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Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet Inc, DeForest

4.2
#27 of 83 in Shopping in Wisconsin
Gift & Specialty Shop Shopping
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
65 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Enjoyed the immense choice of cheese. Also, beer and wine choices. We will be back when driving nearby.  more »
  • So I get the business model - prime location right off I90, catch all the Illinois people driving home with over-prices cheese and other Wisconsin stuff. Huge parking lot. Bathrooms are single seaters...  more »
  • What a selection of cheese, sausages, chocolates syrups etc. etc.....the list goes on and on. They will give you a sample before you buy. We bought 4 of the "Baked Cheese" (various flavors) YUMMO!!! A...  more »
Google
  • My favorite place for cheese. Ask for samples. I can't get out of there without buying at least 4-5 types of cheese. Also great cheese spread and sausage. And they have a small selection of wine, just in case you don't have any handy to enjoy with your cheese.
  • Great cheese and meat selection. We stop by every time we drive through WI. Some items can be on the pricey side. And they have some great fudge and candy!
  • Fun pit stop for the family. One drawback was a distinct lack of cheese samples, but otherwise it was a pretty cool place. Kids loved the giant cow in front as well as the amalgam of foam cheese paraphernalia. Highly recommend stopping here
  • Such a great variety of cheese!! And other things as well. Once I get a chance to eat the cherry I bought, I will determine whether this will be edited to a 5 star rating.
  • Absolutely Blown Away by the customer service. Selection is good, and the store is spotless inside and out. Easy access from the highway. A must-stop if you're traveling through! Thanks for the great experience guys!

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