The beloved Viroqua delicatessen attracted crowds of hungry sandwich lovers this past Wednesday after renovating and reopening The Cheese Corner.
Viroqua, WIS.—Local sandwich lovers in Viroqua rejoiced this week, as The Cheese Corner reopened its doors to the public after a year-long closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Crowds would be seen at lunchtime on Wednesday en masse, entering and exiting the newly renovated building on 323 South Main Street, as the delicatessen’s dedicated following got their first chance to order their favorite subs since April of 2020. Hungry visitors got to see the newly renovated spaces for the first time in person, noticing an expanded dining room, two new gender-neutral bathrooms, a large new window along the south side of the building, and a decorative chrome facelift added to the building’s exterior.
“The Cheese Corner’s first day was extremely busy,” said Denise Copper, Deli Manager. “Our new staff are doing a great job learning and making scrumptious sandwiches. We are so excited to be back open!” The volume of customer orders on their first day was high enough to force the Cheese Corner to close two hours early, due to the industries’ food shortages.
A flurry of activity could be seen behind the deli counter as a number of deli clerks in brand new red and black uniforms worked fast to fill incoming orders. The menu remains largely intact from what was served prior to last year’s closure, as VARC aims to preserve as much of the deli’s original flavors as possible. Some items were temporarily off the menu due to food shortages and will return once those ingredients can be sourced and supplied. The Cheese Corner’s famous cheese trays will be available for order in October of 2021. Online ordering via the website (www.cheese-corner.com) will roll out in 2022—in the meantime, carryout orders can be placed by phone at (608) 637-7779. More information regarding the Cheese Corner’s menu can be found on their website at https://cheese-corner.com/menu.
VARC’s opening of the Cheese Corner occurred in three phases, to ready staff for the predicted overwhelming influx of customers as well as to streamline operating procedures. On August 27, the staff at VARC, Inc. in Viroqua received private invitations to sample the first tastes of Cheese Corner fare since April 2020, allowing deli clerks to test their training, speed, and sandwich crafting knowledge with actual sub orders. On August 28, VARC Inc. widened the net of service to privately invited members of the community for more training and to receive surveyed feedback.
On September 2 VARC’s clients took up their training posts, making the Cheese Corner officially a Group Employment site for the development of people with varied abilities in the Viroqua area. Group employment offers VARC clients the opportunity to learn real-world employment skills within their community, acclimating them to the workforce and leads them to a more independent quality of life. Below are Karla and Andrea, slicing up raw foods into usable sandwich-making components.
September 21, from 9:00 – 10:00 AM
The public is invited to the Cheese Corner on 323 Main Street for its official ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house on September 21, from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Follow the VARC and Cheese Corner Facebook pages for more up-to-date event information.
History of the Cheese Corner
Viroqua native Judy Dresen established the Cheese Corner in May of 1986 in an effort to give herself something to do. Her daughter Tina Tryggestad bought it and took over the deli in 1999, maintaining this favorite community spot and its hometown atmosphere for the next 34 years. “There have been ups and downs but mostly just great memories that this shop, the wonderful employees, and the amazing guests have enjoyed together and given me,” says Tina. “I always wanted a place where people wanted to come to work as well as shop every day and I think we all accomplished that.”
Concurrent to the uncertain climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tina and her family made the difficult choice to close their business in April of 2020. Public outcry and the residual disappointment was noticed by VARC, and leadership kindled an ambition to revive it. Eventually, VARC reached out to Tina about purchasing the deli, and an offer was accepted on February 11, 2021. “The Cheese Corner is a beloved staple of the Viroqua and the surrounding area,” says Liz Filter, President | CEO of VARC. “We’re beyond thrilled to be a part of continuing the legacy while offering new employment and skill training opportunities for individuals with varying abilities.” Shortly after the news broke that the Cheese Corner would live on, VARC began the months-long process of renovating this century-old building, slating its official opening for September 2021. VARC is happy to continue on the legacy of the Cheese Corner and proud to weave this neighborhood sandwich shop into the fabric of its growing roster of services.
For the latest updates on the Cheese Corner, please visit their Facebook page @cheesecorner and check out their website at www.cheese-corner.com. To learn more about VARC, Inc. visit their website at www.varcinc.com and follow them on Facebook (@varcinc) and Instagram (@varc_inc).
323 S. Main Street
Viroqua, WI 54665
(608) 637 – 7779
Monday – Friday: 10 AM – 7 PM
Saturday: 9 AM – 3 PM