Green Pages » Nov./Dec. ‘12

Eau Galle Cheese Factory

Eau Galle Cheese Factory was founded in 1945 by Leo Buhlman. Leo came to the United States from Switzerland, where he had apprenticed as a cheese maker for eight years. He worked at a number of Wisconsin cheese factories before purchasing the then closed factory in Eau Galle, Wisconsin. The plant has made several different varieties of cheeses over the years including Swiss and Cheddar, but in the 1960s, the plant found its niche with the hard Italian type cheeses.

In 1986, a new state-of-the-art facility was built four miles east of Eau Galle on State Highway 25, two miles north of Durand. The new facility continues to produce the hard Italian type cheeses, a little over nine million pounds of Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheeses each year and all of the milk used is from local area farms.

With the new facility also came a larger retail outlet store. The store carries hundreds of different varieties of cheese along with local maple syrup, honey, sausage, mustards, and wines. There is also a large collectible and gift store filled with unique gifts and even a year-round Christmas room.

The Eau Galle Cheese Factory continues to be operated by the Buhlman family, which takes great pride in the cheese it produces. In 2011, their Parmesan cheese won an award in the United States Cheese Championship contest and was also featured on NBC’s Today Show.

Eau Galle Cheese is located on Hwy 25 two miles north of Durand and 18 miles south of Menomonie. Store Hours:  Monday – Saturday, 9:00 to 5:30; Sunday, 11:00 to 4:30. Visit our website at or call us at 715-283-4211.

River Bend Vineyard & Winery … Growing a Vision

The loss of a job is a life-changing experience and often not a positive one. But for Chippewa Falls’ couple Al and Donna Sachs, the closing of one door prompted the opening of another.

In 2006, Donna lost her position as an IT manager when the company she worked for went through bankruptcy, putting her and 500 others at the corporate headquarters out of work. Ready to leave the Twin Cities, Donna and Al sold their house, bought a 1970s vintage travel trailer, and put down new roots in the Chippewa Valley … literally. That year, the seeds of the vision that would become River Bend Vineyard and Winery were sown in the sandy soils just west of Chippewa Falls. Six years later, River Bend has eight acres of vineyard comprised of 4,600 grapevines and a tasting room that hosts thousands of visitors each year from around the state and across the country.

“Al and I had a vision to create a classy yet comfortable atmosphere where people could enjoy a glass of locally produced wine with a view of the fields where the fruit was actually grown.” Working with the University of Minnesota’s grape breeding program, five grape varieties that can withstand a Wisconsin winter and ripen quickly in a short summer were planted. “California varieties like Chardonnay and Merlot would not make it here,” Donna explains. “You need to come from pretty hardy stock to survive in this climate.”

Because the varieties grown in the Midwest are different from those grown in California, the wines they produce are different, too. “Dry reds are a challenge in a cold growing region,” Donna admits, “but we do have a variety called Marquette that is a close descendent of Pinot Noir.” When made as a dry red wine, Marquette produces what River Bend calls a “friendly” red … medium bodied with nice dark fruit that pairs easily with many foods. A rosé called Magenta has become River Bend’s flagship. Also produced from a local grape called Frontenac, Magenta has been the best seller at the winery since its inception. “Another release we’re excited about,” says Donna, “is our first sparkling wines which debut in December.” Sparkling wines are traditionally grown in cooler regions and Donna states “it just makes sense to listen to the fruit … to play to its strengths instead of trying to turn it into something that it’s not.”

For Al and Donna, River Bend plays to their strengths as well, more so than the careers they’ve left behind. One door closed, but another one opened. “It all starts with a vision,” Donna says. “Then you put your head down and get back to work.”

Green Pages » Oct./Sept. ‘12

Brewing Locally

Brewing locally is valuable to Valkyrie Brewing Company (Formerly known as Viking Brewery). They feel that it is important to cultivate and strengthen culinary relationships between the local producers themselves and between local producers and consumers in order to sustain a healthy local food community. In doing that, we all gain a better understanding of what our local food community has to offer to us and what we can offer in return. Beer is food, too.

