April 22nd 2017 Egg Harbor, Wisconsin – Cheesemaker, Mike Brennenstuhl, had a dream back in 2008 to build and operate an Artisan Cheese plant/retail center and restaurant. Mike said they looked at 20 different locations in Door County over the years and found the perfect spot on Highway 57 just north of Egg Harbor and across the road from the Wood Orchard Market. The state-of-the-art facility has a “Make Room” enclosed in glass so the visitors can watch the process.
As I walked in the door, Mike Brennenstuhl was coming out of the Make Room with a large bowl of fresh, warm and squeaky cheese curds. Mike was surrounded by people eagerly sampling the tasty morsels. The place was packed with curious folks checking out the facility for the first time.
The retail area, adjacent to the Make Room. features Artisan Cheeses from all over the world, but overwhelmingly from Wisconsin. Additionally, there is an Artisan Meat counter with various prosciutto’s, sausages and pates. In the back section of the main room is a large assortment of wines, aperitifs, and craft beers on tap.
The beautifully designed, high ceiling, well lit dining room is more elegant than I expected. Mike created a beautiful environment which I’m sure will be a culinary attraction.
Mike gave me a tour of the basement, which has the “caves” or aging rooms. Here the humidity, light and temperature are controlled to best mimic the environment of the caves of the past where cheeses were aged. This is all state-of-the-art and all brand new.
I asked, “Where are your milk silos?” Mike pointed to his left and said, “Right over here.” They are near the caves and horizontal, unlike traditional silos which are vertical.
Mike went on to say that they will conduct cheese and wine pairings and cheese making classes. Very exciting. I may have to become a cheesemaker.
All in all this is a beautiful facility, and I wish Mike Brennenstuhl and his crew the best in the coming seasons.
Bob Wolter, Business Intermediary