Evers celebrates bounceback in Port

Governor comes to town to tout Main Street Bounceback Program where it has made a difference, finds time to make a candle, do a little shopping

WISCONSIN GOV. TONY EVERS poured a candle at Halo Artisan Skin Care in downtown Port Washington last week while owner Staci Cherubini offered some advice. Evers visited two downtown shops and had lunch at Fork and Tap restaurant while talking to the business owners about the impact of the state’s Main Street Bounceback grants. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Shoppers in downtown Port Washington may have done a double-take last week as Gov. Tony Evers stopped at two downtown stores and Fork and Tap restaurant on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Evers got a little holiday shopping done as he visited Halo Artisan Skin Care and owner Staci Cherubini and Locally Inspired and its owner Kelly Brown to talk about the Main Street Bounceback Program grants they received from the state.

The grants were given to qualifying businesses that moved, opened or expanded in 2021, Cherubini said.

“I took him around and showed him everything,”  she said. “We got a few good pictures.”

Cherubini also put Evers to work, helping her pour Elf Farts holiday candles.

“It was fun,” she said, noting she and the governor each poured three candles. “He did a perfectly fine job.”

The Elf Farts candles have been a big hit at the store, Cherubini said, noting they have a scent reminiscent of an elf walking through the woods while snacking on cranberries. Of the Bounceback grants, she said, “It helped me jump start my business and feel more comfortable getting employees on staff. For me, it helped me stock up on raw materials so I could get ready for the holidays.”

Cherubini said she gave the governor a goodie bag complete with two candles — including an Elf Fart candle — soaps, lemon cuticle butter and lip balm.

At Locally Inspired, Evers chatted with  Brown and picked up a few holiday gifts,  Port Mayor Ted Neitzke, who joined Evers on his tour, said.

Neitzke said he was glad to see two local businesses, both relatively new to downtown and run by women, showcased during the visit.

“These women both talked about how they left their jobs to take a risk. They followed their passions,” Neitzke said. “It was a proud moment for me to listen to them talk about the ways Port Washington is so special.

“I was very grateful he chose Port Washington out of all the cities in the state that received the Bounceback grants to visit. No matter who’s governor, it’s an honor when they come and want to visit your community and talk to the people who are there.”

Neitzke said he took the opportunity to showcase downtown, talking to the governor about the various businesses and the families who have run them, while walking through the shopping district.

“I put in a plug for our lighthouse too,” while they lunched at Fork and Tap, he said, noting the city is looking to raise funds to renovate the historic structure.

At the restaurant, Evers dined on a signature sandwich, the Rammer — which combines pulled rotisserie chicken, russet fries, cheddar cheese, Bernie’s bacon and ranch dressing — manager Kaylen Boyer said.

“He was extremely friendly,” she said. “He took the time to take photos with a couple people here. I’ve only heard good things about his visit. He seemed really happy.”

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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