After more than a year of canceled annual meetings, business expos, and the 2020 Summer Picnic, the Owen-Withee Area Chamber of Commerce (OWACC) was finally able to gather for an evening of good food and great camaraderie.
The event gathered almost 50 local business owners and spouses at the N. Central Avenue location of Red Daisy Girl in Owen. Red Daisy Girl, owned by Carey and Travis Hargot, is an Owen spot for vintage car gatherings, crafting classes, and beverage enjoyment.
OWACC President Jeff Conger acted as emcee for the meeting with Thorp SuperValu (an OWACC member) catering the meal of fried chicken, potato salad, and cole slaw. The OWACC members were able to enjoy a fine evening without rain on the patio of Red Daisy Girl, an ideal location for gatherings.
All present were given the opportunity to introduce themselves and their businesses. While most businesses were well-acquainted with one another, there were some great moments of getting to know new business owners and those from outside of the Owen-Withee community.
Cheryl and Doug Niemuth of Thorp SuperValu, the caterers, have been members of OWACC for the last four years as have Michelle and Will Behm of Thorp’s Country Floral and Coconutz Health. Dr. Tom Gelhaus and wife Mary introduced the new dentist in Owen who, just this month, took over Dr. Tom’s office. Renamed Owen Family Dental, Dr. Dan Nicholson and his wife, Michelle (the dental office’s business manager), were warmly welcomed by the OWACC membership.
Also present were Catherine and Eugene Shirk and their business Sisel, a health supplement company who have been in business for almost seven years but have joined OWACC—and participating in the OWACC Expo—in the last four years. One local business owner has openly praised the Shirks and Sisel, crediting them for the alleviation of the worse symptoms he has suffered.
Door prizes from Withee 76, Munson Bridge Winery, Coconutz Health & Reflexology, and the Sentinel & Rural News were awarded after the meal. The fellowship continued for much longer as the membership were eager to exchange COVID survival stories and how their businesses weathered the pandemic storm.
“There’s nothing quite like seeing Owen-Withee businesspeople enjoying each other’s company,” said former OWACC president Terry Laube. “And when you’ve got great food and a great venue, well, that’s the gold standard.”
Sentinel Rural News is the leading source of news for Central Wisconsin. We utilize local writers as our content creators while including contributors of expertise from across the country.