The Elegant Farmer began back in 1946 as a family dairy farm owned and operated by brothers Dave and Elmer Scheel. In addition to overseeing a herd of 50 Guernsey cattle, they sold their surplus fruits and vegetables on the busy corner of their farm property at Highway ES and J in Mukwonago. Business was brisk and a larger, permanent year-round roadside market was built in the early 50’s. By 1958, the brothers decided to concentrate solely on their newly named Davelmer Market and sold the dairy herd. To encourage families to visit the Davelmer Market, the brother’s pioneered the concept of customers coming to pick-your-own on its 65 acre farm. In 1970 Elmer’s son Dan Scheel and his wife Karen took over the business and dubbed it The Elegant Farmer.
Over the next 26 years, The Elegant Farmer expanded its business by selling locally grown fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, introducing its famed Apple Pie Baked in a Paper Bag® and other baked goods leading to spectacular growth in the Farm Bakery accompanied with the development of its Farm Kitchen, Deli and Produce sections. The pick-your-own currently includes apples and pumpkins during its Autumn Harvest Fest.
The Elegant Farmer’s specialty foods items include: Pies & Crisps, CiderBaked Ham®, Fruity Applesauces, Fruit Crisps, Jumbo Muffins & Cookies, Fruit Breads, Gourmet Sauces & Seasonings, Blue Ribbon Cheeses, Old Fashioned Gourmet Popcorn and much, much more. If you can’t make it to Mukwonago, The Elegant Farmer provides its Apple Pie Baked In A Paper Bag® and other goods to over 400 locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and nationally on-line at www.elegantfarmer.com .
The Elegant Farmer passed to the third generation of owners in 2006 as longtime employees, John Bauer and Keith Schmidt took over the helm along with John’s brother, Mike Bauer. This trio showcased a dynamic commitment to offering the quality and traditions that The Elegant Farmer had become know for during their 16-year co-partnership.
The Elegant Farmer continues its 76-year-old traditions as the fourth generation of ownership took over running the day-to-day operations of this thriving Farm Kitchen Bakery, Deli & Market in January 2023. Keith and Tina Schmidt and their daughter, Katie assumed the helm after former co-partners Mike and John Bauer retired as owners leaving their former co-partner and 25-year Elegant Farmer veteran Keith Schmidt to guide this beloved institution to its next stage.
“It is a pleasure to bring in my family to help me continue The Elegant Farmer’s long-standing traditions, family-friendly events and production of our simply the best specialty foods,” says Keith Schmidt. “Staying as a local, family-owned and operated business for four generations is one of the reasons The Elegant Farmer is so beloved. Tina and I are especially delighted to have our talented daughter bring in the next generation’s fresh eyes and forward-thinking approach to help maintain and expand The Elegant Farmer for generations to come.”