Penn Mac's Dairy Queen

Carol Pascuzzi, connoisseur behind the cheese counter at the Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. in the Strip District, shares the ins and outs of her personal space.

"I like cheese because everybody can have cheese. Breakfast, lunch, dinner ... think about it," Carol Pascuzzi says.

Photo by Jim Judkis

Carol Pascuzzi’s name may not be familiar, but she is a recognizable regular behind the cheese counter at the Pennsylvania Macaroni Co. in the Strip District. She’s best known for what she calls customers: dearheart, a term of endearment also used by her mother and grandmother. She’s been providing provolone and giving advice on Gouda since she started at Penn Mac in 1984. It’s her passion for cheese—and the cheese lovers who buy from her—that’s kept her slicing, weighing and wrapping pound after pound. “I like cheese because everybody can have cheese. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper … think about it!” she says.

Customers share their favorite recipes and show her pictures of their grandkids while regulars rely on her to remember their favorites. They recall coming as kids, and many transplants stop by while visiting home. “Treat everybody like family—it works,” she says. “I love the people. I love the customers—they let me be me. And I love helping people.”

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