Already recognized as one of the state's best cut-to-order artisan cheese shops, Fromagination was named an Outstanding Retailer for 2011 by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade.
Lauded for its dedication to serving cheesemakers and small artisans, its attention to customer service, and its commitment to the environment, Fromagination was one of only six retail shops in the nation to earn the 2011 award. As a result, owner Ken Monteleone will be presented with a gold statue at the Summer Fancy Food Show in Washington, D.C. in July, and featured in the June issue of Specialty Food Magazine.
"It's an incredible honor," Monteleone said. "We look forward to accepting this award and coming home to celebrate with all of our customers."
In choosing the specialty shop for the award, a panel of industry peers from NASFT commended Fromagination for attracting food lovers from all over the world by offering a carefully edited selection of 400 products, including artisan and specialty cheeses, of which more than 60 are sourced from Wisconsin.
The eco-friendly store, built with several recycled and reclaimed materials, opened on Madison's downtown Capitol Square in 2007. Since the very beginning, Fromagination has focused on forging close relationships with Wisconsin cheesemakers, and as a result, is often one of the first retailers many artisans contact when a new cheese is developed and ready for tasting.
Monteleone sources as many local products as possible, with nearly 60% of the shop's total offerings coming from an area stretching from Minneapolis to Madison to Chicago. Fromagination also offers several recycling programs, such as Bring Your Own Bag, Picnic Blankets, Gift Basket Return and Reusable Cookbooks.
Located at 12 S. Carroll Street, Fromagination is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information on classes, catering opportunities and gift ideas, visit www.fromagination.com or call 608-255-2430.
Source: Dairy Business Innovation Center