Meet the Artisans

Sarah Marx-Feldner,  Treat Bake Shop, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In November 2011, I made the scary, but more-so exciting, decision to take the plunge and open Treat Bake Shop – a business focused on sourcing the highest-quality ingredients to produce unforgettable baked goods delivered with exceptional customer service.  For my first product, the Spiced Pecans, I grew up apprenticing with the nationally known spice family, the Penzeys, and am proud to use their spices as the major flavoring. I get the pecans direct from family growers.

Emmi Roth USA, Monroe, Wisconsin.

In 1863, Oswald Roth began crafting and curing cheese in Uster, Switzerland.  Eventually, the family’s expertise was brought to America’s Dairyland.  Today Roth Cheese is part of the Emmi Group, continuing to focus on specialty and artisan cheeses that originated in the traditions of European recipes, as well as American originals.  With cellars for aging and authentic copper vats, Emmi Roth cheeses are a testament to the craft of the cheesemaker.  The full range of Roth award-winning specialty cheeses includes the flagship cheese, Grand Cru, a washed-rind, cellar-cured Alpine style cheese cured four months or more; Buttermilk Blue, a lusciously, creamy raw milk Blue; Vintage Van Gogh, a full-cream aged Gouda with undertones of caramel and coffee; GranQueso, a Roth original with a distinctive bite and lingering sweet finish; and Roth Havarti, made with the freshest milk and premium quality ingredients to ensure a consistently delicious versatile cheese.

Willi Lehner, Bleu Mont Dairy, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin.

Cheesemaker Willi Lehner has a Swiss heritage, and has been on a continual search for the best milk for making cheese.

“We make our cheeses from the milk of pasture-grazed cows and sheep using rotational grazing. We use this milk to make cheese of exceptional quality. We are so confident of the milks’ attributes that we make a number of real raw milk cheeses. Additionally, some of our cheeses are made from certified organic milk. Most of our sales are directly to the consumer, from which we gather much feedback.”

Marieke Penterman, Holland’s Family Cheese, Thorp, Wisconsin.

Marieke and Rolf Penterman emigrated from the Netherlands and settled in Wisconsin in 2002 to follow their passion for dairy farming.  In 2006, they embarked on a new adventure in cheesemaking because they desperately missed their Gouda from Holland. Using farmstead-fresh, raw cow’s milk from their family farm, Marieke began crafting authentic Dutch cheeses.  The milk is piped directly from the cows into the cheese processing vat after the first milking of the day.  Its freshness is unrivaled.  All the cheeses are crafted without heat treatment or pasteurization. Each 18-pound wheel is pressed for two hours and then placed in a salt-brine for 60 hours. From there each wheel is transferred to the curing cellar and carefully aged on Dutch pine planks for a minimum of 60 days in accordance with time-tested, Old World cheesemaking methods Marieke brought with her from the Netherlands. Since Marieke began crafting cheese in 2006, she has won more than 80 national and international awards with our biggest award being the 2013 U.S. Cheese Champion with our Plain Mature Gouda 6-9 months of age.

Myron Olson, Chalet Cheese Cooperative, Monroe, Wisconsin.

Chalet Cheese Cooperative was founded by five dairy farmers in 1885 and continues to flourish as a cooperative, owned and operated by its 21 members who are the sole suppliers of milk. This milk supply has a unique blend of 75% Holstein and 25% Brown Swiss milk.

“We specialize in the making of Limburger, Brick, Baby Swiss, and Swiss, and their smoked versions, with an emphasis on top quality and true workmanship. We are the only producers of Limburger in the United States, and our German Brick with a Limburger smear underscores our spirit for innovation. The quality of our Baby Swiss, Regular Swiss, smoked Baby Swiss and smoked Swiss cheeses is recognized often, winning numerous awards in state and national competitions. Recent awards include: 2006 WCMA World Championship Cheese Contest 1st and 2nd in Baby Swiss Style class and 1st in Flavored Hard Cheeses class for Smoked Swiss; 2009 WCMA U.S. Cheese Championship Contest 1st, 3rd, and 5th in Baby Swiss Style class; 2011 1st in the Smear-Ripened Class for German Brick and 2nd, 3rd,and 5th in Baby Swiss style class; 2012 WCMA World Cheese Contest Baby Swiss 2nd, and 5th, and in the Rindless Swiss 3rd and 4th. Retail brands are Deppeler, Country Castle and Castle Brand.”

