"It just seemed wrong that Milwaukee didn't have a cheese factory," said Bob Wills, the owner. "It provides an opportunity for people to see and understand where their food comes from and express their desires (about how it is made)."
Clock Shadow, named for its proximity to the Allen-Bradley Clock Tower, manufactures cheddar and quark cheese at the moment, with plans to add other varieties down the line.
Wills draws on his years of experience at family cheese factory Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, Wis. He has earned the title of Master Cheesemaker, a designation reserved for just a handful of Wisconsinites.
He's already been approached to supply cheese to a number of restaurants that focus on local food, including Braise, Beta by Sabor, La Merenda and Iron Horse Hotel. Plans are in the works to provide whey protein, a cheese byproduct, to Potawatomi Casino for its anaerobic digester.
"It's kind of a who's who of the new restaurants," Wills said. "It's a very cool time to be in the cheese industry."
As a result of its mission to serve only local clientele, Wills decided not to make any aged cheeses at Clock Shadow.
"We only do fresh cheeses because that's our advantage," he said. "We can service the local community with fresh cheese faster than anyone else can."
Clock Shadow has seven employees and shares some of its manufacturing space with Purple Door Ice Cream. The companies both sell their products out of the storefront attached to the factory at 138 W. Bruce St.
Three days per week, cheesemakers at Clock shadow begin production at about midnight and finish making two batches of cheddar at about 8 a.m.
Ever wonder how curds are made? See a video of Clock Shadow's cheesemaking process here.