Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet, DeForest

4.1
#30 of 82 in Shopping in Wisconsin
In 1969, Ralph and Lucille (nicknamed Sis) Ehlenbach purchased Fenlon's House of Cheese in DeForest, Wisconsin. They ran the small cheese and gift store under that name until 1972, at which time they changed the name to Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet.

In 1972, Jim Ehlenbach began working with is parents at the store and eventually became store manager. In 1986, Ralph Ehlenbach passed away. Jim then took over ownership of the store and carried on the family business.

In 1987, Jim expanded the west side of the building. This was the first of many improvements to come Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet.

Jim's son Brian, started working at the store in 1992. Over the years, Jim trained Brian in the hopes that someday he might want to take over the family business.

In 2001, Brian married his high school sweetheart and co-worker Karie Kopplin. In January of 2002, Brian and Karie took over operation of the family business.

Although Brian and Karie have modernized many aspects of the store, the original theme of Ehlenbach's remains the same. They still hand-cut cheese the same way that Ralph and Lucille did over 40 years ago. While actively seeking the best cheeses that Wisconsin has to offer, they still deal with many vendors that the family has used since 1972. Brian still carries on his dads method of aging cheddar and Swiss to perfection.

Ehlenbach's pride and joy, Sissy the Cow, stands just in front of the store. She was named after Lucille Ehlenbach, whose nickname was Sissy. She has watched on as three generations of Ehlenbachs have carried on the legacy.
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Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
72 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Nice store, but the sample of cheese I got, a smoked bacon cheddar, was very blah. I will not be back.  more »
  • My stay in Wisconsin has been an interesting one as I learn about one of its important products, cheese. After learning the history of cheese making at the National Historic Cheesemaking Center, it wa...  more »
  • Wonderful variety of Wisconsin cheeses. Sampled quite a few then bought some for our travels and had some shipped home. Try some German meats and honey while you are there too!  more »
Google
  • One of the best selections of cheese and local products of all the cheese houses we have visited in Wisconsin. I wish there was a better selection of goat cheese but I was still able to find things I could have. My husband was thrilled about the 14 year cheddar. Definitely a usual stop when we visit home.
  • She shot was really nice. The place was super clean and the employees were very very friendly. They have a huge selection of cheese and cheese type items. They have a lot of different meats and also snacks. They also had fun magnets, coffee cups, and clothing that make great gifts.
  • Lots of great cheeses for every taste, including several award winning cheeses that will satisfy any craving! Cut and packaged when you order at the counter. They also have a catalog to order gifts online. Best cheese in Wisconsin...a stop I make every time I pass through!
  • Cheese, cheese and more cheese, and craft beer. You are able to sample any of their cheese selection, which is about 150 different varieties. I sampled the Smoked Blueberry Cheddar, Wow!! Very friendly, knowledgeable and attentive staff. Highly recommend.
  • SO MANY CHOICES OF DELICIOUS CHEESE, meats and other fun stuff. Helpful staff. Appreciate being able to taste before purchasing.

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