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Bringing a Southern Culinary Tradition North

When life’s road led Martha Davis Kipcak north from her native Texas to Milwaukee, she fell in love with Wisconsin’s world-class cheese, but longed for a favorite Southern staple: pimento cheese. It was then that the community food advocate and chef decided to set out on a new culinary adventure. Mighty Fine Food was born with Martha’s Pimento Cheese leading the way, marrying the best of Southern foodway traditions with the best of Wisconsin’s finest contribution to American eating: great cheese.

Martha’s Pimento Cheese is the evolution of generations of pimento-cheese-eating and pimento-cheese-making, weaving the culinary traditions of Martha’s Southern roots to her new found home in America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin. Martha grew up in the Piney Woods of East Texas (hometown of Tyler), where the sensibilities lean more southern than western, holding the kitchen and dining tables in high regard as the source of nourishment and enlightenment.

A philosophy of sustainability

MPCteam_OurStoryAs a community food system activist in Milwaukee, Martha has dedicated herself to creating a food environment that is socially just, ecologically sustainable and economically vibrant. In keeping with that spirit, she founded Mighty Fine Food to produce small batch, handmade, high quality food that honors the producers on the farm, the factory, the kitchen and elevates the role of good food well made in our lives.

Martha’s Pimento Cheese is handcrafted in small batches by the Mighty Fine Food team at Clock Shadow Creamery, one of a handful of urban cheese factories in the United States. The Clock Shadow Building is a cutting-edge green building in the Walker’s Point neighborhood south of downtown Milwaukee using locally sourced and recycled materials, innovative sustainable technologies and a deep commitment to community. Visitors are welcome to tour the Creamery and purchase an array of great Wisconsin cheese at the retail shop.

If our retail outlets are within reach of MPC production site at Clock Shadow Creamery at the edge of downtown Milwaukee, we are proud to partner with FLAVOR Cycle for our delivery system. That means Martha’s Pimento Cheese is delivered by bicycle, powered by the strength of determined cyclists undeterred by Wisconsin weather.

It all starts with great Wisconsin cheese

Martha’s Pimento Cheese showcases great aged Wisconsin Cheddar cheese sourced from Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, WI, the first cheese factory in the country to label its cheeses as 100% rBGH free in 1993. Bob Wills, Master Cheesemaker and owner of Cedar Grove Cheese and Clock Shadow Creamery, is known across the country for producing and incubating great cheese and great cheesemakers. Cedar Grove is home to the Living Machine, an innovative water purification system which takes wastewater from the cheese plant and filters it through microbes, tropical plants, fish and snails, returning clean water to the earth in nearby Honey Creek.

Martha’s Pimento Cheese also sources Aged WI Cheddar Cheese from their home production site of Clock Shadow Creamery, owned by the good folks of Cedar Grove Cheese. The Mighty Fine Food team shares space with the cheese makers of Clock Shadow, which produce a wide array of fresh cheeses (curds, ricotta, chevre, quark to name a few) besides the top quality Cheddar cheese that makes MPC so delicious.

MarthaWinsatACSThe Oscars of Specialty and Artisan Cheese: American Cheese Society contest

Martha’s Pimento Cheese took first place, the Blue Ribbon, and Martha’s Pimento Cheese with Jalapeños took second place, the Red Ribbon, in the 2013 American Cheese Society competition, held in Madison, Wisconsin August 2013. In our first year of production, we were thrilled to receive such high honors for our first two products.

Read more about this award and other fine MPC news on our press page.

A love affair with Peppers

Black pepper. Green pepper. Red pepper. Love them all.

Peppers of all shapes and sizes and degrees of heat provide just the right zing to brighten Martha’s into an award winning pimento cheese. When possible, peppers are sourced from our hard working farmers of Southeast Wisconsin. We are especially keen on purchasing fresh jalapeño peppers from the skilled farmers of Fondy Farm in Port Washington, Wisconsin and the youth gardeners who grow amazing produce at Alice’s Garden in the heart of Milwaukee, WI.

Packaging that stays out of the landfill

Sourcing appropriate containers for Martha’s Pimento Cheese has been an education. We had settled in on handsome packaging made from 100% plant-based plastic, but the company decided to not continue manufacturing the package we used. Argh. While compostable containers are desired, it does require municipalities to get on board with wide-scale commercial composting operations. We’re not quite there yet. Here’s to hoping we keep moving in that responsible direction.

Martha’s Pimento Cheese is now packaged in fully recyclable plastic containers (which look just like the earlier compostable ones). After polishing off a tub of MPC, we hope you toss our containers into the recycling bin, or wash them out to hold your leftover supper for lunch tomorrow or make a nifty container to keep those spare paper clips. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose.

Mighty Fine Food LLC is committed to elevating good food to the highest level of social and environmental responsibility. Thank you kindly for sharing our values.

Onward and upward together.