October 22, 2018
Poncelet’s story began in 2004. Back then, Jesús Pombo was working as a consultant for companies involved in bankruptcy proceedings. In one particular case, while consulting for a multinational food company, he discovered a niche in the artisanal cheese market here in Spain that nobody seemed to have filled. The best restaurants and shops required unique, select cheeses to be delivered perfectly ripe and ready to be served or sold: no supplier seemed to be able to cover this need.
And so, Poncelet Punto Selecto was born. An establishment specializing in artisanal cheeses made by small-scale Spanish and European producers and with the aim of promoting Spain’s great cheese-making tradition as well as showcasing firstly, Spanish cheeses, and then later international ones.
The second step, and a vital part of the company’s story, occurred in 2009. That year, Pombo inaugurated the first cheese-ripening facility in Spain; equipped with the latest technology, it was run by highly qualified staff. The place encompassed the optimal conditions for the ageing and ripening of a growing number of freshly-made cheeses bought at source from artisanal producers with whom long-term relationships were established. The ripening facility was decisive in being able to deliver cheeses to points of sale at their peak of perfection.
In 2011, Cheese Bar opened its doors. First in Madrid, and then also in Barcelona. Offering an extraordinary variety of cheeses – at their peak of perfection – from all over Spain and abroad, Cheese Bar is a restaurant, a gastronomic space, and a meeting place for cheese lovers. An edible museum where one can be guided through a gastronomic menu centred on cheese, where the atmosphere is modern and relaxed, and great care is paid to every detail.
As an economist, Pombo understands Big Data and restaurant management to a T, and this has allowed him to start expanding his concept through so-called ‘cheese taverns’, which are now beginning to open in different parts of the country.
By Miguel Ángel Rincón