About Us

Michael and Janice Thomas

Cheese Educators

Michael and Janice began a joint journey in the world of food in 1983.  Michael, a commercial real estate broker, and Janice a nurse in the metro Phoenix area moved their young family to Tucson and over the next 15 years opened 4 restaurants and a catering company.  They sold that company in 1998 and travelled the world for the next six years.  Janice's love for food led her to the Cordon Bleu in Paris to follow her dream of becoming a chef and instructor.  In 2004, they pulled up stakes again and returned to Michael's home state of Wisconsin.  They purchased a 150 year old farm in Door County and began a cooking school in a restored log home.  After outgrowing the space, they purchased the original schoolhouse in the village of Ellison Bay and moved the cooking school into this historic building.

MICHAEL CHEESE WITH BORDER.jpgThe love of good food, especially locally produced food, led Michael and Janice to the world of artisan cheese.  They spent over three years crisscrossing the "dairy state" visiting Cheesemakers and getting to know the incredible array of fine, handmade cheeses being produced.  In 2010, they converted the "marketplace" in the cooking school to the Schoolhouse Artisan Cheese, specializing in only Wisconsin artisan cheeses.  The response by the community was fantastic and by January of 2011, they secured a lease on a very unique building in Egg Harbor, to open an expanded cheese shop.  The increased size allowed us to carry a larger variety of cheese, as well as some of the finest dry cured meats, and other gourmet treats.  The Egg Harbor store offers sandwiches, cheese boards, salads, and a wide selection of wines, all to be enjoyed on the bistro patio in front of the store.

 

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Janice is the Chef/Instructor of the Savory Spoon Cooking School and a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.  Janice has over 20 years of experience in the food industry.  In addition to owning a catering company for 14 years, she has taught cooking classes throughout the United States.  Studies at the renowned Cordon Bleu in Paris and with well-respected chefs in Provence and Sicily have enhanced her repertoire.  Extensive travels in Mexico and studies with regional chefs in Mexico have developed her love and passion for the distinct flavors of Mexico.

Janice truly loves teaching and creating opportunities for her students to experience the very best in the tastes of local freshness and the blends of the Midwest at this seasonal cooking school in the beautiful setting of Door County, Wisconsin.  Janice develops the menu for the Schoolhouse and creates Savory Original recipes that are used in all signature products sold in the stores.  www.savoryspoon.com

 

Check out our segment on Meet the Cheesemaker Nights - hope you can join us next season!

Take a peek at our Ellison Bay location!