Valkyrie Brewing Company has been “Brewing Locally” since its very first batch of beer many years ago. This beer, called Mjød, was in fact the very first Brackett produced commercially in the United States. In it, VBC uses honey harvested locally, thus giving it a uniquely Northwest Wisconsin flavor of wildflowers, apple blossoms and clover. Valkyrie also brews a second Brackett call Honey Moon, which is much like a light, sparkling honey wine. Both will be available on the market within a year.

Available now from Valkyrie is their War Hammer, a Coffee Porter brewed with coffee beans that are roasted locally at “The Raw Deal” in Menomonie, Wisconsin. Brewing coffee with their dark roast coffee beans makes for an awesome brew. Brewing beer with their coffee beans makes for a powerful beer with that ultimate, rich coffee flavor. Fresh, Locally Roasted Coffee — Fresh, Locally Brewed Beer. What a great combination.

Developing new recipes for brewing locally in Northwest Wisconsin is easy. This area is so bountiful. Valkyrie is working on a new brew, a Saké that features some of our best known foods: milk (lactose), wild rice and cranberries. That’s right — Valkyrie is brewing Saké Wisconsin style. The name of this new brew will be…Cow-A-Saké. Just wait until you see the label!

Chip Magnet Salsa

Why I decided to build my business on the GMO-free platform.

Several years ago, when I first heard the term ‘genetically modified’, it really didn’t mean much to me. Of course, our family, like most out there, had always tried to eat healthily, but I was completely clueless that my family and I had been consuming these little poisonous tidbits of “food” for years.

According to Wikipedia, a genetically modified organism can be defined as “an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes.”

Sounds harmless, right? It might be if they were splicing a kiwi with strawberry DNA to create a yummy fruit that didn’t have to be peeled, or an orange with banana DNA for easier peeling. However, it just isn’t that simple.

The main reason that things like plants are genetically modified is so that tons and tons of pesticides can be sprayed on them without killing them. That’s got to be safe, right?

Another horrifying example is that of the so-called suicide seed: a plant that does not produce any usable seeds, leaving the former reliant on the GMO giant Monsanto to purchase more plants.

GMOs for human consumption came onto the radar all the way back in 1982 when they reared their ugly head in a synthetic insulin drug called Humulin, which is a laboratory strain of E. coli — yes, the same E. coli that kills people and has been genetically altered with recombinant DNA. They have since gained ground and literally infiltrated our entire food system. They can be found in cookies, cereal, bread, milk, chips, oil, and just about everything else you can imagine. In fact, it has been estimated that a full 80% of everything on grocery store shelves contains something that is genetically modified.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the FDA does not think GMOs need to be labeled, even though most authorities agree that significant testing has not been done and the majority of people living in the US (90-95% based on numerous polls) want them to be labeled.

When I started Chip Magnet Salsa, I unwaveringly knew I could not, in good conscience, put anything genetically modified into my food. No compromises. I purchase organic and local whenever possible and I never put anything in my condiments that contains any GMOs.

For more information about GMOs, please visit the following sites:

Green Pages » July/August ‘12

Everlasting Embrace

Everlasting Embrace provides handcrafted prayer shawls and baby blankets made out of a specially processed yarn produced from recycled plastic bottles that can be used for the following:

• Funeral remembrance in lieu of flowers
• Providing comfort during an illness
• Wedding or shower gift
• An expectant mother, birth of a child, or as a christening blanket
• Elderly or nursing home individuals as a homelike, respectful shawl or a lap robe

With a lifelong passion for knitting and crocheting, Laura Cox, owner and founder of Everlasting Embrace, found joy in making personal treasures for family and friends. Working in health care as a registered dietitian for over 30 years, she understands the comfort a special handcrafted gift can mean to someone going through challenging moments in life.

All pieces are made with loving thoughts and care being sent with each piece. Those who receive shawls and blankets may gain peace and inner strength, keeping them as a cherished token for years to come.

