The Dells’ High Rock Cafe celebrated June Dairy Month through a partnership with Davis Family Dairy, bringing free cheese curds to all customers.
The giveaway was the brainchild of Chris Davis, owner of the nearby Davis Family Dairy. The curds were made with milk from his cows, processed at Mullins Cheese in Knowlton, Wisconsin. According to Davis, he first hatched the idea when the COVID economic stimulus package came out.
“When they were giving the stimulus package out, the $1,200… my thoughts are, a stimulus package is something that gets reinvested,” Davis said. “High Rock is a community member, locally owned, and that’s why I wanted to do something with them. That is what I consider a stimulus.”
As the stimulus package came out, Davis said the Wisconsin dairy industry was facing a downturn, and so he saw a partnership with High Rock as a way to both help a local business and get his own product out into the community.
Working with High Rock was a straightforward choice for Davis, as he attended both elementary and high school with co-owners Wade Bernander and Justin Draper. In a news release about the giveaway, Draper said he and Bernander took the idea right away.
“We know that the dairy industry, just like the restaurant industry, has been hit really hard throughout the pandemic,” Draper said in the release. “We wanted to do something to help show how proud we are of our farmers and offer our patrons a special treat of the fruits of their labor.”
Davis said he thought of working with other restaurants as well, but he thinks of High Rock as an important member of the Dells community and thought Bernander and Draper would be excellent partners in the giveaway. Davis also said he didn’t want to work with chains, preferring to focus on local business.
The giveaway has seen success over the course of the month. According to Draper, High Rock gave away more than 200 pounds of cheese curds in June. The curds weren’t the only factor in the giveaway, however. According to Draper’s wife Tara, each customer hears about where the curds came from and receives a pamphlet about local dairy.
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