Where You Start a Business

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Paula Lambert

Cheese makes everything taste better — and when it’s freshly made in Deep Ellum by The Mozzarella Company, and served in gourmet dishes by neighboring restaurants and bars, it takes local flavor to a whole new level.  More than 30 cheeses are made in owner Paula Lambert’s Deep Ellum factory, which has been here for more than 30 years.

“When I first opened my cheese factory in 1982, all of Deep Ellum was boarded up and used mostly for warehouses,” Lambert remembers.  “I had shopped at Rudolph’s, so I went to there to ask if they knew of anything that might be for rent and they showed me the corner of Elm and Walton … and I rented it and founded the Mozzarella Company.”

Lambert chose the location for its cheap rent and ample space to run a factory — but over the years, she’s found a lot more to love about Deep Ellum, like friendly collaboration with other local businesses.  She continues to shop at Rudolph’s Market and Sausage Factory, and her favorite Deep Ellum restaurants are Local, her next-door neighbor on Elm Street, and All good Café, around the corner. Both restaurants serve her cheeses.

“Tracy [of Local] is a wonderful chef who champions local products… and what could be more local than shopping next door?  I also love the Mozzarella and Tomato Salad at All Good Café.  They have been our customer since they opened,” Lambert says.

Many world-renowned Dallas restaurants have used Lambert’s cheeses for decades, including The Mansion on Turtle Creek, Stephan Pyles, Parigi and Sevy’s.  Their patronage has buoyed her success over the years.

When Lambert first started her business, fresh mozzarella wasn’t available in most of the U.S., making marketing a challenge — but The Mozzarella Company has since grown into one of Deep Ellum’s most successful businesses. Lambert’s cheese-making classes and pairing events draw foodies to the neighborhood in droves, and have made her a favorite among locals.  She has also grown her business by selling cheeses wholesale to gourmet retailers — and direct to the public, right from her Deep Ellum storefront.

“We have more and more walk-in business in our little retail shop in the front of our factory,” she comments.  “I love it when people who live in our neighborhood come to shop, and I love it when they bring relatives who come to visit from out of town.”

Today, Deep Ellum’s exciting growth has made it an attractive location for all types of businesses, from software companies to design firms, to retailers and more.  Lambert believes the neighborhood is ideally suited for entrepreneurs, especially when they network with other local businesses.

“Follow your dream. Love what you do… and have a good time,” she says. Then it won’t seem like work, and you will easily meet all the challenges ahead.”

Deep Ellum has much more to offer than bars, restaurants and music venues.

Click here to see a full list of local businesses.

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