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Confectionately Yours Hosts Grand Opening

Plus: Hot Dish Pantry opens, 10th season for Pete's Pops and Chillwaukee's new owners.

By - Apr 16th, 2023 11:01 am
Confectionately Yours, 1920 N. Martin L King Jr. Dr. Photo taken April 11 by Mary Bolich.

Confectionately Yours, 1920 N. Martin L King Jr. Dr. Photo taken April 11 by Mary Bolich.

Confectionately Yours made its official debut in Bronzeville with a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony on April 11.

The cafe quietly opened in October 2022 at 1920 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. The building also serves as a home for the African American Chamber of Commerce and its Legacy Co-Working and Innovation Space.

Owner Adija Greer-Smith is a long-time baker and entrepreneur who operated a commercial bakery out of her home for 10 years before launching Confectionately Yours at Sherman Phoenix in 2018. The cafe maintains its presence at the business hub, where it sells desserts such as cake slices, peach cobbler and cheesecake.

The new location offers a fuller menu that features breakfast sandwiches and pastries, as well as beverages including coffee and espresso drinks, teas and lemonade.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson was among a group that gathered on April 11 for the cafe’s ribbon cutting. “I am so proud to see this Black-owned business grow their operations, add value to our community, and generate economic activity in Bronzeville,” he said in a statement.

Confectionately Yours is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Hot Dish Pantry Opens on Howell Avenue

Hot Dish Pantry is now open and serving its Midwestern-inspired comfort food on Milwaukee’s South Side, but the process wasn’t without its challenges.

The business, formerly a vendor at 3rd Street Market Hall, made plans to relocate to 4125 S. Howell Ave. last December, as first reported by Urban Milwaukee.

It was originally slated to open at its new location — the former site of Iron Grate BBQ Co. — in February. Earlier this week, however, owners Nathan Heck and Laura Maigatter created an online post notifying customers that the opening had been delayed due to “a massive error” on the part of the business’s accountants, who failed to secure an SBA loan.

“We only found out about these errors recently which came as a huge shock this close to the finish line,” the post said. “This is devastating news and we refuse to let it stand in the way of our joy of reopening!”

Maigatter organized a GoFundMe for the business, which generated nearly $7,000 in just a few days.

The couple later posted a follow-up note thanking community members for their support. “Your generosity will give us the opportunity to continue our dream and build our business a little quicker,” it said.

The restaurant officially opened on April 13, albeit in a more limited way than originally planned.

Hot Dish Pantry’s soft opening hours are Thursday through Sunday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Women-Led Businesses Launch Mentorship Program

Dana Spandet is no stranger to the complexities of entrepreneurship. The veteran chef is the founder of wood-fired pizza restaurant Flour Girl & Flame and seasonal scoop shop Everyone’s Ice Cream, as well as executive chef for Tall Guy & a Grill catering company.

Through each venture, Spandet had to navigate a tangled web of inspections, permits, financial documents and more — a daunting process even to seasoned restaurateurs.

For many first-timers, Spandet explained, opening a restaurant seems as simple as making delicious food and offering a high-quality product.

“But as you get deeper and deeper into it, it’s like oh my god, there’s permits and zoning and finances and accountants and taxes — it’s all really confusing,” she said. “It all just, at times, can feel like this really lonely island that you’re on.”

Read the full article

Third Space Raises $12,500 For Sojourner Center

Third Space Brewing Company is making good on its promise to brew not just craft beer, but also positive change.

Throughout 2022, the second year of its Pints with a Purpose program, the brewery raised more than $21,000 for local nonprofits, including thousands of dollars for those affected by domestic violence.

The latest initiative, a collaboration beer called One in Four IPA, generated a total of $12,500 for Sojourner Family Peace Center, which will be presented at an event on Friday, April 21.

The project also aimed to raise awareness that one in four women and one in nine men have experienced domestic violence.

Read the full article

Riverwest Pub Crawl Returns April 29

The Riverwest Pub Crawl is set to make its return later this month after several years of cancellations.

The on-again, off-again crawl was last held in 2019. In the years that followed, organizers made several efforts to revive the event, but were thwarted by the ongoing pandemic.

Despite another near-cancelation, the crawl is slated to make its long-awaited comeback on Saturday, April 29, thanks to an eleventh-hour effort by the Riverwest Brewery Syndicate. The crawl will run from noon until 7 p.m.

This year’s event will be a stripped-back version of years past — with ticket prices to match. For $10, participants will receive a wristband and access to drink specials at all participating bars and breweries. There will be no T-shirts for the 2023 crawl.

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Vida Boba Cafe Opens On Layton Avenue

Vida Boba, an Illinois-based cafe chain, recently opened its first Wisconsin location at 812 W. Layton Ave., debuting its photo-friendly menu of tea lattes, refreshers and smoothies on the city’s far South Side.

Obada Samad and Asaad Jaber are the franchisees for the new cafe, which began its soft opening phase in early April. The pair also own the neighboring business, Nara Smoke Shop.

