Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wisconsin Artisan Cheese Shop to Open

A resounding chorus of "WHOO-HOO" went up in Madison this week as the owner of a new artisan cheese shop announced he will feature Wisconsin artisan cheeses and their perfect companions on the downtown capital square this fall.

Ken Monteleone, a Madison resident and avid connoisseur of fine food and artisan and farmhouse cheeses, signed a store lease last week on a 1,600 sq. ft. space at 12 South Carroll St. on the Downtown Square.

The shop, titled Fromagination, will celebrate cut-to-order Wisconsin artisan cheesemakers and fine artisan cheeses from around the United States and world. The shop will also showcase a wide array of accompaniments paired specifically with each individual cheese, including select wines, beers, meats, olives, breads, herbs and other foods.

Sort of like a year-round Wisconsin farmer's market, and on the Square, too!

Monteleone says that while the store’s emphasis will be on the spirit of the craftsmen and women who create the cheeses and artisan foods, the store space itself will be based on doing environmental good. Fromagination will "incorporate sustainable, renewable and recycled vintage materials."

For example, the floor will be crafted from reclaimed slate and once roof tiles from an abandoned warehouse in Chicago, while the paint is milk protein. Vintage finds, such as a collection of clocks that were used in the state capital building in 1917, will be another focal point of the store.

“We will be working closely with local artisans throughout Wisconsin to procure only the freshest and most flavorful foods,” Monteleone said.

Whoo-hoo!! Welcome to downtown, Ken. May the cheese force be with you.

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