Bonne Année at the Fromagerie

New Year’s Eve Special Event!

Say goodbye to 2020 and bring in the new year with us!

Bonne Année at the Fromagarie is the cheesiest celebration of all your French favourites.

Champagne, your favourite french wines, 3 decadent courses and more!

Early and Late Sitting FIND OUT MORE

Owner's The Thornbury Fromagerie

7 Lessons of Lockdown

7 Lessons of Lockdown

In February this year as the bush fires raged and a weirdly named virus started its insidious travels, a new business opened its doors blissfully unaware of the shitstorm to come. The Thornbury Fromagerie is an intimate licensed cheese bar dedicated to showcasing the best of Australia’s artisan cheese and celebrating French fromage paired with a boutique wine list of old world and new. The vision of a local Thornbury couple inspired by their overseas travels, this first time venture hit the spot for romantic celebrations, catch ups with girlfriends and created a distinctly European wine and cheese experience in the heart of Melbourne’s north.

Lesson 1: Try not to launch your new business during a pandemic

After just six weeks of trade The Thornbury Fromagerie, like thousands of other restaurants and bars across Melbourne, closed its doors. The fridges were full of very perishable soft cheese, the wine was stocked, orders were pending with suppliers and new staff had just begun to settle into their routine.

Lesson 2: Lockdown is better with wine and cheese

Customers and friends answered the call, The Thornbury Fromagerie sold off the restaurant cheese stock and flipped their attention to building an online store. In hindsight the first lockdown wasn’t that tough. Everyone was willing to do their part to ‘flatten the curve’ and thousands of us baked bread and zoomed our friends. The weather was cooler, many of us avoided the daily commute and discovered that leggings were acceptable work attire, and we drank a lot of wine and ate a lot of cheese. The online orders were steady as small indulgences buoyed our lockdown spirits.

Lesson 3: Don’t get your hopes up

Seven weeks later the Thornbury Fromagerie opened its doors, albeit to smaller numbers, strict conditions and a whole lot of sanitising, handwashing and recording of contact details. The mood was high, leather bound menus were replaced with laminated, wipe clean versions. We laughed off bizarre rules that said a table of six was ok but eight too risky, we drank quickly in our two hour limits and desperately clung to our pre-covid social habits. Then the case numbers crept up and the bookings got cancelled and each daily news cycle brought more fear. After five short weeks The Thornbury Fromagerie was closed again.

Lesson 4: Remember why you started

Lockdown 2.0 was tough. Each day brought more cases, more deaths and the pandemic got very serious, very quickly. Just as the rest of Australia started to regain their freedom, Victoria and particularly Melbourne entered one of the world’s harshest lockdowns. Hotel quarantine failures, rhetoric on rule breakers and a long miserable winter slowly broke our spirits. Then the messages and gifts came. Creating the perfect iso-birthday celebration became a point of pride and supporting local business more important than ever. Nearly every new order at The Thornbury Fromagerie had a message of support and customers even dropped off flowers.

Lesson 5: Plan ahead, take a punt and invest

On the other side of the world, New York’s restaurants and bars spilled onto the streets and a summer of outdoor dining gave The Thornbury Fromagerie hope for the future. With a sympathetic landlord, hours of hardwork and the help of friends with the all important bunnings trade card, a very ordinary suburban backyard began to transform. Taking a risk to invest in outdoor dining well before government initiatives and grant funding put The Thornbury Fromagerie ahead of the curve and le Jardinet (little garden) outdoor dining was born.

Lesson 6: Be patient, be kind

The tables and chairs were set, festoon lights twinkled and the spring flowers bloomed while The Thornbury Fromagerie waited for good news. After over 100 days of doom and gloom a glimmer of hope emerged as daily cases decreased and talk started of reopening. For every bit of positive progress a new failing led the news cycle and tensions were high. It no longer felt like we were all in this together.

Lesson 7: Get your game face on

In the blink of an eye it all changed. On Monday 26 October, with the year nearly done, we finally got the green light. Lockdown was lifted and businesses had 30 hours to get ready for reopening. It’s been a roller coaster ride but never underestimate the adrenalin rush each new booking brings. Melbournians we can’t wait to see you again.

By Olivia Ientile (one of the gratefully busy owners of The Thornbury Fromagerie)

The Thornbury Fromagerie

Concrete Playground

We were beyond chuffed to have this awesome coverage in Concrete Playground.

Opening a bar six weeks before a global pandemic forces the mass closure of the country’s hospitality venues isn’t ideal. But, The Thornbury Fromagerie did just that — and, thanks to the generosity of locals, it’s managing to survive.

A first-time venue for husband-and-wife team Tassos Dermetzoglou and Olivia Ientile, The Thornbury Fromagerie launched as a dine-in cheese and wine bar, but it quickly had to adapt when COVID-19 hit. “Closing our dine-in experience meant we had to accelerate the launch of our online store,” Ientile said in a statement.

