10 am, Fromagination

The door opens and out into the cold, damp air spills the warm smell of apple cider and the earthy scent of aged cheese. Soft music plays in the background as four people work quickly around the bright shop, preparing for the busy day.

Fromagination, a small artisanal cheese shop on the Capitol Square, features Wisconsin’s bounty. The store opens at 10 am and within minutes, seven customers fill the room.

Priscilla, Fromagination’s Wisconsin cheese buyer, says the shop buys 80% of its cheese from local cheese makers.

“We want close relationships with our cheese makers,” Priscilla says. “We order our cheese straight from the people who make it on the farm.”

One of the samples is an aged Gouda. The display features information about the cheese maker, Marieke Penterman, a first-generation Wisconsin dairy farmer originally from the Netherlands.

Fromagination offers more than just cheese. Local preserves, crackers and bottles of wine fills the walls of the cozy shop. Priscilla explains Fromagination is all about the details, whether it’s selecting the best, local cheeses, helping a customer sample a cheese or decorating the shop with displays of fall colors and large cheese wheels.

– Meredith Lee

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