About the Wisconsin Cheese Mart
About the Wisconsin Cheese Mart
Founded in 1938 on Old World Third St in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Cheese Mart has grown from a small cheese shop to a leading Wisconsin Cheese retailer. We carry over 150 Wisconsin varieties of cheese in our display cases and ship cheese to all 50 states. We search out the best gourmet and award-winning cheese we can find throughout the state of Wisconsin to provide to customers all over the nation. We use nothing but real Wisconsin Cheese in our gift baskets which are great for occasions or events.
In 2019 we opened Brüdd Cafe. The cafe offers the unique opportunity to try your favorite Wisconsin cheese paired with Wisconsin craft beer, local coffee, and wines from around the world.
We have two retail locations:
1048 N. Old World Third Street
Milwaukee, WI 53203
119 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Kenneth and Melissa McNulty
Ken McNulty is a 3rd Generation Milwaukeean. His grandfather founded a food brokerage business in Milwaukee in 1939. Ken McNulty worked for the family's food business in the years before heading off to college.
Ken left Milwaukee at 18 to finish college in Oregon, Austria, and Germany. Ken enlisted in the Air Force to help pay for the rest of his studies. He became a Russian translator in the Air Force and was subsequently stationed in Berlin during the fall of the Berlin wall.
After more than 15 years as a management and software consultant in Germany and Chicago, Ken was informed by his father in Milwaukee that The Cheese Mart was for sale. In 2003, Ken and his wife Melissa purchased the company and returned to Milwaukee.
About Wisconsin Cheese
Something special truly describes the cheese that is produced in Wisconsin. More than a century ago, Wisconsin's growing dairy industry attracted immigrant cheese makers from Germany, France, Switzerland, Holland, Italy and Scandinavia. They applied their old world cheese making skills to the plentiful supply of Wisconsin milk. By the 1920s there were over 2800 cheese factories all over Wisconsin. Swiss cheese was one of the first specialty cheeses developed in Wisconsin with production beginning in Green County in 1869. The Italian immigrants also did very well making cheese reminiscent of their native homeland. Mozzarella and Provolone were made by dipping the curd in hot water and then stretching and pulling it like taffy before it was molded into traditional shapes and sizes. Wisconsin cheese makers also make outstanding Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago. The French immigrants gave us Blue, as well as delicious dessert types of cheese such as Camembert and Brie. The German immigrants brought their secrets for Muenster and Limburger, the Scandinavians contributed Havarti and Bondost-Primost, while the Dutch provided Edam and Gouda.
Wisconsin has obviously benefited from the practices and traditions of our early European settlers, continuing their cheese making techniques in Wisconsin to this day. But even with the multitude of delicious cheeses that can be traced to Europe, numerous varieties, such as Brick and Colby originated right here, in Wisconsin. Over the years, this special cheese making heritage, blended with expertise and modern technology, has laid the foundation for Wisconsin to have the most stringent cheese making standards. To maintain its hard-earned reputation, Wisconsin became the first state to require cheese grading and licensing of its cheese makers. Even today, no other state has standards higher than Wisconsin's.
Today, there are over 35000 dairy farms selling milk in Wisconsin with more than 1,800,000 cows producing an average of 13,500 pounds of milk each per year. Approximately 74% of this milk is used for cheese. Wisconsin's cheese making industry produces 2 billion pounds of cheese every year, 30 percent of the nation's total cheese production. More than 250 varieties, types, and styles of cheese are available from Wisconsin's skilled cheese makers.
Delicious cheese and Wisconsin, it's a natural partnership. With the Dairy State's healthy combination of fertile land and balanced climate, milk production excels. Wisconsin's milk is not only impressive in terms of quantity, but also in quality. Wisconsin Cheese Mart has been part of this tradition for over 80 years. We search out the best cheeses we can find throughout the state of Wisconsin. We carry over 200 types of cheese in our display cases and sell by the pound in our store as well as ship cheese anywhere in the US. We use nothing but real Wisconsin Cheese in our gift baskets. So, what are you waiting for? Try some Wisconsin cheese today!
A letter from the owners:
The Wisconsin Cheese Mart was started with one simple goal: To sell the highest-quality cheeses from local Wisconsin creameries to cheese lovers in Milwaukee and beyond. When the finest milk in the country is put into the skilled hands of proud and knowledgeable cheesemakers, the end result is exceptional cheese. Our family-owned cheese store has been in Milwaukee for more than 80 years, and our mission today is the same as it was back then: To celebrate the cheesemakers' craft, showcase their hard work and innovation, and serve cheese fanatics everywhere the best of what Wisconsin has to offer.
-Kenneth and Melissa McNulty