Nation's oldest cheese shop fighting to keep its doors open

Karen King stands in front of the counter at Alleva Dairy.
Karen King stands in front of the counter at Alleva Dairy. Photo credit Juliet Papa

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — The oldest cheese shop in the U.S. and a fixture in NYC's Little Italy is two years behind on its rent and struggling to stay open, but the owners aren’t going down without a fight.

Karen King, the owner of Alleva Dairy, started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $150,000 and save the struggling business.

As of Wednesday evening, the campaign has raised over $3,300 of its goal.

The shop, which first opened its doors in 1892, is mostly operated by the King family. The family has taken salary cuts in an attempt to remain solvent.

Like many New York City businesses, Alleva was hit hard by the pandemic.

The renowned cheese shop relies on foot traffic from tourists in Little Italy, which completely dried up at the start of the pandemic and has only recently started to reach pre-pandemic levels.

“People have shopped at Alleva for generations,” said King on the GoFundMe page.  “During the pandemic’s height, Alleva even provided food for those in need, regardless of their ability to pay… Sadly, like many establishments, Alleva Dairy is behind in its rent.”

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