John Freeman, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery’s Senior Director of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service, met up with Tammy Simon, Tourism Manager at the Menomonie Area Chamber and Visitor Center, to talk about our new Menomonie retail store and cheese production facility.


John shared some interesting facts about cheese and cheese making as well as what makes our Menomonie production plant unique among our three production facilities. Tammy was very interested in learning more about the cheeses we make, as well as the specialty food items and regional products available at our retail stores.

And since the airing of this podcast is just before Christmas, Tammy was sure to pick John’s brain for some of the most unique gift ideas for cheese lovers. We’ve linked our top gift ideas below to help you in your search.

Listen to the podcast here:

Top Gift Ideas from Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery

Ellsworth’s 2022 Gift Catalog

Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery Gift Boxes

Ellsworth Cheese Ambassador Program

Last month the National Milk Producers Federation held its 2022 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO. One of the highlights of the event is the Championship Cheese Contest where Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery took top honors! We were awarded the coveted Chairman’s Trophy for our Antonella Pepperoni and Marinara, recognizing our cooperative for producing the best cheese in the nationwide competition. What makes this award even more special is that this cheese was produced in our new Menomonie facility!

The judges were impressed with the flavor of the cheese which they found to be the perfect balance of cheese, pepperoni, marinara, and herbs. They also remarked on the technique, commenting on the difficulty of infusing meat into cheese and not having technical openings in the final product.

“It was satisfying and rewarding to see the awards table filled with Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery value-added cheeses produced at all of our locations! These awards are a true testament to our quality milk, skilled team members, and the process we’ve worked so hard to develop to produce some outstanding cheeses.” 

Paul Bauer, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery CEO/General Manager

Each of our production facilities were represented among the top awards at the contest. Our cheese curds swept the Natural Cheese Snack category, and according to an insider, our Dill Pickle Cheese Curds were also a close contender for the Chairman’s Trophy.

Unique or Mild Flavor

First Place: Antonella Pepperoni & Marinara
Second Place: Antonella Garden Vegetable with Sweet Basil

Natural Cheese Snack

First Place: Natural Dill Pickle Cheddar Cheese Curds
Second Place: Natural Hickory Bacon Cheddar Cheese Curds
Third Place: Natural Cheddar Cheese Curds

Processed American Plain

Third Place: White EZ Melt Loaf

The National Milk Producers Federation is comprised of a majority of the dairy cooperatives in the United States with its members marketing more than two-thirds of the U.S. milk supply. The contest is a competitive one, with the best producers across the US entering products and vying for top honors. This year there were a total of 216 cheese and yogurt entries.

WisBusiness reported on the awards. You can see the full article here.

It’s a holiday made just for us, National Cheese Curd Day is coming up on Saturday, October 15. As the Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin, this is one holiday we like to celebrate big and we invite you to join in! We’re celebrating at our own retail locations and are also participating in events across Wisconsin. Here’s where you can find us…

Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery Retail Stores in Ellsworth and Menomonie

Our team is looking forward to celebrating National Cheese Curd Day with you. In honor of the day, we’ll have sampling and live music along with special discounts on… you guessed it…CHEESE CURDS! Purchase 1-pound bags of our fresh natural and seasoned curd flavors Buy 1 and Get 1 Free. Plus, 50% off on deep-fried cheese curds at both locations. In Ellsworth, this will be the last weekend our Curd Wagon will be frying curds until next spring—it’s time to pack up the wagon for the winter. Come by for one last boat. Need directions? You’ll find our locations here.

Drink Wisconsibly Pub’s Curd Fest in Milwaukee

Curd Fest is back! After two years of no event (you know why), the Drink Wisconsibly Pub is hosting squeaky cheese fans for Curd Fest once again! Curd Fest in Milwaukee is the next best thing to the Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival if you’re looking to get your curds on.

Of course, the event wouldn’t be complete without curds from the state’s Cheese Curd Capital–The Drink Wisconsibly Pub will be dishing out Ellsworth Cheese Curds with other Wisconsin curds also being sampled during the event. In true Milwaukee style, there will also be polka music, chedd-art, and more! OnMilwaukee spotlights the best of this fest here.  Get more event details and ticket information via their Facebook Event here.

Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center

We’re teaming up with the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center to celebrate the day with blind cheese curd taste testing, deep-fried cheese curds, free cheese curds, and more! You’ll taste test six different Ellsworth cheese curds flavors, with a chance to win prizes for guessing each flavor correctly! You’ll also learn our cheese curds are made and enjoy deep-fried Ellsworth cheese curds at the Wisconsin Café. Plus, the first 150 people to visit on this day will receive a free 2 oz. snack pack of our cheese curds! The event will be held from 9am-1pm.

The Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center is a state-of-the-art, interactive agricultural education center located in Manitowoc County. It’s an awesome destination and a great place to dive into the wonders of agriculture. Named among Time for Kids’ 50 Coolest Places of 2019 and a Trip Advisor Top Choice, you can spend a day as a family exploring interactive exhibits and learning about the farm. Get all the details on their website here.

No matter where you’re from, we hope you’re able to take in a National Cheese Curd Day event with us this year. If you don’t celebrate this holiday where you’re from, or your schedule doesn’t permit, watch our Facebook page for something special our team is putting together to commemorate the day!

 

Join us as we officially celebrate the opening of our new retail store in Menomonie, WI!

Menomonie Store Grand Opening Event
July 14, 2022-July 17, 2022

The celebration kicks off on Thursday, July 14 at 4pm with a Ribbon Cutting by the Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce. The festivities then continue through the weekend!

Join us for in-store specials, food samples, tastings, food trucks, giveaways, and more! Enter to win a Traeger grill, Brewer’s game tickets, and many more great prizes.

Everyone is invited–We hope to see you!

Our creamy and salty cheese curds combined with tangy vinegar, dill, onion, and spices create just the right balance of salty and sour flavors. Eat them plain, dip them in ranch, batter and fry them, add to your Bloody Mary garnishes–you do you. Dill pickle lovers, these curds will quickly become your new favorite! Ranked #5 most delicious flavored cheese curd in the world!*

Find them in our retail stores in Ellsworth and Comstock or online here. And watch for them hitting your local grocers soon!

The World Cheese Championships are taking place right now in Madison. And we’re bringing home some bling!

Flavored Curds Category

1st place – Hickory Bacon
2nd place – Hot Buffalo

Pasteurized Process Cheese Category

1st place – Ellsworth (Wohlt) Pizza Cheese

Pasteurized Process Cheeses, Flavored Category

1st place – Hot Pepper Processed Cheese

AND… We took 1st place with our Habanero Ghost Pepper Jack in the ‘Pepper Flavored Monterey Jack, High Heat’ category!

Read more here.

The one wish this 4th-grade class in Montana had was to go on a field trip to the Cheese Curd Capital.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for them.  But the next best thing…the cheese curds came to them!

Watch to see all of the fun!!

Congrats to our very own, Dean Hines, who was named the 2022 Field Representative of the Year this evening! Well deserved!

Field reps serve a very important job! They act as liaisons between our patron farm owners and our cooperative. They work closely with the farms to ensure the health and happiness of the herd because happy cows provide the best milk, and high-quality milk makes the best cheese!

 

Congratulation Dean!!