Q&A: Behind-the-scenes at Roelli Cheese Haus
Wheel of cheese

I caught up with fourth-generation cheesemaker, Chris Roelli. He owns and operates Roelli Cheese Haus in Shullsburg, Wis.

So how did this whole cheese-making thing happen?
I grew up in the business, worked in the cheese factory with my dad as a young boy.  Never gave up my dream to make cheese, so started making small scale artisan cheese in 2006 after our commodity factory closed in 1991.

What’s a day in the life of a cheesemaker like?
EARLY Mornings! Starting almost every day at 4 a.m. and ending…well it never ends.  I do have two teenage children so life at home is just as busy. Monday thru Friday I typically make 2 small vats of cheese in the mornings. In the afternoon we spend our time in the cellars taking care to age the cheese.

If you weren’t producing cheese, what do you think you’d be doing?
If I wasn’t making cheese, I am not sure what I would do.  Maybe a Brew Master, but I better not quit my day job.
Chris Roelli
What’s your favorite cheese?
They’re all my favorites!

What’s your best-selling product?
My cheddar blues, Dunbarton Blue & Red Rock

Say it’s your last meal on Planet Earth. What are you eating?
Prime rib, macaroni & cheese on the side and a cold beer.

What are your thoughts on Californian dairy products?
Close 2nd to Wisconsin.

Roelli Cheese Haus was featured in Discover Wisconsin‘s “Artisan Cheesemakers” episode. Watch it now.


Chris Roelli is a fourth generation cheesemaker from Roelli Cheese Haus located just east of Shullsburg in the Southwest corner of Wisconsin. He  hand crafts and cellar cures small batches of original recipe cheeses including his Dunbarton Blue and Red Rock, as well as fresh curds and aged cheddars.  Chris is a partner in ownership of Roelli Cheese Co., which also includes a retail store and milk hauling business. He recently created and opened his own state-of-the-art aging cellar that can hold one year’s worth of his production. Chris is also studying in the Wisconsin Master Cheese Maker program and continues to build upon his business each year.
2 replies
  1. Deb
    Deb says:

    We will be stopping at your place on our way through and wondered if there are certain days you make the cheese curds and do you usually have samples to taste ?


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