Andy Hatch, Uplands Cheese, Dodgeville, Wisconsin.

Uplands Cheese produces Pleasant Ridge Reserve, an original cheese patterned after the aged, alpine-style cheeses of France and Switzerland.  Cheesemaker Andy Hatch emphasizes that the quality of the milk makes all the difference in the quality of his cheese.

“We only make Pleasant Ridge during the grazing season, when our cows are grazing fresh pasture, and age it for up to two years in our ripening rooms. Pleasant Ridge Reserve has been awarded ‘Best of Show’ at the 2001, 2005 and 2010 American Cheese Society competition, and ‘U.S. Champion’ at the 2003 WCMA U.S. Championship Cheese competition.”

Tony & Julie Hook, Hook’s Cheese, Mineral Point, Wisconsin.

Established in 1976, Hook’s Cheese Company is a family owned and operated business located in the historic “Shake Rag” district of scenic Mineral Point, Wisconsin. We produce award-winning cheeses under our own label. We operate a retail store and a mail order business from the plant facility.  Hook’s Cheese Company serves the retail, food service and food processing industries in the U.S.

Chris Roelli, Roelli Cheese, Shullsburg, Wisconsin.

Chris Roelli is a fourth-generation cheese maker from Roelli Cheese, located just east of Shullsburg in the southwest corner of Wisconsin.  His great-grandfather emigrated from Switzerland and began making cheese in the early 1920’s.  After the closing of their commodity cheddar factory in 1991, Chris reopened the small artisan factory in 2006.  He currently is hand-crafting and cellar curing small batches of original recipe cheeses including his Dunbarton and Red Rock, as well as fresh curds, aged cheddars, Cheshire-inspired and Alpine style cheeses.  Roelli Cheese Co. includes a store and milk hauling business.  He recently created and opened his own state-of-the-art aging cellar that can hold one year’s worth of his production.  Chris is currently studying in the Wisconsin Master Cheese Maker program and continues to build upon his business each year.

Bruce Workman, Edelweiss Creamery, Monticello, Wisconsin.

Edelweiss Creamery is a small artisan Wisconsin cheese factory employing state-of-the-art technology alongside the tried and true traditional method of cheesemaking. It was established in 1873 and is still at the same location. As a result, our cheese brings you back to a time when the quality and the flavor was king! We also have a grass-based line of natural cheeses. We are very proud to do our part for sustainable agriculture. The unequaled taste of this cheese is a must for the serious cheese lover! Edelweiss Creamery employs the highest certified Master Cheesemaker in the United States, Bruce Workman. Bruce has graduated from the WI Master Cheesemaker program six times and holds 11 certifications. Bruce’s experience and expertise enables Edelweiss to continue to make award-winning cheeses. The Edelweiss Emmentaler cheese is made using raw milk and a traditional Swiss copper vat. The wheels weigh about 180 lbs. It’s like a little bit of Switzerland right here in Monticello, Wisconsin.

Sid Cook, Carr Valley Cheese, La Valle, Wisconsin.

Certified Master Cheesemaker Sid Cook has won more top national and international awards than any other cheesemaker in North America. As a fourth-generation cheesemaker, he received his cheesemaking license when he was 16, and now owns and operates three cheese plants and seven retail cheese stores in Wisconsin. As a company, Carr Valley Cheese began in 1902, and today is best known for producing high-quality, artisanal aged Cheddars. Using cow, goat, and sheep milks, Sid enjoys creating new cheeses, and Carr Valley now produces more than 50 original varieties. He crafts cheese the old-fashioned way, by hand, with a goal of producing high-quality cheese with outstanding flavor. Sid’s original Snow White Goat Cheddar won 1st place “Best of Show” Award at the 2008 American Cheese Society Competition.

Saxon Creamery, Cleveland, Wisconsin.

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