A well-respected cheesemonger, artisan cheesemaker, and affineur, Brier, nicknamed by her peers as the “Wonder Woman of Cheese,” is one of only 45 people in the U.S. to hold a Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator Certificate from the American Cheese Society. Through her career, she has worked with some of the country’s leading brands and creameries, such as Whole Foods, Deer Valley Resort, Rogue Creamery, and most recently, Las Vegas’ own MGP Food.
Bringing her experience and expertise to Valley Cheese & Wine, Brier will introduce new epicurean experiences along with unique and educational programming, centering around cheese, while keeping in place the shop’s already highly regarded wine offerings.
“When I first moved to Las Vegas and was exploring the cheese options in the city, Valley Cheese & Wine was first on my radar. After meeting Solenne, I became a regular customer and started attending wine classes. I love this shop – the people, the offerings, the vibe – so, when the opportunity presented itself to buy, I knew it was a sign that this was meant to be,” Brier said. “This shop has evolved so much over its history, and I’m excited to jump in and add my name to its legacy – keeping everything that makes it special to so many, while also elevating the cheese program and doing what I love to do while adding my own special touches.”
Though Brier will take over ownership, previous owner Solenne Peyronnin will stay on as Director of Wine to continue curating the shop’s wine selection along with providing the revered wine education Peyronnin has offered throughout her ownership. Together, Brier and Peyronnin will collaborate on creating experiences, classes and offerings where customers can learn about and enjoy wine and cheese from the two experts in their respective fields, reviving the original owner’s intent of having both wine and cheese connoisseurs on staff.
“We are so lucky to gain Diana at Valley Cheese & Wine,” Peyronnin said. “Her passion for the craft and understanding of cheese is truly amazing. Having her here will create an even more exceptional experience for customers while allowing me to put my efforts toward the wine aspect of the shop. Customers have been asking for a deeper cheese education for years, and I am so happy that we will finally be able to offer it.”
In addition to introducing cheese education as well as combined wine and cheese classes, Valley Cheese & Wine will also offer new regular programming, including Happy Hour, Wine Down Wednesday and more. The goal will be to launch these activations later this summer, but the shop will only do so when safe and appropriate for the community.
The shop’s décor will also get a facelift, with changes to the education room taking priority. With the addition of an air purifier, the space will become a Clean-Air Tasting Room – allowing for a more accurate tasting and learning experience. This purification system also provides antiviral proprieties, which will make the room safer and healthier for patrons. Plaster relief architectural maps commissioned by a local artist will provide a beautiful yet informative backdrop, while dynamic lighting and new audio-visual capabilities will appeal to the senses like never before.
“It’s a challenging time to jump into business ownership, but I am grateful and lucky that Valley Cheese & Wine has such great history and bones,” Brier said. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime for me, and pandemic or not, I am thrilled to dive in and get to work.”
Alongside Brier, her parents Terry and Burgess Brier will be involved with the shop’s operations, carrying on Valley Cheese & Wine’s family-owned roots. Since the beginning, husband and wife team Bob Howald and Kristin Sande owned and managed the shop together, and when Peyronnin took over, her family also took part in the shop’s operations, playing a crucial part of Valley Cheese & Wine’s success.
Valley Cheese & Wine is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. The shop is located at 1570 W Horizon Ridge Pkwy #140, Henderson, NV 89012 and can be reached at (702) 341-8191.