Before COVID-19, the West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shoppe served out of their primary location as well as the Milwaukee Public Market. But when the Public Market closed its doors prior to the official shutdown, owner Mark Lutz immediately started to worry.
"The first two days were like 'oh my gosh how are we going to get through this?'" Lutz said.
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After a few adjustments, cafe orders moved forward, and the cheese still flows out the door.
"On the restaurant side, you can call in your order. We can bring it our to the curb, we can deliver it. Or you can walk in and we do our best at keeping social distancing," says Mark. "In the store itself, people still come for their cheese or their syrups and honey. Any of the specialty food we have from Wisconsin."
It's not just the West Allis Cheese and Sausage Shop that Mark is running through this pandemic. On the same block, he also owns Becher Meats, a local butcher shop, and Station No. 6 where you can pick up Bloody Mary kits to go every Saturday from 12 to 3 p.m.
"The immediate area with the neighbors and the community, they've been doing the support local thing. On Saturdays when we do those Bloody Marys to go, we'll go throw 150 to go and then people come in and buy a sandwich," says Mark.
As for Becher Meats, one business day of normalcy was enough to get the word out.
"It's probably one of the five specialty stores you could have opened up during this pandemic. If I would have opened up anything else, it would have been a disaster," says Mark.
Even if customers prefer to cook their meals, they still need a main course.
"They aren't eating at restaurants but they are eating at home. So the butcher shop kinda saved our bacon no pun intended," says Mark.
The cheese and sausage shoppe alone with Becher Meats is open seven days a week. If you can't wait till Saturday for your Bloody Mary, kits are sold at both locations.