- Winemaking Ingredients
- Cider Making
- Winemaking Equipment
- Beer Making Ingredients
- Beer Making Equipment
- Flavorings/ Herbs/ Spices
- Fermentation Equipment
- Cleaning/ Sanitizing
- Cheese Making
- Soda Making
- Clearance / Sale
About Purple Foot USA
The Purple has Moved!
5225 W. Forest Home Ave. Greenfield WI 53219
Forest Home View
Morgan Ave. View Main Entrance
Store Hours:Regular: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:30-4:00 Friday 9:30-6:00 Saturday 9:30-4:00 Closed on Sunday and Monday Open Christmas Eve & New Years Eve 9:30-3:00Closed Memorial Day, Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Years Day
Established in 1969
Serving our customers from the same location for over 42years!
The Purple Foot is Milwaukee’s premier home fermentation store.
The Purple Foot was started in 1969 by Ken and Clara Geist. In December of 1969 the store on 92nd street was opened and was our home until we relocated to The Weiler Farmhouse in April of 2017. In 1972 Mary & Jerry Uthemann started working for Ken and Clara and in 1983 they took over the operation and purchased all rights to the store. They have been the driving force ever since. Over the years Mary and Jerry’s three children have worked in the store from time to time. In 2006 their daughter Karen came back to work, after several years pursuing other interests. Karen took over the store operations officially in 2010.
Meet our expert staff:
Over 40 Years of Home Fermentation Experience!
(75 years if you add us all up!)
Mary & Jerry Uthemann
Jerry and Mary both immigrated from Germany where beer was made in many
homes and every pub! Their love of home fermentation is obvious. Mary and Jerry have earned many awards for their home made wines and beers in some of the most prestigious competitions and are highly respected in the wine and beer industries.
Karen is Mary and Jerry’s oldest daughter and has worked at the store on and off during her life, she started making wine in the early 1980’s but stopped for several years while raising children and pursuing other career interests. In 2006 Karen came back to the store with plans to take the family business on to the next generation. Karen is an excellent winemaker and beer brewer, She has also won many awards for her wines in some of the most prestigious competitions in the world, and is creative in her home fermentation endeavors . Mom and Dad have taught her well!
Welcome back Jaime Gilbert.
As many of you know, during the pandemic on 2020 I ended up here mostly alone. I tried to take care of everything myself, which was very difficult. When David told me he was leaving, I reached out to Jaime to come back in. She worked with me about 9 years ago for a few years. She left when she found out she was pregnant. She had a difficult pregnancy and her son, John was born with some disabilities. She never returned to outside of the home work so she could care for him. She agreed to come back if she could bring John to work sometimes. I love children so I gladly agreed.
Jaime is my newest daughter!
Which makes John my newest grandson. In March of 2021 my husband Gerry retired and I started thinking about my own exit strategy. As we move into the future I will be teaching Jaime all aspects of the business with the understanding that she will one day carry on our family tradition. Her husband Don is "on board" with the plan so look forward to seeing him around the farmhouse as well!
Jim Remus, Jim Sowinski, Troy Sontag, and David Weber are longer actively working at the The Purple Foot. However we are still in touch on a regular basis as friends. They will always be a part of our Purple foot family.
Jim Remus was with us since 2006, he retired in May 2017. He is a Master Gardner who enjoys making “Country wines” from the variety of fruits he grows in his yard. Jim also makes his own beer and has more than 20 years of fermentation experience.
Jim Sowinski joined our staff in April of 2010. He is our most experienced home brewer. Jim has been home brewing for many years and makes great wine too. Jim is focused on his full time job.
Troy Sontag is back to being an electrician full time, however he still helps out on occasion. He has been making wine and beer for many years. Troy Sontag is back to being an electrician full time, however he still helps out on occasion.
David Weber joined us in April 2017 to take over Jim's hours on Monday and Tuesday. He also worked at Water 2 Wine in Brookfield, so he has excellent wine making experience. David now is also focusing on his full time job.
Mary passed away in February of 2010 but Jerry will still be around, just not all of the time! For those of you who might be wondering, Mom knew there would come a time when she wouldn't be here and prepared for that day. She taught me well, over the years she trained me to operate the store. Now more than ever I'm ready for where we can go, with the support of my family and friends! The Purple Foot will continue to supply the wine and beer making community!
The next generation is already in training, Karen’s sons enjoy home brewing
and her daughter in laws make their own wine!
As we move into the future we have many plans which include combining the best of new available technology with the old world charm of the original store front. For those who prefer to use their computers we now have our website with easy access to information, pricing and specials.
We all share a passion for home fermentation and love sharing that passion with others.