Wisconsin Cheeseman Closing | Business
Workers at the Wisconsin Cheeseman Company in Sun Prairie were told Thursday that the company is closing.
Wisconsin Cheeseman President and CEO Dave Mack said the company is being restructured. He said 80 mostly full-time employees were put on notice Thursday that they could lost their jobs in two months.
Wisconsin Cheeseman is made up of three businesses, including the well-known catalog, fundraising and gift basket businesses.
Mack said the 65-year-old company's headquarters in Sun Prairie has lost money for the past four years. He blamed the recession and an empty 267,000 square foot unused space the company hasn't been able to sell.
Sun Prairie Mayor Joe Chase, who worked at Wisconsin Cheeseman in the 1980s, said he will do what he can to keep one of the city's biggest private employers.
"At this point, the city is really here as a resource. We believe in business retention in any way we can and they haven't come to the city and actually asked for any particular handouts of any kind," Chase said. "They feel they have a team that they're contracting with that will be able to go out and be able to find viable investors or buyers for their property. We're hoping that they can find investors to keep that business here in Sun Prairie."
Mack said he will continue to try to sell the entire company as is. If that doesn't happen, the company will likely liquidate all its assets.
Mack said that while it was certainly a sad and disappointing day for employees, it didn't come as a surprise as he has met with them regularly about the situation.