Holiday – Thanksgiving

Sports team – Argentina soccer team

HobbyFernando: Guitar playing, Anita: cooking

Pet – cat or dog person? – Dogs!

Morning person or night owl? – morning always 🙂