Third Wheel Cheese
Owned and operated by Ann Karlen, Third Wheel began as a wholesale distributor of local and regional cheeses serving restaurants and specialty retailers. Third Wheel works with small-scale local and regional dairy farms and cheese makers committed to regenerative agriculture and animal welfare. In March of 2020, business was growing steadily and on track to reach $500,000 in annual sales in 2021. When the pandemic hit, sales to restaurants decreased by approx. 2/3 while sales to retailers have increased by approx 100%. Ann also founded the Pandemic Pantry, a buying club with more than 150 participating households, to better serve new customers and to continuing purchasing from wholesale cheese producers. The Pantry also raises money each week to provide free meals to food insecure Philadelphians. After pivoting to retail sales, Ann has outgrew her space and relocated to a new retail facility. Her loan 0% interest loan funds will allow her to prepare this space for full service operation.