Steve Cahalan: Petting Zoo Complements Nordic Creamery Retail Store in Westby | Company

By Steve Cahalan For La Crosse Tribune

With its new petting zoo, Nordic Creamery completed development of its retail store at 202 W. Old Towne Road, on the west side of the freeway. 14/61, at the south end of Westby.

The store opened in April 2021 and replaced the one on the farm (about five miles away) where Nordic Creamery owners Al and Sarah Bekkum produce their specialty cheeses and butters from cow’s milk , sheep and goat. The store sells food and non-food items.

The petting zoo opened on July 22 and features farm animals such as goats, sheep, steers and Sven, a one-year-old miniature horse. “We’re going to kind of rotate them,” Sarah Bekkum said of the animals.

The Bekkums created the petting zoo next to a huge farmhouse mural that they had painted on the side of a building.

“We just thought it would bring more people to our store,” Sarah Bekkum said. “And that it would create more of a family experience for people looking for something to do.”

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The Petting Zoo is open (weather permitting) during store hours, which are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Although the store is open year-round, the petting zoo will be seasonal. “It will be open until Labor Day for sure,” Sarah Bekkum said of the petting zoo. “And if the weather is still nice, maybe a few more weekends after that.” The mini-farm will reopen in the spring.

For more information, call the store at 608-634-FARM (3276) or visit or the creamery’s Facebook page.

Amber Blomquist started Wisconsin Coozie Co. in June in West Salem.

His new business makes custom coozies and has made them for things like bachelor/bachelorette parties, weddings, retirements, birthdays, holidays, girls’ night out, funerals, holidays and class reunions.

“Our most popular type is thin coozies used for seltzers or thin cans,” Blomquist said. “We can do custom orders from one to over 100. No order is too big or too small.

Wisconsin Coozie Co. makes coozies primarily as cup holders, but also makes coozies that hold things such as popsicles.

“I offer a variety of sizes and colors,” Blomquist said. “Some examples include normal cans for sodas, beer, etc., as well as slim cans, sleeves for things like coffee and McDonald’s drinks, coozies for Popsicles, and coozies for pints of ice cream. “

Blomquist said the new venture also sells Midwest Merchandise items it makes, such as Midwestern humor-centric clothing and hats such as “you betcha” and other Wisconsin designs.

She sells on Facebook and at craft shows, festivals, pop-up shops and collaborations with other local establishments. “I’m not currently in any other retail stores, but I see wholesale in the near future,” she said.

Blomquist also has Creative bee shop, which she started in 2020 during the pandemic. It sells personalized shirts, mugs, signs, coozies and other “crafty items,” she said.

For more information, call 608-704-9039, email [email protected], or visit Wisconsin Coozie Co.’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

The Burger King restaurant that closed in 2017 at 1124 W. George St. in La Crosse may be torn down soon.

Eagle Bay Properties LLC, which owns this building as well as the adjacent Bridgeview Plaza shopping center property, has applied to the City of La Crosse for a conditional use permit that would allow it to demolish the former restaurant and turn it into green space.

The building is in disrepair, hasn’t been used since Burger King closed, and its owner believes its demolition would help market the site for redevelopment, city staffers told La City Council. Crosse and members of the city plan commission in a report that recommended approving the application.

The planning commission and the council’s judicial and administrative committee recommended approval at their meetings last week. The full board is expected to vote on the nomination Thursday.

I have a new detail about the three-unit apartment building that was built next to the Chick-fil-A restaurant that will open this fall on the site of the former Fauver Hill School, on the east side of the highway. 16, south of Interstate 90, in Onalaska.

A sketch on the Onalaska Project webpage was updated last week to show that Caribou Coffee will occupy the south end space, a Mattress Firm mattress store will occupy the central space and the restaurant Five Guys Burgers and Fries will occupy the north end of the building. . The identities of the three tenants first surfaced publicly in March. The update shows how much space each will take up.

As I reported in last Sunday’s column, a Caribou Coffee spokesperson said the company hopes to have its Caribou booth there open in late fall. Five Guys and Mattress Firm did not respond to my questions about their schedules.

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