Downtown Baraboo hit a home run with pop-up shops.
Last fall, local business boosters sponsored three fledgling enterprises, providing storefronts and advisory services during the holiday shopping season. On Thursday, two of those businesses — Spirit Lake Coffee Roasters and Urbanwood Studio — cut ribbons ceremonially opening permanent downtown locations. The third — From My Porch — has secured retail space inside an existing downtown shop.
“This was a perfect example of a public-private partnership,” said Downtown Baraboo Inc. President Lacey Steffes, noting that her group, the Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce, corporate sponsors and the city joined forces to support the pop-up shops.
Last week the committee that established the pop-up shop program decided it will recommend to the city that it return in the fall.
Spirit Lake Coffee Roasters
Spirit Lake Coffee Roasters evolved from Lodge Coffee Roasters, with co-founder Ryan Ramnarace collaborating with new partner Gary Frisch. They’ll sell fresh-roasted coffee in the mornings at Con Amici Wine Bar on Third Street. After getting started with online sales and farmers markets, the coffee makers got their first taste of running a brick-and-mortar store last fall at the former HealthSource building on Ash Street, alongside Urbanwood Studio.
“The pop-up shop was a great experience,” Ramnarace told Chamber of Commerce ambassadors Thursday. “It opened up this opportunity.”
Frisch is retiring from teaching to make coffee and work as a musician. “Once you roast your own coffee and start drinking the good stuff, you never want to go back,” he said.
The partners will team with Mark and Laura Hamdan-Krause, who will open Con Amici to them Monday through Saturday mornings, when the wine bar previously was closed. Spirit Lake Coffee Roasters started doing business there Friday.
“It just works out perfectly,” Laura Hamdan-Krause said. “It’s a no-brainer.”
Around the corner, Wolf and Sue Calnin have transformed an Oak Street shop formerly occupied by Tuff Dog Leather into Urbanwood Studio’s new home. The business specializes in designing and created hand-sanded wood furniture. The shop will be open Thursdays through Saturdays.
“Now I have to pay taxes when I sell stuff,” Wolf Calnin joked to the ambassadors, saying his wife will handle retail sales while he creates pieces in the workshop. “I’m going to be back here. I’ve got to make stuff.”
“And I’ll be out spending the money you make,” his wife quipped.
From My Porch
Lynette Koch has found space for her repurposed home décor inside Countryside Refind on Fourth Street, and is looking for other opportunities to grow.