Vida Boba offers a wide variety of more than 60 blended and tea-based beverages including blueberry, grapefruit and lemon tea refreshers, green tea lattes, fruit smoothies, Red Bull sparklers and blended drinks in flavors like bubblegum, purple taro and sour raspberry. Guests can customize their orders by choosing whole milk or oat milk, as well as the sweetness level for each drink.

Though Vida Boba serves mostly caffeinated drinks, guests won’t find the cafe open during daylight hours. Instead, the soft openings take place daily from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.

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Pete’s Pops Reopens All Locations

Pete’s Pops is gearing up for another summer of slinging popsicles at farmers markets, festivals and its four brick-and-mortar locations — all of which all reopened Saturday, April 15.

Now entering its 10th season, the popsicle cart turned brick-and-mortar business operates two Milwaukee shops — one at 916 E. Russell Ave. in Bay View and another at 3809 W. Vliet St., as well as locations in Whitefish Bay and West Allis.

The Vliet Street location, which remains open year-round, switched over to its extended spring hours earlier this week, stocking its freezers with more than 40 flavor options including horchata, lemon poppyseed and a vibrant pineapple jalapeño pop.

Spring hours are Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. at the Bay View, West Allis and Whitefish Bay shops, and noon to 7 p.m. on Vliet Street.

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Westown Market Kicks Off June 8 at Zeidler Square

The Westown Farmers Market will return this season as Westown Day Market. Despite a slight name change, the biweekly event is expected to feature a familiar lineup of lunch options, specialty vendors and entertainment, including acoustic performances from local musicians.

With eight total dates scheduled, the market, presented by the We Energies Foundation, is set to run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday June 8 and 22, July 13 and 27, Aug. 10 and 24 and Sept. 7 and 21 at Zeidler Union Square, 301 W. Michigan St.

“We are pleased to once again sponsor this event that connects local businesses with hundreds of people each week it is open,” said Beth Straka, president of the We Energies Foundation. “The fresh food and festive atmosphere are part of what makes Milwaukee’s summer like no other place in the world.”

Unlike traditional markets, which are typically scheduled for Saturday and Sunday mornings, the Westown Day Market’s timing and proximity to Downtown make it an ideal destination for office workers seeking a midday lunch break.

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Cafe at MARN Reopens

The Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) reopened its cafe on Milwaukee Day, offering coffee, new food options and a full bar.

The MARN Art + Culture Hub, located at 191 N. Broadway, in the Historic Third Ward, includes an art gallery, event space, and local handmade arts marketplace. The cafe reopening comes after a brief hiatus following the March departure of Interval.

“With the reopening of our café, we’ve literally doubled the size of our staff, most of which are local artists, and I couldn’t be happier with the transformation of the HUB,” said Mal Montoya, president and CEO of MARN. “We’ve leveled up every aspect of the facility to the benefit of our community.”

The revamped menu features a lineup of local vendors including Racine-based Esperanza Coffee Collective and Milwaukee’s own Troublemakers’ Cocina, along with wine, cocktails and beer — including New Barons on tap — from the bar.

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On the Bayou Relocates, Pivots to Catering

On the Bayou is on a new path, following a series of changes throughout the past several months. Moving forward, the business will offer its Cajun and Creole cuisine for catering only.

Chef Gregory Johnson and his wife, Janice, first opened the restaurant, originally called The Big Eazy, at 2053 N. Martin L King Jr Dr., in Bronzeville, back in 2013. After a period of closure, it reopened as On the Bayou in 2018, where it continued for four years, offering po-boys, jambalaya and more for dine-in and takeout, as well as catering.

Last December, the couple closed the King Drive restaurant and moved the business across town with plans to serve upscale comfort food at Nō StudiosSkyline Bar + Lounge. But the partnership wasn’t the right fit, according to Janice Johnson.

“It just didn’t click,” she said.

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Chillwaukee Gets New Owners

After two months on ice, Chillwaukee is set to return for a seventh season with new owners, additional flavors and an ambitious summer schedule.

In February, founders Collin Wallace and Danielle Dahl announced plans to sell the bicycle-powered popsicle business.

Sam and Alyssa Wisneski jumped at the opportunity. As the Wisneskis settle into their new role, the previous owners are lending their expertise in order to facilitate a seamless transition.

“Collin and Danielle really have helped us so much in this process,” Sam Wisneski said. “We’re so grateful that they are staying on to help us because I think the company they built was really uniquely them. And to us, it’s so important to have them on to help us keep their vision alive.”

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Miltown Eats Moving to Walker’s Point

Miltown Eats has quietly operated for four years, delivering local and sustainable meal kits to families throughout Milwaukee. Now, under new ownership and approaching an upcoming move, the company is poised for major change.

Since its 2019 inception, Miltown Eats has attempted to break the mold of mainstream meal kits — which are often costly, rarely seasonal, and heavily rely on single-use plastic. Founded by Wisconsinites Jonathan Marrone and Yulia Koltun, the company did just that — providing all the components for homecooked meals, pre-portioned and delivered in reusable totes.

The Milwaukee business was modeled after Marrone’s initial concept, Isthmus Eats, which continues to operate in Madison today.

Miltown Eats originally operated out of a commercial kitchen space in Riverwest. But when the landlord abruptly sold the building, Miltown and a host of other food-related businesses were left scrambling for kitchen space.

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