RDA ‘colorizes’ cheese logo

by Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The logo for “Plymouth, Wisconsin Cheese Capital of the World” will be a blue-ribbon item.

The Redevelopment Authority Thursday was presented with several color versions – one-color and two-color – of the logo they approved last month by member Nicole Pavlica.

The colorized versions were developed by designer Seth Meierotto of BarkinSpider Studio in Green Bay, who created the original design.

Pavlica’s initial recommendation was to move forward with a one-color design and she conceded that blue worked better than a yellow or orange hue to represent cheese as the sole color.

But RDA members were drawn to an alternative design with the blue color and several elements – the block of cheese with an outline of the state of Wisconsin and the slogan “Cheese Capital of the World” - in a deep yellow.

“I think that screams off the page,” Downtown Manager Randy Schwoerer said of that alternative. “I’m surprised at how much stronger that is.”

Pavlica said the next step is to develop a style guide for the new logo – which will be trademarked by the RDA – to insure consistency among those licensed to use the logo.

“We want consistency of use, which is true of just about everybody who creates a logo,” RDA chair Lee Gentine commented.

He said the intention is to file the final logo design with the RDA’s application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “Plymouth Wisconsin Cheese Capital of the World.”

Schwoerer reported on upcoming events planned for downtown, starting with the first-ever Taste of Plymouth event June 11.

The Downtown Plymouth Association’s next planned event is a Family Day Saturday, July 18.

“That day is built around the theme of ‘touch a truck’,” Schwoerer told the group. The area between Mill Street and the Mullet River will be filled with more than two dozen trucks of all sizes that children and families can examine closely.

The event, proceeds of which will go to the police and fire departments, will include a Grand Prix of Cheese race down the Mullet River with numbered styrofoam cheese blocks.

Gentine presented preliminary plans for the planned conversion of the RDA-owned vacant building at 133 E. Mill St.

The upper floor will be two apartments while the lower floor will be a cheese store and heritage center.

“It will be called the Plymouth Cheese Counter,” Gentine said. Officials are working the Retailworks firm in Mequon to develop a pro-forma business plan for the first-floor business.

“We’re looking at signage that would be permanent and would talk about the history (of the cheese industry in Plymouth). We’re also looking at the possibility of the lower (basement) level becoming an interactive area for kids, but we would have to find funding for that,” Gentine added.

Responding to a question from RDA member and Alderman Greg Hildebrand, Gentine assured RDA members that, “there is no city funding going into this building.

“We are continuing to assemble our funding,” Gentine continued. The city is pursuing a $200,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. for the project. “We’re hoping to hear from them by the end of June.”

Another avenue being explored is to transfer the building from the RDA to the Plymouth Industrial Development Corp. As a private group, the PIDC would be eligible for tax credits that the RDA can not receive as a public agency.

When the original development costs are paid off - in five or six years, Gentine estimated - the building could be transferred back to the RDA.

The goal is for the building to be self-sustaining financially through rent from the apartment, revenue from sales at the cheese counter and possibly admission to the children’s interactive area if that becomes part of the final plan, Gentine said.

“We know our largest expense in that store is going to be labor,” Gentine conceded.

He said that the expectation is that the 1,200-square-foot apartments would rent for $900 to $1,000 a month.

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