I'm a native English speaker in the U.S. Recently I visited the place where my local university processes dairy into various cheeses and ice cream. These are sold in a small store/shop on campus. Is there a term for such a place? I thought of "dairy shop" but that sounds odd for some reason and I don't recall hearing it before; despite the similar "butcher shop" and "ice cream shop" being obvious and common to my ears.


For quality steaks and special cuts of meat, visit a butcher shop.

For quality ice cream and special cheeses, visit a _____

  • 10
    Yeah, i don't remember ever seeing a shop which just sells cheese and ice cream. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 10:37
  • "Yeah, i don't remember ever seeing a shop which just sells cheese and ice cream" that's profoundly bizarre, Max - what region do you live in dude?!
    – Fattie
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 14:33

11 Answers 11


The closest suggestion I can think of is creamery.

creamery - Technically a manufacturing plant that processes cream, but can be used to describe a retail outlet. Example.

Consider also:

dairy (New Zealand English) - A convenience store. Sells milk, ice cream, newspapers, cigarettes etc.

Can you go to the dairy to pick up some milk?

delicatessen (often shortened to deli) - A shop selling delicacies, including fine cheeses, and less commonly ice cream, and also meats, salads, olives, etc.

  • 12
    Hmm, is it just me, or does going to a dairy also sound to others like visiting a farm, not a retail shop?
    – Lawrence
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 8:35
  • 5
    In the UK a dairy is solely a place which produces milk and associated products, and is more commonly called a "dairy farm". I think we would generally use "deli" for the type of shop you're talking about. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 10:36
  • 1
    In Scotland 'dairy' is still commonly used to refer to what others might call a deli or (slightly less fancy ones...) a corner shop.
    – jrg
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 13:57
  • 5
    In the US, thanks to a couple of higher-end or "craft" ice-cream retailers that have creamery in the name ("Cold Stone Creamery", for example), the term "creamery" can also mean a shop that exclusively serves the iced-variety of dairy (and/or non-dairy) cream. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 16:10
  • 4
    'Dairy store' or 'dairy shop' or 'dairy section' (in the grocery store) work in US English, but 'deli' is not right at all. Yes, cheese or other milk products might be sold at a deli, but that is one small part of a deli. It's not the first thing you think of when you ask what is sold at a deli:'sandwiches (and sandwich making stuff)' is the answer for me.
    – Mitch
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 0:36

I've heard such a place called simply, "a dairy".

According to thefreedictionary.com, "dairy (n): 1. A commercial establishment for processing or selling milk and milk products."

  • 5
    English.stackexchange -- where the simplest questions get 1000s of words, and someone leaves the correct answer in a few words.
    – Fattie
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 14:31
  • 1
    As a student in Leeds during the mid-1970s I frequently passed a shop on the corner at Hyde Park crossroads that sold milk products. It described itself as a dairy.
    – Nicole
    Commented Feb 12, 2016 at 13:18

If cheese is the predominant product, consider Cheesemonger :

A person who sells cheese, butter, and other dairy products.

This is chiefly BrE.

Caveat: Sometimes cheesemongers, in Britain and Ireland at least, use fancy French names like La Crèmerie or La Fromagerie.

Example usage from oxforddictionaries.com

From specialist cheesemongers to butchers, bakers, and fishmongers - we want to know about the smaller food retailers that provide the best produce.

  • 1
    Any Venezuelan beaver cheese today?
    – deadrat
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 10:36
  • 1
    Not today sir, no.
    – k1eran
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 10:39
  • fancy because french, but really those just mean cream-shop and cheese-shop
    – njzk2
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 18:00

A facility such as you describe used to grace the campus of the University of Vermont. (For the geographically distant, Vermont is a small dairy-producing state in the northeastern US. It is the home of US Senator Bernie Sanders.)

The store was called The UVM Dairy Bar. From the university website:

Generations of Catamounts have sweet memories of the UVM Dairy Bar, a hopping campus institution that dished out ice cream and other dairy provisions in Carrigan Hall for 45 years, from 1950 to 1995. Those who frequented the establishment as students will recognize a familiar face in Mary Dion, who served up countless cones and casual conversation at the Dairy Bar counter for over 20 years. Not long after the closure of its public outfit, Carrigan helped to aid the advance of another Vermont ice cream institution when Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s made use of the test kitchen while they were in between facilities for a year.


The term Dairy Shop seems uncommon, perhaps because ice cream (e.g., Ben and Jerry's) and cheeses (e.g., Cabot) are not commonly sold together in specialty emporia.

Nice idea, though...

