top of page

Our Journey

Life's greatest joys come from sharing good food,

especially cheese! 

Hi! We are Eric and Kelly Knudsen and we are a husband and wife team aiming to serve our customers and community through kindness and comfort foods, specializing in all things cheeze, specifically:

hand-dipped, beer-battered deep fried cheeze curds

poutine loaded fries and

grilled cheeze sandwiches.


The name Cozmic Charlie's Cheeze Shack is inspired from a Grateful Dead song titled “Cosmic Charlie” and our love of cheese! The idea for Cozmic Charlie's Cheeze Shack started in January 2019 and detailed planning began in April 2022. 


Our story:


After moving to Estacada, OR in 2017, we couldn’t find Wisconsin-style deep fried cheese curds anywhere. That’s when we decided we needed to bring this product to the PNW Food Truck market.


In the spring of 2022, we decided to make a major life change from our jobs as a librarian and Pest Control Technician, and put our energy and work ethic into a cheese business and hence, Cozmic Charlie’s Cheeze Shack was born. We also serve grilled cheese sandwiches, all of them named after band members of the Grateful Dead, another one of our favorite things. Our love language is food and being cheeseheads from Wisconsin helped solidify our interest in opening the Cheeze Shack and bringing deep fried cheese curds to the area. 


We love the Grateful Dead and cheese:


The Grateful Dead's first live show was in 1965 and a 1970s music critic suggested that the four greatest musicians who ever lived, in alphabetical order, are Bach, Beethoven, The Grateful Dead, and Mozart. The Dead's music, lyrics and way of life continue to inspire and bring people together, both young and old, just like cheezy food, and we wanted to honor and share our appreciation and love of the music through our menu!


Grilled cheese sandwiches were a major staple in the parking lot at Dead shows and was a way for Deadheads to make money while touring and following the Dead. Grilled cheese sandwiches still are a staple at music festivals and concerts. At Cozmic Charlie's we intend to make them grateful style, with crispy brown edges and ooey, gooey cheesy goodness, served with kindness and love, just like momma used to.


We make our deep fried cheese curd batter fresh and hand dip the curds for melty, fresh satisfaction! The curds we use are from Ellsworth, WI, known as the cheese curd capital of Wisconsin! 


Our Experience

Working in kitchens

Our first jobs were in kitchens, Kelly as a trayline aide at St. Michael's Hospital where she was born in Stevens Point, WI and Eric as a dishwasher at the Red Mill Supper Club, also in Stevens Point, WI.  

After those first jobs in our teens, we spent many years working in kitchens, bars, and supper clubs doing everything from dishwashing, serving, hostessing, cooking and bartending. 

Eric and Kelly understand the importance of customer service and are willing to go the extra mile for each and every customer. At one point when the couple first got married, they both worked at a tavern in Wisconsin and they ran a 6 hour shift by themselves, serving drinks, taking food orders, cooking the food, serving the food and keeping drinks flowing. They worked these shifts at different times, ALONE. During the winter months, groups of snowmobilers would come in, sometimes 5-10 at a time, and both Kelly and Eric could hold their own, doing it all with a smile.

bottom of page