During the third week of December last year, there was a line stretching down the street beginning Wasik’s. The Cheese Shop lost its patriarchal member to a sudden cardiac incident Dec. 20, 2010.
The family kept the store open and put out the message that Stephen F. Wasik, the iconic, affable cheese monger of Wellesley Square, . The Wasiks needed to sell an overstock of product so they could close for the holidays to mourn.
The public turned out in droves during that pre-Christmas week and they’ve not stopped since.
This December, the store celebrates another terrific year of business - its 32nd. Steve Wasik's son Brian, who owns the shop along with his brother Brad and mother Carol, remembers last season’s holidays with justifiable sentiment.
He said Wednesday in the festive, aromatic shop that the credit for the store’s success, then and now, should go to the customers.
“Our customer’s are like family,” he said. “I remember some when they were kids and now they’re back from college.”
It’s been a hard year for Wellesley Square. Shops like , , and are distant memories. is liquidating, and several Central Street spaces are vacant.
Town officials, side-by-side with concerned citizens and merchants, are wracking their brains to come up with ways to save the square.
Despite waning times downtown, and changes to the business landscape of Wellesley, Wasik's thrives.
“We were a little nervous with moving in, but we’ve had a really strong year,” Brian Wasik said.
On the cheese front, Brian Wasik says he’s a big fan of English Stilton this year – though he admits he’s a big fan of English Stilton every year – and the impressive cheese selection now coming from Vermont. And though patrons can easily move through the store this Christmas week, Brian Wasik and his family are still busy as ever.
“It’ll be a tough week for us,” he said, “but we’ll just keep plugging away.”