Category Archives: Downtown

Grand Openings: Jen’s Sweet Treats, Ferch’s, New-Look Ace Hardware

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I love grand openings, and there are three in May alone, with more to come.

Mark your calendars for …

  • Sunday, April 24: Get an early look at downtown’s newest business, Jen’s Sweet Treats, with “Sips & Sweets,” a chance to sample some yummy treats ahead of their official grand opening. Bring a toy to donate to their South Shore Santas program. 4-6 p.m. at 907 Milwaukee Ave.
  • Sunday, May 1: Jen’s Sweet Treats officially opens at 9 a.m. with a selection of cupcakes, muffins, cookies, turnovers, brownies and donuts.
  • Friday, May 13: South Milwaukee Ace Hardware, 1009 Marquette Ave. The noon ribbon cutting on Friday is the kickoff for an entire weekend of activities. Friday, it’s a Traeger grilling demo and grill giveaway. Saturday, there is a  South Milwaukee Lions Club cookout from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., an appearance by WTMJ radio’s Jeff Wagner and their Free Ride program from 1 to 3, and a Weber grilling demo and giveaway from 3 to 6. Sunday, it’s Family Day, with free popcorn and demonstrations by the South Milwaukee Fire Department. Free coffee and donuts every morning from 8 to 10., and there are sales and specials each day. More to come soon, as Ben and the Gil family looks to show off the big changes — and big investment — they’ve made to the store.
  • Friday, May 20: Ferch’s Malt Shoppe & Grille officially opens at 4 p.m., as they begin their first full season at Grant Park Beach. They have a lot planned. From rentals (lounge chairs, umbrellas, kayaks and paddle boards) to live music to movies to, of course, terrific burgers, custard and beer, it promises to be a great summer at the beach. Beach volleyball also returns this summer!

The new business momentum is real, and we’re just getting started.

 

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Filed under Downtown, Grant Park, Local Business, South Milwaukee

Check out This List of Downtown Events

Updated on April 23 with information on the Restore the Lagoon event. 

This is quite a list, and I can’t thank the organizers of these activities enough.

South Milwaukee is becoming a leader in cool, business- and community-building events, especially downtown. And we should all be proud of that.

Here is a high-resolution JPEG. Please share on social media, and tell your friends!

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Sweet News for Downtown South Milwaukee

When it comes to the future of our downtown, to me, it’s all about sustainable small business. That’s why I’m so excited to share this sweet news …

Jen’s Sweet Treats is opening a second retail location at 907A Milwaukee Ave., starting May 1.

They will sell cupcakes, cookies, donuts, cakes, and other treats from the South Milwaukee store, while continuing to bake at their Cudahy location, 4745 S. Packard Ave.

This is a great addition to our city center, and joins Grillworks — the new restaurant opening at the former Grebe’s and Nona’s in April, I’m told — as two new local eating options.

Jennifer Clark opened Jen’s Sweet Treats, a family business in every since of the word, in 2014. A year later, the store was named the South Shore Chamber of Commerce’s Cudahy Business of the Year.

One reason why: its commitment to doing business the right way. The store gives back in so many ways, and you get a good sense of it from their Facebook page.  

Here is a message from Jennifer …

We are excited to bring all that we do to South Milwaukee.  We are looking forward to not only providing amazing sweet treats but continuing our “give back attitude” in our new neighborhood! South Milwaukee here we come! 

And we’re excited to have you. Welcome to South Milwaukee!

Learn more on their website. The photos are from the store’s Facebook page. 

 

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Downtown Update: New Restaurant Opens In March

Downtown momentum continues, with our newest restaurant, Grillworks, planning an opening for March.

The Orens have already made significant investments to upgrade to the former Nona’s and Grebe’s building on 10th Avenue, and they plan to open the restaurant and bar in March. They will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a Friday fish fry, prime rib and a Sunday brunch buffet.