When you want to give a creative personalized gift, give an Everlasting Embrace shawl or blanket lovingly made with your special person in mind.

Bee Rescued Propolis Care

Bee Rescued Propolis Care products were designed with only two rules in mind: these products have to work and they have to be pure. All of our products rely upon the timeless and awesome power of propolis to take away pain any time there is a need.

Purity is important; these days it is scarce to find. We, however, believe it to be cherished. Our honeybees are raised with purity in mind. Bee Rescued Propolis Care is the only line of personal care products that is made from hive products harvested from 100% chemical-free hives. Our products are the only products that are 100% pure and natural. Nobody else can make such a claim. This is because of our strict stance that nothing will ever be put into our hives that did not already come out of them.

This same adherence to purity flows into our manufacturing process and our business philosophy as well. All of our formulas were developed to be effective in their designed task. Our ingredients were researched to be synergistic for maximum benefit. You see, all of our products were designed for either family members or close friends. This means that you can be sure our products will work the way they were intended to.

Our business philosophy is simple. Integrity matters. This is why we have chosen to keep our prices as low as possible so that the folks who need our products most will always be able to purchase them. It also means that we are dedicated to giving back a portion of our profits towards nurturing and empowering widows and orphans around the world. Quite simply, we are a family company producing the finest family product in effort to be a blessing.

Green Pages » May/June ‘12

Awareness is Key at Little Sprouts Academy

Joe and Lucy Lawrence have something very special to offer Menomonie and the surrounding communities in their new child care/learning center, Little Sprouts Academy Menomonie LLC.

Naturally, the development and well-being of children is their first priority, but how those goals are accomplished is what makes Little Sprouts unique. Joe and Lucy have a passion for eco-awareness. To them, the impact environment has on people (especially young people) is critical to their development and well-being. Recognizing that all aspects of our health are influenced by the environment in which we live and choices we make (for ourselves and our children) is a focus of their center. Not only will children be loved, cared for, taught, and nurtured at Little Sprouts, but Joe and Lucy have made it their goal to provide an environment that says: We are aware! When considering the environment the children would be in on a daily basis, they took into account the exposure children would have to chemicals and toxins. The cleaning products, flooring, paints, foods, toys, and furniture were all mindfully selected to be the least harmful for the children.

Even more importantly, this awareness goes deeper; while at the center, the children will have opportunities to learn to be aware of their environment and make sound choices for themselves. Offering opportunities for gardening, composting, recycling, and learning about making healthy food choices and the impact their choices have on their health will be key to the growth and development of children who are the future leaders of our communities.

They call themselves, “eco-aware”, because Joe and Lucy acknowledge that they are aware, but certainly not “all-knowing”. Life-long learners themselves, they realize that awareness is the first step to making changes (changes that will affect your future) and that knowledge and new information will always become available, challenging them to make changes that will be best for the employees and children in their learning center.

It is their goal to help children become productive citizens of our communities and with that, educating families and the community will be a step in achieving their goal. Not only will Joe and Lucy provide learning environments for children, but they are excited to also offer classes for parents and the community.

If you have an interest in learning more about Little Sprouts or have something that you would like to share with Joe and Lucy, please contact them at 715-403-1338 or by e-mail at or

Little Sprouts offers:

  • Full or half-day care for children 6 weeks-5 years old
  • Drop-in care
  • School-Age Care (before and after school)
  • Summer School Program
  • 4K
  • Employment opportunities for lead and assistant teachers and cooks

They’d love to meet you — stop on by!

Worker B

Your skin takes a beating every day, but Worker B skin care helps you fight back by providing a lasting protective barrier and the ultimate in skin repair. Our ingredients come straight from the hive– hand crafted without fillers. We offer highly concentrated lotions and balms for superior conditioning of your hands, face, feet, and body – and great for our four-legged friends too!

