Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, known for its cheese curds and artisan cheeses, is looking to expand into Menomonie.
The Pierce County-based creamery is slated to meet with the Menomonie City Council next week about the possibility of opening its third manufacturing location in the city.
“We’re working on a location for them in the north industrial park,” said Menomonie Mayor Randy Knaack. “This would be a brand new building, with high-tech equipment. Their cheese curds are going around the world.”
A City Council agenda Monday night states that the company will meet with council members in closed session on a developer’s letter of intent for a site in one of the city’s tax increment financing districts.
“We’re working on pulling a plan together,” Knaack said. “We’d love to have them. It would be a great addition to have a cheesemaker in Menomonie. We don’t have a lot of details yet.”
Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery already has a second location in Comstock, along with their main site in Ellsworth.
“We’re looking at them as having manufacturing, as well as a cheese retail shop,” Knaack said. “They are looking at how big of a space they need.”
Paul Bauer, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery president, declined to comment Wednesday, saying he wanted to get through the meeting Monday first. Knaack said he has already met with Bauer and came away impressed with the plans.
According to the company’s website, the creamery produces more than 280 varieties of cheese between its two locations. In 1984, Gov. Anthony Earl bestowed Ellsworth as the “Cheese Curd Capital of Wisconsin.” The cooperative has more than 300 dairy farm families.
The Ellsworth location produces 180,000 pounds of cheese curds daily. The Comstock facility produces everything from hot pepper jack to red rind muenster cheese.