Also, a big thanks to our Street Department for taking away the snowbanks along Milwaukee Avenue on Friday. It’s not something we’ve often done, but I hope we can do it more going forward. I’m happy to get behind efforts like this to help local businesses. (Thanks to Leah from Parkway Floral for the photo.)

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Reminder: Christmas On The Avenue Is Saturday!

Christmas on the Avenue

Very excited about this one … see you Saturday!

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Made In South Milwaukee: Expansion Underway For Downtown Apparel And Graphic Design Company

The latest in a regular series.

To me, the future of downtown South Milwaukee lies with the owners of small, locally owned businesses who provide a product or service you simply can’t get at a big box store or shopping mall. It rests with young entrepreneurs like Kyle Werra and Steve Welk.

Kyle and Steve own Styled Aesthetic at 918 Milwaukee Ave.

It’s a unique business that you may better know as the Rocket Shop, where you can purchase wearables and other South Milwaukee-themed items. But it’s also a thriving screen printing business, with clients including auto racing teams, national corporate clients and your local pub.

Both parts of the business are growing.

First, they are planning to expand and renovate the Rocket Shop to create a more inviting retail space. Work will be done in the next six months. They’ve also expanded their product line and store hours (it’s now open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays and 10-5 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with new Black Friday and Small Business Saturday hours coming up later this month).

And earlier this month, Styled Aesthetic announced a partnership with the school district where it would sell its clothing at the Orbit store at South Milwaukee High School.

Then there is the screen printing business. Kyle and Steve are adding a third printing press and a second dryer at their downtown location, as they ramp up production.

One cool customer of theirs: Dr. McDreamy. Fans of “Grey’s Anatomy” get the reference. Styled Aesthetic provides wearables and an online retail outlet for Dempsey Racing, the pursuit of the former TV star better known as Derek Shepherd (before he died on the show earlier this year).

Not bad for a business that started in Kyle’s basement shortly after both he and Steve were attending Franklin High School.

From their website …

Playing pool, listening to music, making fun of everything (including ourselves), wanting to have a cool Pabst t-shirt for a bar crawl and a strong desire to be our own boss are the main reasons we started a company.

Our story begins in 2006 three years before Styled Aesthetic was incorporated. After designing a shirt for a pub crawl Kyle found it difficult to find a screen printer who would print the shirt.  Rather than change the design he purchased a screen printing press and ran the shirt himself. The one color press quickly turned into a 4 color press for the next year’s more elaborate design, which led to small screen printing jobs for friends and family.

In the late winter of 2007 Kyle and Steve started talking about starting a business (while on a holiday pub crawl of course). With Steve’s background in marketing and sales and Kyle’s design background and growing knowledge of screen printing, a screen printing and design business was a natural fit. After months of planning Styled Aesthetic was born in January of 2009 in the basement of Kyle’s house in Franklin, Wisconsin.

From our humble beginnings we have grown out of the basement to a 2,800 square foot shop in South Milwaukee. We now have 7 employees and customers that span the continental United States from a diverse group of industries and companies.

And they are now proudly Made in South Milwaukee.

Check them out on the web and Facebook.

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Celebrating Small Business At South Milwaukee’s Business Incubator

Thanks to Steve Fenno for hosting me at today’s Meet the Mayor session — and thanks for supporting small business at his self-described business incubator at 916 Milwaukee Ave.

Rocket apparel. Antiques. Disc golf accessories. Signs. Unique woodworking gifts. Firearm safety training. Dry cleaning. There’s even a guy in the basement who makes fishing lures.

In all, there are more than 10 small businesses located in this historic building in the heart of downtown, and it was great to meet so many people working to deliver unique goods and services through a really unique property.

Steve describes the Doyle and Fenno building as a “small business incubator center.”

He writes: “The focus is on a safe, clean, attractive facility with reasonable rates to allow small businesses to flourish in our city. The building owners and tenants consider themselves to be partners, working hard together to help each little business succeed. Thankfully, we are fortunate to have a business-friendly city government, which we also consider a partner in this endeavor.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Here are a few photos from today …

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