Josiah “Joe” Baird is Modesto’s minister of cheese.
From his perch near the entrance of the Dale Road location of O’Brien’s Market, the friendly and popular cheesemonger preaches the gospel of bries, bleus, cheddars and all
things moldy and aged.
Baird’s altar is an impressive array of imported and domestic cheeses — some of which cost more than $30 a pound, pricier than filet mignon.
Shoppers are educated through Baird’s encyclopedic knowledge of hundreds of varieties of cheese — a repertoire acquired through years in the business. He’s traveled with distributors in Europe — the world’s cheese capital — and has worked closer to home with local cheesemakers to help develop and market their products.