On a good day, Foamation Inc.’s Original Cheesehead Factory can produce about 150 of its iconic cheesehead hats.
But with only three production stations operating at one time and a catalog of nearly 90 foam products, production of its best-selling item all depends on what’s going on that day at the company’s facility in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.
Summer’s peak tour season has brought as many as 100 people through the factory in the span of two hours. One tour allows visitors to take over the production line and make their own cheesehead creation.
“We know that during tour season, we’re not going to get a lot of production done so what (workers do in advance) is stockpiling,” said co-owner Mei-Lynn Nelson.
Foamation saw sales drop 99% for two months because of the COVID-19 outbreak, temporarily shutting down production, tours and its retail store. The factory reopened to the public in late May, with new health and safety protocols.