Friday, May 31, 2013

Palmer Johnson to Host Habitat for Humanity Build Day Today (Palmer Johnson)

Blogger's Note:  A great program getting help from some great Sun Prairie companies.  Thanks to Palmer Johnson, Bank of Sun Prairie, and Complete Mobile Dentistry for the support of Habitat for Humanity and the Sun Prairie community.  Contact me if you want more information or would like to get involved.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sun Prairie's Village Hearth Provides Bun for Longest Brat in a Bun Record at 2013 Brat Fest (Facebook)

Johnsonville Sausage, Pan-O-Gold Baking Company Set “Unofficial” Record at 54 Feet, 10 Inches
MADISON, Wis., May 25, 2013 – After several weeks of practice and preparation, 28 pounds of fresh pork and 45 pounds of dough, Johnsonville and Pan-O-Gold exceeded the current world record for the “longest brat-in-a-bun.”

The “unofficial” record attempt took place today at the 31st annual Brat Fest, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. With Rep. Mark Pocan serving as the “brat authenticator,” the brat-in-a-bun measured 54 feet and 10 inches. Metcalfe said the record-breaking attempt is unofficial as it will not be sanctioned by any official organization.* His goal was to exceed the current record, set just last October in Prescott, Wis., when a 52.2’ brat-in-a-bun was made and served.

Staff from Pan O’ Gold’s Village Hearth bread brand carefully unwrapped their freshly baked steak bun and set it alongside the brat grilling on a handmade cinder block grill. Approximately 20 volunteer grillers then carefully rotated the lengthy brat, which took approximately 30 minutes to cook thoroughly, according to Johnsonville’s R&D Scientist, Jonathan Pleitner. “We turned the brat every 5-8 minutes, very carefully so as not to split the casing.”  Johnsonville used its traditional bratwurst recipe in this effort.

This record-breaking attempt was the second time around for Pan-O-Gold, which used its Village Hearth steak bun recipe. The company was the bun participant in last year’s event in Prescott. “This bun was the largest we’ve ever made, using 26 pounds of flour,” said Dan Futato, Vice President and General Manager for Pan ‘O Gold.

Approximately 50 bags of Kingsford charcoal were used. Once the brat was grilled to perfection, Brat Fest staff and volunteers rolled the Johnsonville brat from the grill onto the Village Hearth bun, cut and served up 110 six-inch brat sandwiches at $4 each. The proceeds from this record brat-in-a-bun were designated for the Oklahoma tornado relief efforts. This and other Brat Fest activities are expected to raise more than $100,000 for nearly 90 Madison-area charities that assisted with the three-day event, held annually over the Memorial Day weekend. Metcalfe said more than $1.2 million has been raised to date since Brat Fest began in the early 1980s.

Blogger's Note: Great businesses, great fun, and a great cause.  Thanks to all the folks at Village Hearth for their time and effort, as well as all the other great Wisconsin businesses involved in this event.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Social Media Breakfast Madison Takes Over Sun Prairie's Wisconsin Distrubutors (Sun Prairie Star)

Social Media Breakfast Madison, an association of Madison area social media professionals (and wannabes like me) took over Wisconsin Distributors, 900 Progress Way, on May 15.  They heard encouraging words from Michael Bussmann, New Belgium Brewery’s self-proclaimed “Social Networking Nerd” -- the one behind the @NewBelgium twitter handle and New Belgium’s Facebook page.

Click here to read the full article in the Sun Prairie Star:

Blogger's Note: Sun Prairie's own Tony Rodriquez is one of the key organizers of what I think is one of the best networking events around.  Stop in sometime and you'll see a lot of other Sun Prairie faces too.  Special thanks to Wisconsin Distributors for hosting the event, and for helping bring Mr. Bussman from New Belgium out to Sun Prairie.

Groundbreaking Ceremony on Sun Prairie's New Ice Arena (Facebook)

(Photo by Tom Gehrmann, Posted on - New Rink for Sun Prairie)

Congratulations to the Sun Prairie Youth Hockey Association on their groundbreaking for the new Sun Prairie Ice Arena, which will be two sheets of competitive ice that will serve hockey, figure skating and a host of other events and programs.

Blogger's note:  I dare say that this will be the premier ice arena in all of Wisconsin, and it will have a signifcant impact on our local businesses for a long, long time.   Now get that thing built!

Regional Economic Development Group Thrive Rebrands (

Thrive, the eight-county economic development group for south-central Wisconsin, is now known as the Madison Region Economic Partnership. 

Click here to read more at:

Blogger's note: While this may seem to be somewhat of an oversimplification, it communicates where we are, what our purpose is, and also aligns itself with the Statewide In Wisconsin campaign.  A smart move.

WEDC Launches New Website (Sun Prairie Star)

A new website,, designed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to help new, growing and relocating businesses find available economic development resources, is now live.

