Since 2007, Fromagination has given Wisconsin cheese the showcase it deserves. Owner and general manager Ken Montelone encourages guests to fully experience the food they eat. As guests see, smell, and taste each delicious bite, Fromagination’s staff tells the story of how and where each cheese was made. Montelone believes it is essential to spotlight the rich tradition of cheese making in the Badger State.
This quirky, cosmopolitan shop has helped established itself as an integral part of Madison’s foodie scene. A kind staff, warm authenticity, and lack of pretension opens Fromagination’s doors to folks of all cheese knowledge. Not to mention the grand tours, incredible catering, and full series of “Entertaining with Cheese” classes. (Editor’s note: The Chamber highly recommends the delicious cheese & chocolate pairing.)
Head Cheesemonger Ken Monteleone tells us more about Fromagination and its dedication to supporting the community:
Why did you decide to join the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber?
We feel it is very important to support our LGBT community. Our staff and customer base is very diverse and we enjoy being part of the LGBT chamber. The Chamber allows us to network and reach out to people that help make our community a better place to live and work.
Tell us a bit about your business and what you do.
We love cheese! We want to share that love with everyone we encounter. Our overall mission is to:
- Sell food that makes our customers happy.
- Give service that makes customers happy to return.
- Show compassion and excitement in all our actions.
- Enhance as many lives as we possibly can.
- Provide a sustainable environment that celebrates diversity.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy the creativity of the job, and the passion of the people I work with at Fromagination.
What do you enjoy most about being a member of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber?
The people! (Editors note: The Chamber loves this, fittingly, cheesy answer.)
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
Bring kindness to everything you do and the rest will follow.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Create a vision and allow your team to help you refine the vision and climb the second mountain together.
Live in the present and seize the day.
If you had to choose another career today, what would it be?
I’d like to help kids that feel like outsiders in school become their best selves.
How do you relax?
I relax by spending time with friends and family over good cheese.
How would you like people to remember you and Fromagination?
We want to be remembered as a shop that is very welcoming and has a hunger for learning. We also hope people remember we love sharing our passion for local food and supporting the community.
Fromagination is located at 12 S Carrol Street in Madison, WI.