Shopping with Sarah: Tasty treats made in Western Wisconsin

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 5:07 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2020 at 7:08 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The holiday shopping season is here, but instead of rushing to target or searching online, you might consider shopping local.

If you don’t know where to get started, Hello Wisconsin’s Sarah Winkelmann is going to take us shopping at some area businesses.

Each week through Christmas, Sarah will feature a few local businesses that could use some support and help you get something for everybody on your list.

This week, it’s all about food. From famous Wisconsin cheese, to chocolate and a one-of-a-kind bread, there are many gift ideas to give some tasty treats made right here in Western Wisconsin.

It’s the classic Wisconsin gift, cheese. Eau Galle cheese in Pepin County has been family owned and operated for more than 75 years. “We bring in 400,000 pounds of milk each day for our cheese processing,” said Karen Cooper, the Corporate Administrator at Eau Galle Cheese.

By purchasing cheese this holiday, you are supporting the cheese makers and the farmers. “We still have 36 local dairy farms that ship their milk daily to Eau Galle Cheese,” Cooper said. “They are all located within a 20-mile radius of our plant.”

The Christmas season is an important time for cheese factories as sales increase in the store and gift boxes are shipped to loved ones across the country. It’s a cheesy solution for even the hardest person to shop for on your list.

From savory to sweet. We have 9 different boxes of chocolates from sea salt caramels to truffles to assorted boxes,” said Dan Sweeny the owner of the Chippewa Candy Shop. The store makes 135 different items in their store. “We make cotton candy, caramel corn, flavored popcorn,”.

The downtown store just finished an expansion which allows more room to make even more tasty treats. “Right now, we have 4 candy makers making candy 5 days a week here so typically when you stop in you will see someone making candy,” Sweeny said.

They carry over 1100 items to satisfy any sweet tooth this Christmas. “Shop safe, shop smart, shop small,” Sweeny added.

Whether it’s a well-known business or a brand-new company. “It’s hard to implement a new product to the market especially in a pandemic world,” said Geraldo Pereira Junior from Montebelo.

Montebelo is a family run business that opened in March and has been hard at work making their Brazilian cheese bread. “The company is receiving support for local businesses and local people, the local community so that has been a huge help,” Pereira added.

It’s an old family recipe from Brazil that is now making its way into Chippewa Valley homes. “They have a different texture, crunch on the outside and chewy inside so it’s not a regular bread texture or biscuit texture,” Pereira said.

The bread is sold in ready to bake packages, that you heat up for 20 minutes at home. No matter when you eat the cheese bread, the team of mom, dad, son and daughter hope you can enjoy with your family this holiday, whether in person or virtually.

“We are really thankful for everything that is happening to us, our family being more together with this business,” Pereira added.

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