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Wrench Auto Service celebrates grand opening

Wrench Auto Service celebrates grand opening

Wrench Auto Services celebrated its grand opening Thursday, in a slightly non-conventional way.

According to a release form the company, the owners wanted to thank customers and the city at the opening of the new service center. They did, by having a pig roast and live band.

More than 300 customers and chamber membersattended the customer appreciation party, which Wrench President said was long overdue.

“We started this business 11 years ago with nothing more than a single bay garage and a simple philosophy to be honest with our customers,” said Ben Beere, President. “To say we value and appreciate our customers is the understatement of the year.”

The car service company started in 2002 with a single-bay garage. The new service center has six bays. It's located at 3113 Laura Lane in Middleton. 

Middleton officials make parking enforcement a priority for visitors, shoppers

Middleton officials make parking enforcement a priority for visitors, shoppers

Middleton officials make parking enforcement a priority to provide visitors and customers with parking for downtown businesses, according to a release.

A parking study commissioned by the Middleton City Council indicated the lack of enforcement was the primary reason for the lack of parking at peak times in the downtown area, according to the release.

Mike Davis, Middleton city administrator and director of community development, said the follow-up may help the city avoid putting in a parking ramp with annual maintenance costs.

Officials said the primary goal is to provide visitors and customers with available parking to patronize downtown businesses and to seek city services without having to drive out of the way.

Good turnover in parking is key to that goal, officials said. They hope downtown business owners and employees will seek more remote parking.

Craft brewing business is growing in Wisconsin

Craft brewing business is growing in Wisconsin

Craft brewing is a booming business in Wisconsin, which ranks ninth among breweries per capita by state.

Last fall, Brian Destree took over brewmaster duties at Middleton's Capital Brewery, one of southern Wisconsin's craft brew staples since 1986.

Before Capital Brewery, the University of Wisconsin-Madison grad worked for Miller-Coors, giving him a unique perspective between craft brewers' personal touch and the bottom line of big business brewing.

"Kind of as I progressed from the corporate ladder at Miller, the farther and farther away I got from actually being in a brewery and doing hands-on brewing work," Destree said.

And while beer makers Miller-Coors and Anheuser-Busch sell the most beer, Wisconsin's craft breweries continue to find a larger piece of the market.

There are 75 breweries statewide, which translates to about 75,000 people for every Wisconsin brewery.

Growing 'American Girl' headed to upscale Calif. mall

Growing 'American Girl' headed to upscale Calif. mall

New retail location will offer salon, bistro, tee shop 'experiences'   

American girl said it plans to add a new retail store in an upscale northern California mall. The company's experienced-based mini shops -- similar to those at its flagship American Girl Place in Chicago, -- will also be set within the new location. 

American Girl, a division of Mattel Inc., announced plans Wednesday to open its newest experiential retail store later this year at Stanford Shopping Center, an open-air shopping mall in Palo Alto, Calif. The two-level, 15,000-square-foot American Girl store is slated to open in the fall.

A representative with Stanford Shopping Center said American Girl will complement the mall's stores well. 

Best-selling Middleton author to hold book event Tuesday

Jennifer Chiaverini will introduce new book on Lincoln's wife's seamstress    

New York Times bestselling author and Middleton resident Jennifer Chiaverini will speak at a west side book store Tuesday evening celebrating her new historical novel.

The free event begins at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 7433 Mineral Point Road in Madison.

Chiaverini will introduce her new book, “Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker,” which discusses the Civil War-era friendship between Mary Todd Lincoln -- Abraham Lincoln’s wife -- and her seamstress, Elizabeth Keckley.

A Barnes & Noble employee recommended attendees arrive around 6:45 p.m. to get a seat, as Chiaverini usually draws a sizeable crowd.

Bloom Bake Shop owner takes love of desserts to market

Middleton transplant grows bakery business over 2 years    

Annemarie Spitznagle’s idea for a cupcakery came from a childhood of cooking with her mother and a cookbook gift from a friend.

Spitznagle told the Middleton Times her recuperation of a historic building to host her locally sourced Bloom Bake Shop is symbolic of her desire to capture the community of her family’s Louisiana kitchen.

Read more at the Middleton Times

‘Family Business of the Year Award’ seeks nominees across the state

 ‘Family Business of the Year Award’ seeks nominees across the state

Award celebrates impact of family biz on Wis. communities    

A state group that celebrates family-owned businesses is seeking nominations for the 2013 “Business of the Year” award, which is also the group’s 10th year sponsoring the program.

One family business will be selected for grand awards in categories including small (less than 50 employees), medium (50-99), and large (100 or more) companies. The organization said special awards will also be given to companies excelling in a particular area.

Created by Smith & Gesteland, a Middleton accounting and business consulting firm, the annual awards highlight the importance of family-owned businesses.

The deadline for nominations is April 13.