August 1, 2007
Pamela Accetta Smith
It’s a taste of what’s in store for downtown Madison. The owner of a new cheese shop has announced he will feature Wisconsin-made artisan cheeses and their perfect companions in a market opening on the downtown capital square this fall.
The shop, dubbed Fromagination, will celebrate cut-to-order Wisconsin artisan cheesemakers and fine artisan cheeses from around the United States and world, right in the heart of the capital city of America’s Dairyland.
Owner Ken Monteleone, a Madison resident and avid connoisseur of artisan and farmstead cheeses, will also showcase a wide array of accompaniments paired specifically with each individual cheese, including select wines, beers, meats, olives, breads, herbs and other foods. While the store’s emphasis will be on the spirit of the craftsmen and women who create the cheeses and artisan foods, the store space itself will be based on doing environmental good.
Fromagination will incorporate sustainable, renewable and recycled vintage materials. For example, the floor will be crafted from reclaimed slate and roof tiles from an abandoned warehouse in Chicago, while the paint is made from milk protein. Vintage finds, such as a collection of clocks that were used in the state capital building in 1917, will be another focal point of the store.
“We will be working closely with local artisans throughout Wisconsin to procure only the freshest and most flavorful foods,” says Monteleone. “I am committed to developing partnerships with local individuals and organizations to make Fromagination a destination for artisan cheese and foods in Wisconsin.”
Fromagination celebrates the synergy of complex flavors that results when cheese mingles with fine wines, meats, herbs and other foods. It’s believed to be an experience rarely if ever available from commodity-oriented supermarkets. “Our products are beautiful, flavorful and infused with the spirit of the craftsmen who created them — perfect pyramids of fresh chevre, smooth organic olive oils, warm, freshly baked breads — things that remind us that simple foods deliver great pleasure,” says Monteleone. “We draw inspiration from products that make us feel healthy and vibrant. Many of our offerings are made with organic, sustainably produced and all natural ingredients.”
I would love a place like this in my town!