The Right Bites
couple’s hand-made cheesecake delights eaters across Midwest
‘I’m up to my elbows in cheesecake batter,” George tells me, and a smile stretches across my face. Something about spending a Monday morning covered in cheesecake batter sounds absolutely glorious. For George Weimer, it’s how he spends a lot of his mornings at Dairyland Bakery in Menomonie.
“People just love baked cheesecake. When we bring samples to the public, people will shake their finger at me and playfully scold me for introducing them to such an addictive and tasty treat.” – Stacey Weimer, Dairyland Bakery
Cheesecake is my first love when it comes to all things dessert; so when I came across the names of Stacey and George Weimer and learned that they make cheesecake bites, I knew I had to meet them. The three of us had a lovely chat Tuesday morning about their business in cheesecake at Dairyland Bakery. The two of them started the business in 2015. “We both like being our own boss,” explains George, “so, we thought we’d try something new. We wanted to see what we could do to get a product on the market that met a need for giving people a unique, local treat.” After testing baked goods such as bread and scones, the two decided on cheesecake because, growing up, Stacey spent a lot of time baking. Cheesecake was her favorite (she and I are kindred spirits that way).
Both George and Stacey are grateful to their friends, Jay and Pam Brekke for their help in the startup process of their business. Micah Maraia of Studio MLM was also a key player in the success of their product. “Micah is a big part of our success,” Stacey tells me. “He told us that packaging and branding was very important in order to draw people to our product.” Micah worked with them for several months to make sure their packaging was just right. It features their little mascot, Eloise, a sweet cow who would let George and his siblings ride her around their farm.
As a nod to George’s childhood days spent on a dairy farm, they also decided to incorporate the cowbell theme. They currently have three products on the market: their Original and Salted Cowbell Bites. These are 1-inch-by-1-inch squares of cheesecake dipped in a decadent dark chocolate and topped with either white chocolate drizzle or sea salt. For those less fond of dark chocolate, the couple has recently introduced the new Cowbell Confetti Bar, which is a 1.75-ounce cheesecake bar dipped in milk chocolate and covered with all-natural sprinkles.
George is grateful for the backing they’ve received from local businesses. “People have been very willing to help support us,” he says. “We haven’t had to try hard to get our cheesecake in the stores.”
Dairyland Bakery’s products are distributed in numerous grocery stores throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. In Eau Claire, their cheesecake is available at Festival Foods on Mall Drive and will soon be distributed through all Woodman’s locations (although you can already find them in the Altoona store). You’ll also find them in freezers in Menomonie at Marketplace Foods, Dick’s Fresh Market, Menomonie Market Food Co-op, and Cut Rite Meat Shoppe and at numerous spots in the Twin Cities (Kowalski’s, Lunds and Byerlys, Jerry’s, and Coborn’s as well as others). They are even available in Illinois and North Dakota, but the Weimers would like to see their product spread throughout southern Wisconsin and bigger cities such a Madison and Milwaukee.
As their business continues to grow, George and Stacey also look forward to the day when their production process will be more mechanized. “Most people don’t realize what a small operation we have. I do all of the baking and Stacey handles all the packaging by hand with a team of four to five part-time employees,” George explains. The one thing the two will not rush is the baking process. “People just love baked cheesecake. When we bring samples to the public, people will shake their finger at me and playfully scold me for introducing them to such an addictive and tasty treat,” Stacey says.
I don’t think scolding is in order for George and Stacey. My husband, Luc, and I both enjoyed the white chocolate and sea salted renditions of the bite-sized squares for lunch one afternoon because – in my opinion – cheesecake is a balanced meal. I even had to stop Luc from diving into a second course with the confetti bar! There’s no doubt in my mind that Stacey and George Weimer will continue their success for years to come. The two of them will truly be my cheesecake friends for life.
Learn more about Dairyland Bakery products at dairylandbakery.com.