In Business

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SBCP Holds Open House

MIDDLETON–Dozens of people turned out on Aug. 22 for State Bank of Cross Plains “grand reopening” of its Middleton branch. The celebration included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for the new, two-story, 10,400-square-foot “bank of the future.”

Located at 8301 University Ave., the new space replaces an older SBCP branch that previously anchored the same corner lot–at the intersection of University Ave. and Deming Way–since 1995. Event speakers included State Bank of Cross Plains president & CEO, Jim Tubbs; Iconica president & CEO, Jim Pientka; Middleton Chamber of Commerce interim executive director, Curt Fuszard; and State Bank of Cross Plains senior vice president–commercial banking, Jeffrey Zwettler.

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Red’s & Falbo Bros. Merge in Middleton

MIDDLETON–Ted Speerschneider, who left the Falbo Brothers Pizza Franchise to start his own pizza place, Red’s, returns to the company partnering for Red’s Falbo Bros.

“I was Falbo’s, I became Red’s and now I am Red’s Falbo,” Speerschneider said.

He closed Red’s on Parmenter Ave. and moved his staff and equipment into the location on Allen Blvd. on Aug. 1.

Speerschneider started the first Falbo Brothers Pizza franchise in Middleton in 2003.  “We’ve been at this for over 15 years in Middleton making pizza and selling it by the slice,” he said.

The Middleton man said he does the most he can to give back including being a platinum sponsor at high school for over 10 years.

“We try be your local place for people to come and get a slice of pizza and get involved in the community,” Speerschneider stated. “That’s what our niche has been for the last 15 years.”

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Auntie Jill’s to Take Part in Taste of Madison

MIDDLETON–Jill Enerson was fresh off a divorce and trying to find a way to make more money to support her three daughters when she decided to launch Auntie Jill’s Custom Cheesecakes 10 years ago. Now the Middleton woman has won a blue ribbon in the Taste of Madison Homestyle Desserts category, and earned a place at the prestigious and highly sought-after event.

“I thought about doing Taste of Madison for four years and finally decided to put in an application,” she said of her entry.

In July she went to the pre-judging where more than 30 restaurants were presenting their creations. Enerson chose to do frozen cheesecake on a stick. “Everything at fairs is on a stick, so we might as well join them,” she laughed.

Auntie Jill’s quickly became a family affair with daughters Arianna, 22, and twins Addalie and Annaliese, 16, by her side in the kitchen. Enerson said the girls have been her biggest fans and provided the best quality control.

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Board & Brush to Open Middleton Location

MIDDLETON–Board and Brush, the do-it-yourself (DIY)sign making workspaces that serves alcohol, plans to open a new location in Middleton Center in September. The new studio will join the existing locations in Sun Prairie and Mount Horeb.

The Middleton Board and Brush will be run by the corporate office unlike other locations which are franchises, says Molly Schmock who will be the studio manager.

Schmock explains that the company started in Heartland when the founder Julie Selby who was doing girls-night-out sign making in her basement decided to start a business out of it. There are now more than 250 studios across the country, Schmock says.

At Board and Brush customers make an appointment for a woodworking class primarily for sign making but Schmock says the company is expanding to other woodworking projects and soon doormats.

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Cool Hand Customs to Expand Business

MIDDLETON–EJ and Amy Fitzgerald, co-owners of Cool Hand Customs, have been doing custom car and motorcycle builds at the corner of Clark and Lee Streets for the last 10 years. The couple are looking to expand their operation but worried about how they will fit in with a changing landscape.

EJ and Amy saidthey took a risk when they decided to walk away from their construction business and open their own custom motorcycle and car shop. EJ says it was something he always wanted to do, and construction wasn’t offering a lot. 

“I’m going to be an old man with busted up knees and nothing else,” he said. 

Amy’s mom encouraged them to start a business with EJ’s passion for doing custom paint and body work on motorcycles and cars. EJ had reservations. 

“This is going from stuff that somebody might need to get done on their house to a complete extravagance,” he recalled.

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Chartwell Breaks Ground on Expansion

by Cameron Bren

MIDDLETON–Middleton based pharmacy and UW Health affiliate home health service provider Chartwell held its ground breaking ceremony May 16. Chartwell is moving to the former Globe University building on Deming Way. The company will renovate and expand at the site creating more than 100 new jobs.

President of Chartwell Wisconsin Don Powell said at the event that the company started in 1994 with six employees and one small clean room for compounding medications. Today the pharmacy program services over 700 patients daily and has 85 employees.

Powell said the renovated facility will have more than 53,000 square feet housing a pharmacy with three clean rooms. It will also house office and warehouse operations and a patient centered showroom and infusion center.

Chartwell will continue to service patients in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa and be able to serve more in those areas.

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Chartwell to Expand in Middleton, Expected to Add 100 Jobs

MIDDLETON–Middleton based pharmacy and home health service provider Chartwell introduced a concept plan at the city’s plan commission that would renovate and expand the vacant Globe University building on Deming Way and create 100 new jobs. The plan commission approved the concept plan which includes a request for TIF assistance for $830,000.

President of Chartwell Wisconsin Don Powell gave a presentation to the plan commission on the proposed move and expansion. 

He explained that Chartwell is a licensed pharmacy that provides home-care management services. Chartwell compounds medications and delivers them to patients at home instead of like traditional pharmacy.

At its current location at 2241 Pinehurst Dr. there are two cleanrooms for compounding medications including chemotherapy drugs. Chartwell also provides education and training for patients at home.

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All About the Noodles

When Hong Gao was growing up in Taigu, a county in China’s Shanxi province, she never ate rice.

“I remember noodles, dumplings, pancakes from my mother and grandmother,” she recalls. “But were we lived, you never ate rice. It was all noodles. Like our ‘cat ear’ noodles, [which] look like the shape of a cat’s ear.”

So imagine her surprise when she moved to the United States 23 years ago and saw the menus as the “Chinese” restaurants that populate the country. The ubiquitous dishes – things like General Tso’s chicken and pork fried rice – had no connection to her homeland’s delicious fare.

That’s why Hong and her family decided to take over the former Orient Express at 7610 Elmwood Avenue in the City of Middleton late last year. They changed the name to “Taigu,” a nod to their hometown and its food, introduced elegant decorations and Hong’s joyful paintings of everything from flowers to noodles, and revamped the menu.

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A Stunning Rebirth

Whether it’s the persistent rumors about Underground Railroad tunnels beneath its floors, or gleefully bawdy tales of rum running during prohibition, the Stamm House has always been steeped in Middleton lore.

That’s why, when one of the area’s oldest restaurants gradually fell into a state of disrepair, re-opening and closing without notice while the business foundered, the people of the Good Neighbor City were concerned they might lose one of their most iconic landmarks.

Those fears will be dispelled when the establishment re-opens its doors on Tuesday, May 26.  Completely renovated, rebuilt, palpably loved and slightly renamed as “1847 at the Stamm House,” the restaurant looks like it could be on the verge of its heyday.

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A Fresh Take on Old Fashioned Farming

A young woman, her swarthy arms taught as she hoists two pails of hog feed, her t-shirt stretched thin by a belly in which a baby spends its final weeks before entering the world.

A bearded man, his eyes shaded by an askew baseball cap, picking spinach with astounding dexterity, shoulder to shoulder with field hands who range from college freshmen to retirees, from hipsters to grandmothers.

An old barn floor, nodding buoyantly as families stomp their feet to live bluegrass music.

A flaxen-haired toddler, tumbling again and again, then taking her first steps on the wooden porch one sweltering afternoon.

This is work. This is home. This is everything in between.

This is life at Crossroads Community Farm.


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