  • 1
    Simply the dairy would suffice, in my experience, in upstate New York and Pennsylvania, when referring to a Byrne Dairy or Turkey Hill— a shop that sold dairy products (historically). A dairy bar was specifically a place that also served ice cream or other dairy goods, as with the Cornell Dairy Bar and the UNH Dairy Bar.
    – choster
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 3:11
  • 2
    I believe I've also heard dairy store. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 3:11
  • Dairy is widely understood in USEnglish for this. It can refer to a place that produces milk-based products (such as a farm or creamery), but more commonly it would refer to the retailer. My grandfather and aunt worked for Yoder Dairy in Chesapeake, VA for many years, my grandfather as a home delivery driver and my aunt as an office worker (route planning). More recently, companies like Oberweis Dairy cover major metro areas around the country with retail stores and home delivery service. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 17:01

Fifty years ago there were many shops in the US selling primarily milk, with ice cream and perhaps cheese being secondary offerings. One of these shops would have been referred to as a "dairy" (even though the same term was used for an agricultural business which milked cows) or as a "dairy store". These have largely vanished, and the few that remain have likely been relabeled "creamery".

About the same time that the dairies were disappearing, so were the "ice cream parlors", although, except in tourist areas these were rarely stand-alone businesses to begin with but operated inside a drug store or "ten cent store" or some such. These "parlors" did not generally serve "packaged" ice cream but rather cones, shakes, sundaes, etc.

Starting about 50 years ago, various ice-cream-focused shops began popping up, variously called "ice cream shops", "ice cream bars", and a few others. These generally split the business between selling cones/shakes/sundaes and selling packaged ice cream, and often they branched out into burgers, etc. There are still the "soft serve" remnants of these, such as Dairy Queen, but most of those serving "regular" ice cream have passed away or converted to "regular" restaurants.

These days, in the US, the vast majority of packaged dairy products sold is sold in "supermarkets" along with other groceries, meats, vegetables, etc. What the rare stand-alone dairy store would call itself is anyone's guess -- it would no doubt be some catchy name.

  • 3
    This answer would be vastly improved with some references backing it up.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 17:23
  • Indeed, I recall "The Burger Dairy Store" from the 70's.
    – JDługosz
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 7:52

when we suggest someone to go to a shop that only and specifically sells that product here it is good quality ice cream, we can say "For quality ice cream visit an Ice cream parlour there....." and same way "for special cheeses visit a cheese shop there..." but nowadays we can see cheese are sold in other shops too, if we find cheese and ice cream together where only milk and other milk products like butter, curd, yoghurt, cotton cheeses are available we can say "for quality ice creams and special cheeses visit that dairy shop...." if we find quality cheese in grocery shop (a retail store along with other canned products, hard to find still some of them they keep) we can "you can find special and delicious cheese in that grocery shop nearby". Even some wine shops keep cheese for that purpose the shop is called wine and cheese shop. last but not the least, for ice creams, they are also found in the sweet section of shops known as confectionary they sell chocolates and sweets. Actually the name of shops keeps on changing according to the food under which cheese and icecream is grouped. If they are grouped under dairy so dairy shop, if under sweet dish we will say "delicious ice creams are available in that confectionary. Likewise if the shop only and only sells that product we simply say it is a cheese shop, or an icecream parlour to make it clear.



Delicatessen, Fromagerie or Dairy Shop

A Delicatessen is the most common shop that would sell both cheese and dairy

A Fromagerie, Dairy Shop or Cheesemonger specialises in cheese and dairy products so this is technically the closest answer but all are quite uncommon.

  • 2
    Welcome to EL&U. StackExchange answers are expected to be definitive, and as such, your submission would be greatly strengthened by providing an explanation of those terms as you understand them, examples in the real world, and/or quality references. I encourage you to review the help center for additional guidance.
    – choster
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 1:34

I live in the SE region of the US. I go to my local "dairy farm" to get what I need. It's literally a store at a farm that offers the full range of dairy products, but also has locally-sourced produce and meats.

However, if you are not referring to a semi-rural area or do not have a dairy farm nearby, then I agree that the word "creamery" would suffice. :)



These shops sell both cheese and cured meat products.


Should be fairly obvious.

Also, a butcher does not sell all meat products, they sell fresh cuts of (usually red) meats, often cut on the spot. They do not generally sell cured products, although this may vary on region. So it is actually not correct to say that butchers sell all meat products, or they are exclusive sellers of meat products - delicatessen easily compete on this level. Also, a butcher may not sell poultry or seafood, although this again may depend on region. A shop selling chicken and other poultry may be known as a game shop. A shop selling seafood may be known as a fish market.

So, depending on your definition of "meat", saying that a butcher is the main name for a shop selling meat products is actually quite misleading.


Probably, it is a Dairy, but I would expect a dairy also to sell milk, butter and cream.

Another, somewhat archaic possibility is Provision Merchant. Every high street in Britain used to have one. Provision Merchants sold bacon, cheese, ham etc but not fresh meat. Some supermarkets still have Provision counters separate from the butchery counter. Nowadays raw-cooked separation means that the bacon goes in the butchery counter but ham still belongs with Provisions, which is probably called Delicatessen and sells a much wider range of cooked and preserved meats.


Living in France, cheese shops are very common, called "fromagerie" in French. So I would assume it can be translated as a "cheese shop" or "dairy shop", at least that's what I would use in case I had a text in this field and context.

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