Boise resident Jeran Dahlquist has been a Chicago Bears fan from the time he was a small kid. He’s watched as the decades-old rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and the Bears has played out—and he’s also watched in amusement as Green Bay fans proudly wore those famous “Cheesehead” foam hats on game day.
Then a few years ago, it dawned on Dahlquist that he wasn’t going to let the Packers have all the fun, especially when both teams met up at either Soldiers Field in Chicago or Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Dahlquist started designing a prototype of a large wearable foam grater, the Graterhead. After all, graters are used to shred cheese.
It took a while to create a large wearable cheese grater. But this year, Dahlquist was able to pool about $20,000 with the help of his two business partners, and found a manufacturer who agreed to start making Graterheads. He also has a patent pending on the concept.
During Monday Night Football on Nov. 4, Dahlquist and business partners Seth Neal and Dean Donlon traveled to Lambeau Field to watch the Bears take down Green Bay. The trio, wearing Graterheads, captured the attention of game commentators and fans alike. Social media started buzzing, with some on Twitter and Facebook asking why the concept hadn’t been developed until now.
It’s still too soon to know how sales are going, but a visit to their website the day after that game greets you with a message about high web traffic. Graterheads are available online for $40.
“We know it’s a novelty item and we’ll see where it goes, but there is always a healthy disdain out there for the Packers,” Dahlquist said.
I checked in with Dahlquist early Nov. 5 to gauge his reaction to the buzz and national attention on Graterheads.
“It was something I dreamed of, and I am prone to believing my dreams can happen,” he said. “So I guess I wouldn’t say I’m surprised as much as ecstatic.”