Door County is a top travel destination for Wisconsinites and has started to gain more national recognition for its quaint small towns and old-world charm. With the close proximity to our main office in Sturgeon Bay, we had the privilege of meeting with the owner and master cheese maker, Mike Brennenstuhl, as well as his wife and their designer. We spent a few hours walking around with them and discussing their ideas and vision for Door Artisan Cheese. We learned it was not only a cheese factory but also an onsite restaurant and market.
Mike stated his goal to educate and engage his guests on the art of the cheese-making process. Part of this goal included bringing guests down to where the cheese was actually being made by master cheese makers. The idea was thrown out of having an arched ceiling covered in natural stone veneer and giving the feel of an old wine cellar. Guests would be given tours through the caves to see the process from start to finish followed by our favorite part… the samples!
There were actually two challenges involved in the selection of the natural thin stone veneer for this project. The first and smaller challenge was working with the designer to select a stone that would flow well with the red siding on the exterior. The vision for the exterior was to have it resemble a barn. Red is more of a dominant color so we had to stay with a more neutral tone natural stone veneer so the colors wouldn’t clash. We also presented the idea of using a different natural stone veneer option on the exterior and interior but the designer wished to keep it cohesive.
The second and major decision was what natural stone veneer to use. With their goal of having Door Artisan Cheese becoming a local fixture, they wanted to use a stone from the area. That narrowed us down to approximately 20 natural stone veneer options. We discussed styles, colors, and textures as well as the production process. The Sunset Point caught their attention as it is so unique. We explained that it actually isn’t a quarried stone like the other local options but was hand-picked from the farm fields and fence lines. It is the same limestone as beneath the ground but had come to the surface and weathered over the years. We showed them the raw fieldstone that had just been picked that spring and was about to be sawn into the thin veneer. The owners and designer unanimously decided on our Sunset Point as it gave them the old world feel but also the true Door County look that they were after.
The Finished Project
Door Artisan Cheese has over 2,000 square feet of our Sunset Point natural thin limestone on it. The cheese factory opened to rave reviews and was featured in the USA Today. The cheese caves are a must see on any vacationer’s list of stops in Door County. What an incredible project from start to finish!