History

We have strong multi-generational ties throughout the Wisconsin Cheese industry.  The tradition of cheese in the Novak family began with George Joseph Novak, who was Bill Novak II’s grandfather.  He was involved with 4 different cheese factories in the Northeastern region of Wisconsin.  He was the cheese maker for Argonne Cheese as well as Oneida Farmers Cheese Factory.  George then owned 12 Corners Cheese factory in Black Creek, WI for 6 years until he sold it in 1957.  Novak then owned and operated Stangleville Cheese Factory until 1967, when he closed its doors, and sold the milk to Krohn’s, which is now known as Trega in Luxemburg, WI.

William O. Novak Sr., Bill’s father, started in the cheese business when he owned Sunny Side Cheese Factory, near  the Wayside/Greenleaf area.  In March of 1964, Novak Sr. merged Sunny Side Cheese with Hebels Corner Cheese by diverting all of the milk that was going to Sunny Side and sending it to Hebels Corner in Denmark, WI.  Bill Sr. & Ruth Novak owned and operated at Hebels Corner until December of 1979 when it was sold, to what is now Bel Gioioso Cheese Factory.  Once Novak Sr. was out of the cheese making business, he then became more involved at Wisconsin Accredited, where he had been president since 1973.  Wisconsin Accredited lead the nation at that time for custom waxing of 12 lb cheese midgets.


3rd generation cheese maker, Bill Novak II, spent the early years of his life learning the art of cheese making.  He worked for his father’s cheese factory, Hebel’s Corners.  Bill went on to study Agricultural Business at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.  Upon graduation, Bill worked for 13 years at Safeway Stores in their natural cheese cutting operation & their process cheese department.  In 1996, Great Lakes Cheese bought the plant and promoted Bill to into the procurement department.  With this experience, Bill has a great understanding of how the industry works on the level of cheese production in a small plant as well as how to cut & wrap and blend & mix cheeses in the processed cheese field.  This allows Bill to relate with our customers wants, needs & ongoing issues and trends in the industry.

After 7 years with Great Lakes Co., Bill worked shortly for other companies, and formed Novak’s Cheese of Wisconsin, Inc. in February 2006.

Since Novak’s Cheese was formed in 2006, business has been steady which lead to the company’s addition of Bill’s son, Ben, in November of 2007.  Ben graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a degree in Public Relations & Communication.  Ben & Bill work together on all of the cheese purchases and sales - both Bill and Ben are Licensed Wisconsin Cheese Graders.

ThreeGenerations
The Novak Men:  (left to right) Ben; Bill, Sr; and Bill, II