The Wedge and Wheel rolls into downtown Stillwater


Photo by Madison Engstrum

Owner of the Wedge and Wheel Chris Kohtz poses in front of his new, unopened cheese shop in downtown Stillwater.

Hannah Crawford

Foodie Chris Kohtz has had an appreciation for quality cheese ever since he went to La Fromagerie, a cheese shop in London. This was his inspiration to start his own cheese shop in Stillwater.

Kohtz has lived in Lake Elmo for 12 years and loves the culture and history of the St. Croix area.  Starting a cheese shop was not a quick decision for Kohtz.  He researched for 2-3 years in many places like Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Seattle, New York and Chicago to prepare for the switch from a long broadcasting career to owning a food business.

Though he is starting from scratch in the food business, Kohtz intends to do things the natural and community-friendly way.

“One of the important things we want to tell is the story of the products.  Where they came from, farm to table,” said Kohtz.

The Wedge and Wheel will offer many different types of artisan cheeses, a wide selection because quite a few of high quality cheeses are seasonal.  The products accompanying these artisan cheeses are just as unique as the cheese itself; the choices can be anywhere from olives and nuts to fancy sodas and cured meats or charcuterie.  Kohtz is hoping to get the legal ability to serve some select wine and beer alongside his other product choices.

“I think that this new artisan cheese shop could be an interesting addition to Stillwater because we have a lot of fast food and then we have restaurants but this is something new,” said junior Lauryn Millard.

Stillwater Area High School students seem to be taking well to the idea of having a unique shop in downtown Stillwater, being that the Wedge and Wheel will be the only cheese shop on the east side of the metro.

Sophomore Brooke Espelien said, “I would for sure go just to see because I have never done anything like it before.”

Students are not the only people in the community ready to support the Wedge and Wheel.  Kohtz told of a supportive city in general, including officials who helped him get the legal information he needed to start up a small business.  Kohtz even said it was more simple than he thought it would be.

It is a good thing the process was simple because Kohtz is starting this adventure on his own.  He is sharing this business without partners though he has the full support of his wife.

The Stillwater community and Kohtz are both excited for the soon opening of the Wedge and Wheel.