Blogger's Note:  A good resource for businesses seeking oppotunities to grow and locate in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MATC Students go to Flight School Building Unmanned Drones (

(Photo by Amber Arnold, Wisconsin State Journal)

Thomas Kaminski, a former NASA computer engineer and instructor of industrial maintenance at MATC, sensed the growing opportunities in the field of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's). This spring, for the first time he offered a class for students interested in designing and flying the craft. Sun Prairie's Matrix Product Development was one of three Madison area businesses that donated money for materials and equipment for the class.

Click here to read the full story at

Blogger's Note: There are plenty of beneficial uses of this sort of technology and this is a great way to get more people interested in the technology field.  Thanks to Matrix Product Development for their support of MATC and the technology sector in our local economy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Coming Soon: Plate and Barrel at Buck & Honey's (Facebook)

Small plates, big wines.  Plate & Barrel at Buck & Honey's is a new adventure for the Buck & Honey's gang. Open date is targeted for August 15th.  Follow them on Facebook at:

Blogger's Note: Tapas anyone?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

QBE's Van Herwaarden Named Industry Representative of the Year (Sun Prairie Star)

On May 9, Barbara Van Herwaarden of QBE Regional Insurance in Sun Prairie was named the Industry Representative of the Year at the 114th Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (IIAW) state convention in Madison.

Click here to read the full article:

Blogger's Note: Congratulations to Barbara on this recognition from IIAW.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Keller Inc. Opens Sun Prairie Office (City of Sun Prairie)

Photo by Neil Stechschulte

Congratulations to Bob Poch (3rd from left) and the entire Keller, Inc. team on the opening of their Sun Prairie office in the Nature's Preserve Office Park.  Keller hosted an open house and ribbon cutting on May 9th.  Keller is a planning, architectural and building construction company that has worked on several projects in Sun Prairie including West Prairie Dental and Prairie Centre (Copp's West).

Orange Leaf Yogurt Prepares for Opening in Prairie Lakes (Facebook)

Look who's sign is up in Prairie Lakes, and who already has a Facebook page!  Now hiring!

Orange Leaf Yogurt of Sun Prairie on Facebook

Blogger's Note: I'm just glad its getting warm enough for frozen yogurt.

Renk Seed: Wisconsin's Independent, Family-Owned Farm Seed Company (

The current generation of the Renk Family who own Renk Seed are (left to right): Jeff, Brett and Alex. (Photo By John Oncken,

This article link below is a great historical overview of Renk Seed Company and their family legacy here in Sun Prairie.

Click here to read the full story:

Starion Opens New Sun Prairie Office (Sun Prairie Star)

Starion Financial has opened its second Wisconsin location in Sun Prairie. Starion Financial is a $975 million family-owned community bank with a full line of commercial, personal and mortgage banking services.

Click here for the full article:

Blogger's Note:  We look forward to Starion Financial helping out Sun Prairie businesses, developers and home owners for years to come.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Charter Information Sessions Highlight New Business Park Network (Sun Prairie Star)

Charter recently expanded its technology network in the Sun Prairie Business Park to bring more service options to area businesses.  The expanded network now features video, phone and several speed levels of Internet for businesses of all sizes to use to support their business needs.  Combined with existing Charter Business fiber technology in the park, which provides bandwidth up to 1Gb, this enhancement now creates a full suite of technology services available to Park tenants. Charter Business representatives will host information sessions on May 16 and May 22 to discuss the network enhancements and new options available to area businesses.

Click here for more information:

Blogger's Note: Both existing and new employers are continuously looking for increased capacity, faster speeds, and higher reliability.   Any expansion of fiber helps ensure the Sun Prairie Business Park remains one of the most competitive locations for business in the Greater Madison region.

Sun Prairie City Council OK City Contribution to Sun Prairie Ice Arena (Sun Prairie Star)

The Sun Prairie City Council voted to provide some financial guarantees and other assistance to allow the Sun Prairie Ice Arena to move forward this summer.   This preliminary agreement is subject to approval of a formal development agreement by the City Council and the Sun Prairie Youth Hockey Association, as well as approval by the Bank of Sun Prairie.

Click here to read the full article:

Blogger's Note:  This will be the premier ice arena for hockey and figure skating in south central Wisconsin.  Congratulations to the SPYHA on reaching this milestone, and we're looking forward to seeing the project get started in the coming months.

Renk Seed is Expanding Sun Prairie Facility (

Expanded territories and continued growth in its traditional markets are causing Renk Seed of Sun Prairie to expand its facilities.  A $12 million project under way at the company’s headquarters at 6809 Wilburn Road will double processing capabilities, more than double storage of bulk grains and increase by one-third the storage area for bags of seed.

Click here to read the full article:

Blogger's Note:  Congratulations to the Renk Family on the continued growth of their company.