Worker B is a Minneapolis-based skin care line with an emphasis on bee products. We are a three person company now celebrating 18 months in business. Collectively we have 10 years of experience in and around the honeybee industry and keep our own hives on a friend’s organic farm. We do all of the ingredient sourcing, formulation, production, packaging and shipping ourselves.

Ingredients: Worker B skin care products contain no fillers, water, alcohol, etc. and use bee products (beeswax, honey and propolis) from several Minnesota and western Wisconsin beekeepers – now ages 18 to 70! We make sure that our beekeepers are keeping their bees ethically and sustainably. These personal relationships with our beekeepers are what set Worker B apart from other “bee-based” companies. As Worker B grows, so does our support of ethical beekeepers! All other ingredients are certified organic or GMO free.

Products: All Worker B products can be used all over your skin, from face to feet, lips to hands. Good for pet paws and food safe, so no worries about use in the kitchen. Worker B was developed in part for the most sensitive of skin, suitable for people with a large range of allergies. These are highly concentrated formulas, so a little bit goes a long way! We hand craft each product in small batches, providing you the freshest products. Labels are letter-press printed by a local artist. Hard-working products made by and for hard-working people!

Bee Collected. Bee Nourished. Worker B.

Green Pages » March/April ‘12

“The Most Important Change Is the One You Make Just For Yourself” – Anonymous

How often have you heard yourself or someone else talk about needing to make lifestyle changes for health and wellness, only to follow up with a stream of excuses and obstacles making it seem daunting, if not impossible to achieve?

Over two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, and more than 12.5 million children ages 2-19 years old, are obese. We have an epidemic in our country, and it is hurting people’s health and costing as much as $147 billion each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). I don’t imagine health care costs are going down anytime soon, so the only solution is to get and stay healthy!

Having been in the fitness industry for over 20 years, I have observed the struggle up close and assisted numerous individuals in developing the skills necessary to take control, change their habits, and live fitter and healthier lives. I would love to see more health and fitness professionals in the Chippewa Valley working together towards a goal of making our community fitter and healthier in 2012!

I am excited to announce Mission Accomplished has been asked to take over the promotion of the Lifestyle Achievement Challenge 2012! We see this as a great opportunity to get more health and fitness facilities and professionals involved in working with more clients and patients towards this common goal of better health.

Last year our studio had a group of 10 clients enter this challenge and lose over 250 pounds and 80% body fat together. We realize the importance of a support network, so we created a “team” environment to help guide our group as they began exercising and making nutrition changes to reach their goals. We plan to offer this again to our Team and we are encouraging other facilities to do the same.

The Lifestyle Challenge 2012 now has its own website: where potential contestants can go to get registration forms, see which health professionals and fitness facilities in your area are offering services or creating Teams that you might join, and look at what local businesses are supporting this effort as well, through their Sponsorships of the prize packages for the Challenge.

Our Goal is to make this contest a HUGE success as we SHRINK the waistline of the Chippewa Valley TOGETHER

Kim Landry-Ayres is the owner of Mission Accomplished Personal Training & Nutrition Consulting Studio of Eau Claire, WI. She is a nationally certified personal fitness trainer, post rehab conditioning specialist, group fitness, yoga & Pilates instructor, Thai yoga body worker and nutritionist with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Women with No Borders

WWNB is a new and upcoming non-profit organization for women, about women and supporting women.

As a woman discovers her self worth, she opens up to the possibilities previously denied. WWNB provides an oasis where acceptance, encouragement, trust, and integrity are the building blocks for stronger communities and personal growth.

The goal of Women With No Borders (WWNB) is to address the needs of women by supporting their health and well-being, developing community, and teaching one another through mentorships.

“As we reach out to the community with support and encouragement, a platform is  created for women, men, and children to feel empowered in their personal lives and their communities,” states founder/president Jean Kowalski.

For more information and registration, contact Jean Kowalski at 715-220-8543 or email:

WWNB~Women With No Borders can be found at 405 S. Farwell Street, Suites 28 – upstairs in the Kappus Bldg. For more information, see the website at: