Up until a few years ago, Colorado Springs was lacking a very important type of specialty shop. Wisconsin native Chris Peissig found he missed having a place to procure the tasty cheeses he regularly sought out prior to moving to Colorado Springs in 1999. So what did he do?He opened his own cheese shop on the west side for all to enjoy.
Peissig was born and raised in Milwaukee, and after graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire in 1999, he moved to Colorado Springs on a whim. He was looking for a change of scenery, had always enjoyed the outdoors and nothing was keeping him from spreading his wings and flying west to seek his fortune.
But, alas, Peissig sorely missed the quality cheeses he had come to appreciate in Wisconsin. There was no specialty cheese shop nearby to fill this missing niche. When a friend bought a building along 21st Street, Peissig took the opportunity to realize his dream. In December 2017, The Cheese Haus was born.
The inventory at The Cheese Haus is constantly changing affording the consumer with ongoing opportunities to create a never-boring cheese-board delight. Along with cheeses, a variety of products are available, including meats from Usinger’s Famous Sausage in Milwaukee, condiments, local honey, breads and crackers, and chocolates.
The No. 1 best seller is cheese curds, described as the youngest and freshest cheddar cheese. Cheese curds are a Wisconsin staple that might not be readily recognized as a delicacy in the other 49 states. A fresh order arrives from Wisconsin weekly and includes unique flavors including red and green chili, jalapeño, dill, garlic and Cajun.
Additional best sellers include aged cheddar, cheddar blue cheese and Pueblo Jack cheese, which combines Monterey Jack with Pueblo green chiles. Meats from the 140-year-old Usinger’s Famous Sausage include summer sausage, bratwurst, Polish sausage and bacon. Available mustards and horseradish are made in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where Peissig attended college. Local honey comes from Schmidt Apiaries. Another local company, Cacao Chemistry supplies irresistible chocolates.
Gift boxes are immensely popular especially during the Christmas season. Small, medium and large sizes contain an enticing variety of cheeses, cheese spreads, meats, crackers, condiment, and chocolates. Not only is this a thoughtful gift for businesses to give away to employees and customers, but many customers purchase the boxes for their own enjoyment.
Peissig offers a wealth of knowledge about selecting products in his shop, providing assistance with choices as well as thoughtfully answering questions. As far as he knows, The Cheese Haus is the only specialty cheese shop in Colorado Springs. Most of his clientele would prefer to shop locally, rather than seeking out the cheese shops in Pueblo, Longmont and Denver.
As a local business owner, Peissig sees himself in a unique position to give back to the community that supports him. The Cheese Haus sponsors Colorado Springs Majestic Baseball, a youth baseball team that travels throughout the state of Colorado. The shop also sponsors a local bowling team, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Teen Court, and the Feast of St. Arnold beer festival regularly benefit from Peissig’s generosity and community involvement.
The Cheese Haus can easily be found a few blocks south of U.S. 24 at 1380 S. 21st St. on the West side of Colorado Springs. A large yellow sign is easily visible on the west side of the road, and the open and airy shop has ample parking available. For further information, go to thecheesehaus.com.