The shop now offers same-day delivery to the surrounding suburbs every weekday, and, according to the owners, it’s been a hit. “What is really touching are the personal messages customers are leaving not only for the gift recipients but also for us,” Ientile said. “Words of encouragement, thanking us for providing this service and promising to be the first in line when we can reopen safely.”

The cheese menu, created in collaboration with Matt Steele of Cornelius Cheese, is conveniently split into goat, white mould, washed rind, semi-hard and hard, and blue. There’s lemon myrtle-spiked goat milk chèvre from the Adelaide Hills, a creamy washed-rind number from Époisses in Burgundy, an Oregon blue cheese that’s been smoked over hazelnut shells and even cheese made with whiskey.

On the wine side of things, French-born sommelier Christian Maier has pulled together a list of drops from across Australia, Italy and France, including a pét-nat from Victoria and a WA skin-contact pinot grigio. Also on the drinks lineup: StrangeLove’s sodas. We’d highly recommend grabbing a four-pack of the yuzu flavour.

By Samantha Teague
MAY 11, 2020
This article appeared on Concrete Playgound Melbourne
Thornbury Fromagerie

Reopening 10 June

Our doors will once again open to the public as of the 10th of June.

We have made some changes to the business, our opening hours will now be Wed-Sun 5pm till late. We highly recommend booking online to secure a seat. Our max capacity, based on government guidelines will be 10. Group bookings are capped at 6.

Our health and safety protocol is in accordance with government regulations. Cleaning stations, sanitisation stations and regular cleaning of high use areas such as seating, toilets and access points will be done frequently. The government has asked that we as a business collect personal details from every customer, including regular customers on each visit. Personal details to be collected are first name and telephone number. This information will be securely stored and securely  destroyed after 28 days as per government regulations.

Our goal is to maintain a safe environment for our staff, customers and the general public. We ask that if you wish to dine with us that you understand that what is being asked of you is a requirement of reopening and that we are implementing these measures to comply with the regulations.

We have always been a cashless business and will continue to only offer contactless payment to assist in social distancing. We also ask that if at any stage you feel even the slightest bit unwell to not come in. We are happy to reschedule your booking, but in the interest of safety please stay home.

Our online business will continue as usual. Operating from 10am – 2pm Mon-Fri with same day delivery for orders placed before 2pm.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us; from our landlord, to suppliers, customers and the general public. The sense of community has been strong in the past few months and we believe that this will only continue to be galvanised in the future.

We are thrilled that we started this business in such a great community and will do our best to continue to create memorable experiences for you at both the Fromagerie and at home. Thank you all and we can’t wait to see you on the 10th!!

Liv & Tas

New capacity regulations

Our New Cheese Rules

These are unprecedented times and as a new business we are doing everything we can to keep our business open serving the community we love. We think cheese rules, so in light of the new government health regulations limiting capacity of venues due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions, here are our new cheese rules:

  • Our maximum capacity is 8 people
  • We continue to follow the social distancing guidelines and have more than 2 metres between each occupied table.
  • We take bookings for Private Dining. Groups of 6-8 people, no minimum spend, venue cleaned pre & post booking
  • We sell retail cheese, butter, crackers and paste as well as takeaway
  • We ask you to BOOK or CALL 9112 6633 to avoid disappointment


We continue to maintain our already strict hygiene standards including:

  • a full clean of the venue each morning before we open
  • sanitising all tables, chairs, door handles and commonly touched areas regularly during service
  • providing alcohol sanitising wipes to all customers on arrival
  • minimising contact and adhering to social distancing guidelines



Open For Business – The 3 Things We Learnt

This is it! After months of “hard work” tasting a lot of cheese and testing all the wines, we are ready to open our doors. Here are the 3* things we learnt creating our first Fromagerie:

  1. Thornbury folks are awesome

From the locals who would stop, do a double take and sneak a look behind the blinds during fit-out, to the pioneers who signed up for our exclusive previews right through to the love you’re giving us on the ‘gram. Your enthusiasm is contagious.

     2. You’re an adventurous bunch

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve tested your taste buds and introduced new flavour combinations. What we heard back was super encouraging:

“I want it all”, “I trust your recommendation”, “I now like blue cheese!” “Let me try the Orange wine”

     3. Vive la Révolution!

French cheese and wine is proving very popular, we’ve picked up a few French speaking staff and drank countless cups of Cafe Flo’s excellent coffee. Francophiles rejoice, we are building Thornbury’s French Quarter.


We are now officially open for business trading Wednesday through to Sunday from 12pm til late. We can’t wait to show you The Thornbury Fromagerie.

Got a special occasion coming up? Reserve a table BOOK HERE


*Full disclosure – we learnt heaps more but 3 is a nice number and we’ve got to get back to looking after the cheese.

Exclusive Preview

Fit-out is complete, staff are hired, glasses are polished and we are putting the final touches on our cheese and wine menu. We are almost ready to open our doors but before we do The Thornbury Fromagerie will be hosting a series of exclusive preview nights.
Want to join us to share your expert opinion on all things fromage et vin? Do you love being the person to try something first? Insta stories need an interesting new boost? You might be just who we are looking for.

Enter your details in the form below and we will be in touch.