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502 W. Washington St. Marquette, MI

Cheese Madness at the Co-op


Cheese Madness FAQ


  • Fill out our Cheese Madness bracket (available in the store or download one here)
  • Turn in completed bracket to the MFC Cheese Counter by March 12 for a chance to win
  • Sample & vote in the store (dates below)
  • One entry per person
  • No purchase necessary – FREE to enter!



  • Everyone who correctly identifies the 4 Cheese Madness Finalists will win a cheese wedge (Monger’s choice), and be entered to win the grand prize
  • GRAND PRIZE: a private cheese tasting wine/beer pairings

Important dates

  • Sampling & voting will happening weekly:
    • Thursdays, 4-6 p.m. (March 8, March 15, March 22, March 29, April 5, April 12)
    • Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (March 10, March 17, March 24, March 31, April 7, April 14)
    • Winning cheeses from each round announced March 13, March 19, March 26, April 2, April 9
  • Winners announced on April 16 (Grand prize winner will be announced on social media, other others will receive phone call)
  • All prizes must be picked up in the store no later than April 23

The Lineup

Blue Division:

Stilton: Stilton is an English cheese, produced in two varieties: Blue, known for its characteristic strong smell and taste, and the lesser-known White. Both have been granted the status of a protected designation of origin by the European Commission, which requires that only cheese produced in the three counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire, and made according to a strict code, may be called “Stilton.”

Roquefort: This sheep’s milk cheese is white, tangy, crumbly and slightly moist, with distinctive veins of blue mold. It has characteristic odor and flavor with a notable taste of butyric acid; the blue veins provide a sharp tang. It has no rind; the exterior is edible and slightly salty. One of the world’s best known blue cheeses, though similar cheeses are produced elsewhere, EU law dictates that only those cheeses aged in the natural Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon may bear the name Roquefort.

Blue Jay: Made using a Quintuple Crème Blue recipe, The Blue Jay is rich in texture with strong buttery notes. Juniper berries are then crushed to release their perfume and are infused throughout to complement the Blue strain’s unique botanical essence. The result is a bold, yet utterly creamy Blue with a delicately piney bouquet that blooms in your mouth.

Salemville Smoked Blue: Salemville® Smokehaus Blue® Cheese is an Applewood smoked blue cheese with a sweet, slightly smoky flavor. This well-rounded cheese adds a wonderfully interesting flavor to burgers and salads.

Hard Division:

Gruyere: Gruyère is a raw cow’s milk cheese with a sweet but slightly salty flavor that varies widely with age. It is often described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming more assertive, earthy, and complex as it matures.

Comte: Comté is a French cheese produced in the Jura Massif region of Eastern France. The unpasteurized cow’s milk used is mainly from Montbeliarde Cattle or French Simmental (or cross breeds of the two). This hard mountain cheese is matured to perfection in the silence and darkness of special caves where the cheese gets its unique taste, texture and color.

BellaVitano Balsamic: The sweet, nutty, fruity flavors of our most-sought-after BellaVitano become even more desirable when blessed with a few prized drops of Modena balsamic vinegar. By gently bathing BellaVitano Gold in balsamic, cheesemaker Mike Matucheski has given it a sweet coating that burnishes the legend of BellaVitano with yet another honor from the World Cheese Awards.

BellaVitano Espresso: As a delicious treat for your breakfast or dessert, we hand-rub freshly roasted espresso into sweet, sugary BellaVitano wheels aged to creamy perfection.

Soft Division:

Donnay Chevre: Donnay Dairy is a fourth-generation family farm dedicated to producing the finest artisan goat cheese. Brad Donnay started his Saanan goat operation in 2004 and currently produces two award-winning, artisan goat cheeses: bulk Chévre, and Granite Ridge, a cave-aged goat cheese. The Donnay cheese is a farmstead product: only milk from their own herd is used. Their goats are never treated with hormones or antibiotics, and have access to pasture.

Zingermans Chevre: From farm to cheese in less than 24 hours, our Fresh Goat Cheese is spreadable, with a startlingly fresh taste and a sensually creamy texture. Using long set and drain times allows for a very bright, citrusy flavor to develop in the cheese.

Delice de Bourgogne: Délice de Bourgogne was created in 1975 by Jean Lincet at Fromagerie Lincet. This famous cheese is exclusively produced by Fromagerie Lincet for 40 years. Délice de Bourgogne is a French cow’s milk cheese from the Burgundy region of France. The cheese is rich and creamy due to the cheese-making process where cream is added to the milk during the cheese process

St. Angel Triple Cream: Saint Angel is plump and pillow-like and covered with a fluffy, white rind. Beneath its rind lies an ivory paste with the texture of chilled, whipped butter. Its flavor is buttery, too, with the right amount of salt, a somewhat strong tang (especially by the rind), and a hint of earth and white mushroom.

Semi Soft Division:

3 Month Manchego: It is easily recognizable with the herringbone pattern on its golden greenish rind. Its ivory texture is smooth and firm yet moist with tiny holes with a floral scent and a nutty flavor. Manchego is often referred as the king of Spanish cheese and has become a must on any tapas platters. Pairs well with smoked ham, quince paste, fruit and a Cabernet Sauvignon wine.

12 Month Manchego: This Manchego is aged for 12 months, and is a semi-firm cheese with a rich golden color and small holes. It ranges from mild to sharp, depending on how long it is aged.

Barber’s English Cheddar: Barber’s Farmhouse Vintage Cheddar is one of the only cheddars in the world with PDO-accreditation. Made with traditional starter cultures, West Country milk and using age-old methods, it’s typically matured for 18 months. Full-bodied and complex, it’s ideal for use in dishes that benefit from a real depth of flavour, such as a Spinach and Cheese Soufflé.

Castillo 18 mo. Aged English Cheddar: Castello® Extra Mature Cheddar is made with a secret blend of cultures and matures for up to 18 months to give the cheese a unique texture and flavor. Its exquisitely rich and sharp with balances of sweet and salty notes. Crystals develop during the production, which add a crunchy texture and delightful tasting experience.