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Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation: 5 state businesses named finalists in Wisconsin's Main Street Makeover contest
12/21/2018

Winner to receive up to $10,000 to give their business a makeover this spring

MADISON, WI. DEC. 21, 2018 – Five Main Street businesses from around the state have been named as finalists in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) annual Main Street Makeover Contest and have a chance to win up to $10,000 in upgrades for their storefronts.

Based on the popular reality show concept, established businesses located in one of the state’s 34 Wisconsin Main Street communities had the opportunity to nominate themselves for a “makeover” that will take place in the spring of 2019. The winning business will receive personalized technical assistance and up to $10,000 to implement recommended changes, which could include interior and exterior design improvements or personalized assistance to boost the business’s image and operations.

Finalists were selected based on their business track record, the vision for their business, and the potential for the makeover to have a positive impact on the Main Street district.

The five finalists are:

Anthony’s 511, Watertown
Arrow Gift Shop, Eagle River
Bushel & Peck’s, Beloit
Campbell Family Homes, Viroqua
K Sera Salon and Spa, De Pere

The winner will be announced in mid-January. The winning business will spend several months working with Main Street staff and consultants from RetailWorks, Inc. a Milwaukee-based interior design firm, on a renovation plan, followed by a two-day transformation in late spring.

The new downtown storefront will be formally unveiled during a public celebration featuring state and local officials. All 20 businesses that submitted applications for the competition will receive technical assistance from the Main Street team to help achieve their goals and improve their business.

Here are details on the finalists:

Anthony’s 511, Watertown: When Anthony Chentis relocated from Milwaukee to Watertown in 2014, he immediately identified the property at 511 E Main Street as an ideal location for his new barbershop and salon. Since then, the shop has grown each year and serves a wide cross-section of the local community. The business hopes to refresh its façade to better reflect the quality of services and improve the flow and function of the interior space to create space for additional staff and to accommodate apprenticeship training opportunities.

Arrow Gift Shop, Eagle River: Current owners John and Katie Hayes are second-generation owners of this iconic Northwoods gift shop. The shop has been a mainstay in Eagle River’s downtown for decades, while the building it occupies was the city’s first library, a grocery store, clinic and pharmacy over time. Many visitors to the area make a stop at Arrow Gift Shop part of their family tradition. Through the makeover, the couple hopes to further enhance their prime corner location as the visual heart of the community and remodel their business to best serve the community for decades to come.

Bushel & Peck’s, Beloit: Bushel & Peck’s launched in 2002 as a small farm in Monroe, Wisconsin. In 2008, a retail store and restaurant outlet for farm products was opened in downtown Beloit, and the preservation kitchen was opened in 2010, further expanding the retail season and customer base. Today, Bushel & Peck’s is a regional visitor draw with a strong and growing online presence. Owners Jackie Gennett and Rich Horbaczewski hope to continue this growth pattern with a renovation of their dining space to better serve customers and make a more comfortable and inviting dining experience.

Campbell Family Homes, Viroqua: Campbell Family Homes was founded in 2008 and provides assisted-living services to individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. The company has evolved from providing only in-home services to ownership of multiple properties under a community-supported living program. The company purchased its space in downtown Viroqua in 2015 and has been slowly restoring parts of the structure. The firm hopes to introduce a retail space into the front of the store to sell items produced by its clients, and to further improve the exterior of the building to reflect its prime location on the Main Street corridor.

K Sera Salon and Spa, De Pere: A second-year finalist, K Sera Salon and Spa opened in 2012 in downtown De Pere and purchased its space in the historic 1888 Steckart building in 2015. K Sera provides full-service hair and skin care services and regularly partners with other downtown businesses to host customer events. The business hopes to grow their retail space and create a 15-minute hairstyling bar and beauty boutique to provide more services in the space. Owner Kimberlee Gast is committed to enhancing the vitality of downtown, and actually lives above the business. She also serves on the Economic Enhancement Committee of Definitely De Pere, De Pere’s Main Street organization, as well as the board of the Brown County Historical Society.

Now in its third year, the Main Street Makeover Contest is an initiative of the Wisconsin Main Street Program, a comprehensive revitalization program overseen by WEDC and designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts in Wisconsin.

Communities selected to join the prestigious program receive the technical support and training needed to restore their Main Streets to centers of community activity and commerce. The Wisconsin Main Street Program, part of a nationwide program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has been recognized nationally for its participation, initiatives and outcomes.

For more information on the Wisconsin Main Street Program, visit wedc.org/MainStreet.

The 2018 Main Street Makeover winner was Annie’s Fountain City Café in downtown Fond du Lac.
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