Wellesley Residents Mourn Cheese Shop Owner

The town of Wellesley, Mass., turned out in droves to mourn the death of Steve Wasik, the 62-year-old proprietor of The Cheese Shop. His family honored him by keeping the shop open to fill holiday orders and customers lined up for an hour or more to buy up the shop's perishable inventory.

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

If you were to ask the people of Wellesley, Massachusetts what makes a good cheese monger, they probably would just mention a name - Steve Wasik. He began sweeping the floors of a cheese store as a teenager and eventually became the vice president of Cheese Shop International.

In 1978, Wasik was flying back from a fromage buying trip to Paris, when his plane almost went down. He told himself if he got out of it alive, he would spend more time with his family. So, he opened Wasik's Cheese Shop and for 32 years, people have been stopping by for a wheel of brie, a wedge of Wensleydale or just a conversation. Steve Wasik was, in the words of one customer, a mensch. Whenever someone asked him, how are you doing? He always replied, it's the best day of my life.

On December 20th, Wasik died suddenly of a cardiac problem at the age of 62. His widow and sons kept the shop open all week to fill Christmas cheese orders. Customers stopped by to pay their respects and stood in line to help buy out the store's perishable inventory.

A funeral for Wellesley's cheese man, Steve Wasik, will be held this Tuesday.

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