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Cheese shop Cowgirl Creamery will soon be gone for gouda. (Cheesy is OK for cheese shops, right?) The Penn Quarter spot plans to close at the end of the month. D.C.-area natives Sue Conley and Peggy Smith started Cowgirl Creamery in San Francisco, but opened the District locale in 2006.

A manager who answered the phone at the store confirmed the news but was not at liberty to talk about the reasons for the closure. Conley, who’s based in California, was not immediately available. We’ll update when we hear from her.

In the meantime, Cowgirl Creamery has already started discounting many items, so stop in while you can.

Update, 2:52 p.m.:  “The way that the neighborhood grew up, it developed into things that didn’t really work for a retail grocery shop or a specialty shop,” says co-owner Peggy Smith. She explains that while Penn Quarter is a great neighborhood, it became more of a fashion and restaurant destination, not necessarily a place where people thought to shop for food items.

“We’re sorry to leave,” Smith says. “I do want to thank people for coming into our store and supporting us for so long.”

This isn’t necessarily the last you’ll hear from Cowgirl Creamery. Smith is leaving open the possibility of relocating the D.C. shop, although there are no current plans to do so.

“I would never give up on Washington,” Smith says. “We love it.”

Plus, you can still get Cowgirl Creamery’s products at local Whole Foods and other retailers. The California shops also will remain open. “We’re a healthy business,” Smith says. “That location just wasn’t working for a specialty shop.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery