Cheesemonger of the Month

Ken Monteleone

Ken’s Story

Ken is Fromagination’s head cheesemonger, creative director and owner. It is his passion and dedication for over a decade that has made Fromagination an integral part of Madison’s foodie scene. Many local restaurants seeks his and his team’s advice about cheese.

Born in Colorado, Ken moved to Madison in 1993 where he worked as a corporate buyer for over 20 years. After more than two decades working in the corporate world, Ken decided, in 2007, to pursue his true passion: cheese.  Fromagination was born.

Now twelve years later, Fromagination has established itself as a pillar of Madison’s identity.  When you leave Fromagination our goal is that you leave  “Loving Cheese More” Remember in Wisconsin we like to say “We Dream in Cheese”


Ken’s fundamental belief is that retail is about creating and curating an experience. It’s about entertaining. As a result, Fromagination never stays in the same spot and is always trying to innovate. This desire to entertain customers is Fromagination’s recipe for success. And what recipe isn’t made better with a sprinkle of cheese on top?

What Ken has to say

What I love about having a shop in Madison on the Capitol Square:

I love Madison’s openness, its diversity, its authenticity, its hunger for learning, and its enthusiasm for a mix of experiences, and wanted a shop that could be a small part of showcasing our uniqueness. Loved the pride the city took in its cosmopolitan quirkiness, its Midwestern lack of pretension, and its respect for the environment—and I wanted my shop to echo that as well. I chose the capitol square for the store’s location because that is where Madison’s diversity flourished, and I wanted a shop that engaged people from all over the city and state, no matter what their station in life.

What I love about owning a cheese shop

Besides having access to wonderful cheese. The people you meet from the producers, the staff and customer that we engage with from all walks of life.  Love hearing their stories and sharing our love for cheese with them.  We love getting to know our cheesemakers and telling their stories.

 Cheese Tips from Ken 

Cheese and Terroir.    I enjoy tasting how cheese changes based on what time of year it was made.  You can pick up the flavors of what the animals were grazing on and really appreciate Art and Science of cheesemaking

Ken's Top Picks