5 businesses named finalists in Wisconsin’s Main Street Makeover Contest

5 businesses named finalists in Wisconsin’s Main Street Makeover Contest

2020-02-12T15:37:44-06:00January 6, 2020|News|

Winner to receive up to $10,000 to give their business a makeover this spring

MADISON, WI. Jan 2, 2020 – Five businesses from around the state have been named as finalists in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s (WEDC’s) annual Main Street Makeover Contest and have a chance to win up to $10,000 in upgrades for their storefronts.

Based on the popular reality show concept, established businesses located in one of the 34 communities that are part of the Wisconsin Main Street Program had the opportunity to nominate themselves for a “makeover” that will take place in the spring of 2020. The winning business will receive personalized technical assistance and up to $10,000 to implement recommended changes, which could include interior and exterior design improvements or personalized assistance to boost the business’s image and operations.

Finalists were selected based on their business track record, the vision for their business and the potential for the makeover to have a positive impact on the Main Street district as a whole.

The five finalists are:

  • First Class Cosmetology, Beloit
  • Chefusion, Green Bay
  • Flex & Burn, Kenosha
  • Ted’s Pizza Palace, Menomonie
  • Kingsley Crossing, Shullsburg

The winner will be announced in mid-January. The winning business will spend several months working with Main Street staff and consultants from RetailWorks Inc., a Milwaukee-based interior design firm, on a renovation plan, followed by a two-day transformation in late spring.

The new downtown storefront will be formally unveiled during a public celebration featuring state and local officials. All eligible businesses that submitted applications for the competition will receive technical assistance from the Main Street team to help achieve their goals and improve their business.

Here are details on the finalists:

First Class Cosmetology, Beloit

First Class Cosmetology was opened as First Class Nails in 1991. Over the next decade, the business continued to expand, adding cosmetology, esthetics and massage therapy programs. The business expanded into its current location in 2011 after adding a scholarship program and was recognized nationally in 2019 as a ‘Best of’ business by the Esthetician EDU organization. The business has witnessed the growth and evolution of downtown Beloit and looks forward to growing its downtown presence. First Class Cosmetology is pursuing the makeover to ensure that the business’s external façade and interior spaces reflect the quality of its offerings in order to attract additional customers and students.

Chefusion, Green Bay

Chef Robert Phillips and his wife, Cathy, purchased the building in the Broadway District of Green Bay in 2008 and opened the Chefusion restaurant in 2009 after extensive renovations. The business has doubled in size over the past decade, adding a catering operation and establishing a reputation regionally for high-quality cuisine. After a decade in business, they are looking to implement a facelift for the business and enhancements to the historic building to increase customer comfort to help grow the business for the next decade.

Flex & Burn, Kenosha

Gus Harris fell in love with downtown Kenosha as a student at Carthage College, and returned to open his personal fitness business downtown in July 2012. Flex and Burn offers personal training services and group classes to a wide variety of audiences. Limited space means that the business currently has a waiting list of interested participants. Flex & Burn is hoping to leverage the Main Street Makeover to expand into the adjacent storefront to increase class space and add more sports programming while enhancing visibility of the business to pedestrians.

Ted’s Pizza Palace, Menomonie

Local restaurant icon Ted’s Pizza is celebrating its 50th anniversary in downtown Menomonie in 2020. Currently operated by second-generation owners Dmitri and Kim Gounikis, Ted’s is a family destination in downtown for multiple generations of Menomonie natives and UW-Stout students and alumni alike. The restaurant hopes to take advantage of the makeover to grow and evolve by expanding seating, upgrading the dining area, adding services such as online ordering, and generally establishing the business for a third generation as son Zachary looks to take over in the coming years.

Kingsley Crossing, Shullsburg

Kingsley Crossing is a destination business in downtown Shullsburg. The downtown anchor attracts visitors with its high-quality retail clothing and home goods offerings and also caters to locals with extensive Shullsburg merchandise. Both sets of clientele enjoy the in-house coffee/wine bar and ice cream shop. Owner Sandy Russell took over the business in 2011 and hopes to take advantage of the makeover to make additional improvements to the business, including an enhanced dining experience through improved customer flow near the coffee shop and ice cream coolers, expanded indoor seating and the addition of an outdoor seating area in response to customer requests.

Now in its fourth year, the Main Street Makeover Contest is an initiative of the Wisconsin Main Street Program, a comprehensive revitalization program overseen by WEDC and designed to promote the historic and economic redevelopment of traditional business districts in Wisconsin. Communities selected to join the prestigious program receive the technical support and training needed to restore their Main Streets to centers of community activity and commerce. Part of a nationwide program of the National Main Street Center, the Wisconsin Main Street Program, has been recognized nationally for its participation, initiatives and outcomes.

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For more information on the Wisconsin Main Street Program, visit wedc.org/MainStreet.

The 2018 Main Street Makeover Contest winner was Annie’s Fountain City Café in downtown Fond du Lac. The 2019 winner was Anthony’s 511 Barbershop in downtown Watertown.