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Local Cheese Shop Marks 1st Anniversary with Best Sales Month

the-wedge-wheel-staff-chris-kohtzA year ago, amid sub-zero temperatures, owner Chris Kohtz opened his business in the historic downtown district of Stillwater, MN. Just missing the lucrative holiday season, Kohtz worked hard to get the word out about his artisan cheese shop, The Wedge and Wheel. “Despite the egregious winter, floods, road closures and major highway construction, our sales beat my initial projection for the year,” said Kohtz.

We’ve been following Kohtz’s yearlong startup story since day one, and had a chance to visit with him on his anniversary date.

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[VIDEO] Cheese Shop Posts Record Month With Help from Email and TripAdvisor

November 10, 2014

The Wedge and Wheel Cheese ShopTen months have passed since owner Chris Kohtz opened the doors of his artisan cheese shop, The Wedge and Wheel. Throughout his first year, Kohtz has experimented with various types of marketing and advertising efforts – both online and offline. After achieving his strongest month in sales to date, Kohtz shared with us what he believes is fueling his continued growth.

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Startup Cheese Shop Strengthens Brand and Awareness with New Signage

The Wedge and Wheel Storefront ImageNearly eight months after opening his front door, owner Chris Kohtz believes the outside of his cheese shop is finally living up to what’s happening on the inside.  After investing in a new awning and signage, Kohtz sees these improvements as a way to help increase awareness and generate more walk-ins into his startup, The Wedge and Wheel.

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Email Newsletter Strategy Is Key to Startup Cheese Shop’s Success

The Wedge and Wheel Owner Chris Kohtz Since January 2014, we’ve been following the startup story of The Wedge and Wheel, an artisan cheese shop located 20 miles from our headquarters in Stillwater, MN.  Owner Chris Kohtz has graciously given both his time and insight into his marketing strategy, allowing us to share his journey on our blog.  While Kohtz has tried most every marketing lever, a consistent theme has emerged when asked “what’s working best” to help spread word-of mouth and drive repeat business: Email Marketing.

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[VIDEO] Startup Cheese Shop Uses SurveyMonkey: Gets Valuable Customer Feedback

Chris Kohtz Owner of Wedge and Wheel Photo

Six months after opening his artisan cheese bar and shop, The Wedge and Wheel, owner Chris Kohtz decided it was time to find out what his customers thought about his business.  Using SurveyMonkey’s free online software, he easily created a questionnaire geared to generate feedback about location, price, hours of operation and customer service.  Kohtz was pleased with the 14% response rate and was happy to share his results with us.

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150 Days After Opening, Cheese Shop Dips Toe into Facebook Advertising

Wedge and Wheel PhotoSince covering the startup story about artisan cheese shop, The Wedge and Wheel, owner Chris Kohtz has consistently shared that his marketing strategy would largely depend on no-cost tactics.  But after a dip in sales in April, he has since ventured into the world of online advertising, launching Facebook ads and boosted posts, as well as committing to a three-month display ad campaign on a local public radio website. 

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Local Events Help Cheesemonger Continue to Fuel His Startup Business

Chris Kohtz, Owner of The  Wedge and Wheel PhotoWhen Chris Kohtz opened his cheese shop on the first business day of the year, he knew connecting with the local community would be vital to the success of his startup.  Three months later, he’s still reaching out to businesses and locals to find creative ways to partner and grow awareness for The Wedge and Wheel.  Chris said, “Our new and return customers continue to be really enthusiastic, so we’re just feeling really positive about things.” He added, “Looking at the numbers for March, we were up again.  I haven’t done the exact percentage, but it was a healthy increase over February, so our trajectory continues to be very strong.”

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Local Cheese Shop Sees 20% Growth in Second Month Since Opening Day

Chris Kohtz PhotoIt’s been 60 days since Chris Kohtz opened his shop, The Wedge and Wheel, just off main street in picturesque Stillwater, MN. With another month under his belt, Chris said he’s pleased with how business is going. “Enthusiasm has just gone up since January– we’ve had a great welcome.” He added, “We were just looking at the numbers for February and we were up 20% over January.”

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Startup Cheese Shop Owner Hopes the Honeymoon Continues

February 11, 2014

Chris Kohtz Owner Wedge and WheelChris Kohtz spent a full year preparing to launch his gourmet cheese shop – everything from grassroots customer research, to financing, to finding the perfect retail spot located on a popular river-crossing road.  With his business plan in hand and remodeling complete, he opened his doors on January 2, 2014, and unveiled The Wedge and Wheel.

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The Cheese Story

Wedge and Wheel

Like many new start-ups, Chris Kohtz had a passion to do something really special.  Inspired after a trip to England a few years ago – where over 700 different cheeses are produced – Chris put his energy into studying about the industry and connecting with like-minded cheese enthusiasts across the world.

His dream?  To open a gourmet cheese shop where local residents would have the opportunity to taste the extraordinary flavors of cheeses from around the world, as well as from nearby farms.

He opened the doors on January 2, 2014 – literally a New Year’s business.  Although the first week saw record cold temperatures, his shop had a constant stream of locals, curious to see what this new store had to offer.

With nearly 500 Facebook followers and several media calls, Chris is well on his way getting out the word. Please join us as we continue to follow his 1st-year journey of The Wedge and Wheel!