City looks to register slogan ‘World’s Cheese Capital’

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – You don’t have to ask anyone in these parts where the Cheese Capital of the World is – they all know it’s Plymouth.

The slogan is used to promote local events, as an identifier by the local radio station, and has been used for decades here.

But, Chairman Lee Gentine told the Redevelopment Authority at their meeting Thursday, it’s not trademarked or copyrighted to the city of Plymouth.

Indeed, a company located in Green Bay, Language Links LLC, has registered the trademark “World’s Cheese Capital.”

“There’s no indication that that mark is being used at all,” by Language Links, Gentine told the RDA members.

Gentine cited the use of “Plymouth, Wisconsin – the World’s Cheese Capital” by the Plymouth Arts Center and WJUB radio, among others. He also presented a photograph of a 1950s billboard outside Plymouth utilizing the same slogan.

Working with Sargento and Sartori officials, Gentine said design proposals are being created utilizing the slogan.

“We would like to build something through our downtown marketing (using the slogan) and would try to do a more aggressive job in creating Plymouth as a destination,” tied in with cheese, Gentine continued.

Once the city shows use through brochures, e-mails, websites, Facebook and other means, Gentine told the RDA, “then we would be in a position to go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to get it protected.”

“I think it’s a brilliant idea,” City Administrator Brian Yerges said of the plan. “From a tourism perspective, from an economic development perspective, from a downtown perspective, I can’t think of a better strategy for marketing the city,” he explained.

Gentine noted that the city is being marketed well as a mural destination, emphasizing the two dozen Walldog murals in the downtown. “But we’ve got to make Plymouth look more like a cheese town, which it is.”

RDA member and Plymouth Arts Center Director Donna Hahn agreed, noting that many out-of-town visitors to the center ask what the city is best known for.

“This can lead to positive things in marketing and advertising Plymouth,” RDA member David Williams agreed.

Gentine said the intention is to have the trademark owned by either the city or the RDA.

Yerges said the idea would be to license the slogan for use by the chamber and other entities for promotional efforts at no charge, subject to city and/or RDA approval.

Gentine credited Jim Sartori of Sartori Foods in helping to spur the effort to trademark the slogan.

“We want to sit down with the other cheese businesses to make them aware of what we’re doing,” Gentine said.

Yerges reported that demolition of the attached garage at 31 E. Mill St. was near completion and that work on demolishing the addition on the 133 E. Mill St. building should occur later this month.

Both buildings were bought by the city in foreclosure, with an eye to eventually selling them for rehabilitation and redevelopment.


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