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MADRID, Iowa – “It was a very overwhelming moment,” says Sisters In Cheese owner Chelsea Johnson, describing how she felt when she realized two of her big business days were back-to-back in 2022. The charcuterie boards, or grazing boxes of cheese, meats and other finger foods her business turns out, are popular on both of these big food days. “We usually get about the same volume of orders for the Super Bowl as we do for Valentine’s Day.”

Johnson thinks she and her small staff, all women at this point, have it figured out. Friday their space on State Street in Madrid was bustling, handling the usual flow of walk-ins for breakfast sandwiches while topping Tiles for Two with pepperoni roses and garnishing Grazing Boxes with cheeses and meats.

Sisters In Cheese markets itself on Instagram, Facebook and the web in general. Johnson learned social media marketing in her corporate world life before being drawn back to food. “I gotta work in food apparently,” she laughs.

As a small town small business owner, Johnson reaches out to other nearby small businesses to partner in ways to help both, especially since COVID-19 changed so much of how business is conducted. For example, one place to pickup a Sisters In Cheese box is Snus Hill Winery, also in Madrid. Johnson also has products from other nearby small businesses in her shop. Sugar Grove Goods in Dallas Center, Marmalade Moon in Ames and Fenders Brewery in Polk City are some other businesses Sisters In Cheese works with.