One building, one successful small business at a time. That is how we’re going to turn around Milwaukee Avenue, and downtown South Milwaukee.
And it’s happening.
The latest example is Mari’s Flowers, which is moving from Brady Street to 905 Milwaukee Ave. and opening in the next couple of months.
You may know owner Mari Cucunato. She started CZ Flowers in downtown South Milwaukee almost two decades ago, adjacent to Cafe Zarletti, the restaurant she and her former husband co-owned. Both the flower shop and restaurant moved away in the early 2000s — and now Mari is coming back home.
“I am very excited about returning and investing in such a honest, charming, quaint Main Street,” Mari tells me.
Mari is investing significantly in her return. She bought the building at 905 and vacant property to its east — it is one parcel — and has already begun extensive remodeling work the city is supporting with a $30,000 Downtown Revitalization Grant.
The city council approved the grant earlier this month.
Among the upgrades she’ll be making are an entirely new facade, new windows and roof, and extensive interior renovations, including installation of an ADA-compliant bathroom, new flooring and updated plumbing and electrical.
Mari tells me she will have “the same fun, artistic atmosphere she has on Brady,” selling flowers, gifts, wine and champagne, with occasional wine tastings. She’ll also offer floral design classes.
Look for more details soon, and please join me in welcoming Mari back to town!