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June 2011

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Business ‘Hopping’ at Downtown Silk Screening Business

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Advertising Hot Spots

Upcoming events in downtown Fond du Lac

Bike shop has long history in downtown

Dorothy Bliskey | Special to The Reporter John Bartow has had a long love affair with bikes.

oversees a repair area where several repair experts work day and night.

At age 14, he began repairing them professionally alongside his dad, who worked at Vern’s Bike Shop downtown. Now, Bartow owns the bike shop, purchasing it from the former owner 30 years ago.

“This time of year is our busiest,” Bartow said.

Fond du Lac Cyclery and Fitness, Bartow’s shop at 209 S. Main St., was formerly Vern’s and later went by the name of Fond du Lac Schwinn Cyclery. Bartow’s wife Carol operates a second bike shop in Oshkosh called Oshkosh Cyclery. While the Oshkosh location has a larger showroom, Fond du Lac Cyclery has a larger storage and bike repair area. At any given time, shoppers can choose from approximately 200 bikes on display. Brands like Trek, Cannondale and Giant are a draw. Bikes for all ages from kids to adults line the showroom and fill the online screens for at-home shoppers at the shop’s website (www.fonddulaccyclery.com), where customers can link to the Trek website and build the bike of their dreams. Known as Trek’s “Project One,” the option allows a person to customize the style and cost of their bike by choosing the model, paint scheme and desired components.

Leading brand Trek’s worldwide corporate headquarters is in Waterloo, Wis. — less than an hour from Fond du Lac.

A good fit A good share of the service the store provides, he said, involves fitting the person to the bike. “We take into account the person’s weight and height and make sure the bike is comfortable for them,” he said. Bikes from the hybrid series are the most popular at Bartow’s shop. “They are in between a mountain bike and a road bike and great for comfort and fitness,” Bartow said. “The hybrid series fits more recreational riders.” Many serious bikers who compete as triathletes and in races like the Ironman choose Trek’s road racing bikes (tri-bikes), and some are Bartow’s customers. “This kind of racer will be evident when the third annual Grand Prix Tour of America’s Dairyland race comes downtown June 24,” Bartow said. He also notes that Fond du Lac has a BMX racetrack. “We have a host of BMX bicycles,” Bartow said.

Advances Bikes have changed dramatically in the three decades Bartow has been in business.

“Trek attracts a lot of people to our store,” Bartow said. “It’s our leading brand and has a very high quality product.”

“They are highly technical now,” he said. “Back then, bikes were made of steel and were heavier. Now, they are comprised of lighter weight aluminum or carbon fiber.”

Fond du Lac Cyclery is a full-service retail shop that sells and repairs all types of bikes — from mountain bikes and hybrids to road bikes, tandems, recumbent and even electric bikes.

“Steel has been reintroduced though,” Bartow said. “They are using a lighterweight version of steel on a segment of Trek bikes. It’s viewed as a ‘green’ bike because steel is recyclable.”

A fitness equipment area at Fond du Lac Cyclery carries treadmills and a selection of stationary exercise bikes.

Advances over the years are also evident in bicycle shifting mechanisms, shocks, seat and handlebar design, lights and many other components, making biking more comfortable and desirable.

In addition, a seemingly endless array of accessories can be found in the shop — bike helmets, racks, bags, baskets, headlights, energy food, clothes, shoes, and bike computers that track activities like heart rate, average speed, maximum speed and calories, to name a few. Bartow, as a seasoned bike mechanic,

Hours at Fond du Lac Cyclery are MondayFriday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. A customer parking lot is located behind the store. For more information, call (920) 923-3211 or visit online at www.fonddulaccyclery.com.

Bartow gets involved in the community with the focus on biking and fitness. He serves on the bicycle committee for the Fond du Lac area, the Healthy Kids Coalition and the Race the Lake event. He also donates bikes for no absentee awards at Fond du Lac middle schools.

MIDDLE: Nine-year-old Ali Munger checks out a new bicycle at Fond du Lac Cyclery & Fitness Center, 209 S. Main St. ABOVE: Mechanic Dylan Schneider works on a bike at Fond du Lac Cyclery, a full-service retail shop that sells and repairs all types of bikes. (Patrick Flood photos/The Reporter)

As for his own love of biking, he raced competitively at one time and now bikes the country roads for fun and fitness. In recent years, Bartow has seen a substantial increase in the adult bike

market. “There will continue to be an increase in commuter biking,” Bartow said. “Fitness is the driving force.”


June 2011

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Printing on sports uniforms, trophies and more keeps this business Dorothy Bliskey | Special to The Reporter Three years ago, Mark Hopper’s Custom Silk Screening moved from North Fond du Lac to 77 N. Main St. in downtown Fond du Lac. After more than 30 years in business, the move brought Mark Hopper full circle — back to Main Street where the idea for getting into a sports-related business had its earliest beginnings. “I was born and raised into a sporting goods family since my dad (Jack Hopper) operated The Sport Shop on Main Street for many years — the site where Sal’s Pizza is now,” Hopper said. The idea for a screen printing business crystallized later, he said, when his dad was running Hopper’s Ski and Sport Center on West Johnson Street, now the location of Gino’s Restaurant. “We first operated the silk screening business out of my dad’s ski shop on Johnson Street,” Hopper said. In 1984, he moved the business to North Fond du Lac.

Location The move to downtown Fond du Lac three years ago was a good one, he said. “We have had our best years in business these last three years — in spite of the recession.” The location on a busy downtown intersection tripled the size of available workspace and offers a huge expanse of display windows that Hopper believes has made the difference. “I’m a firm believer in location, location, location,” he said. The idea for his business began while working alongside his dad. “Being in the sporting good business, we had many customers who were on teams for various sports — bowling, softball, baseball and other sports,” Hopper said. “We always had to ship our uniform printing out or have it done at the manufacturing level — but that caused us to lose control of our deadlines.” He gained control of the deadlines when he started his silk screening business 34 years ago and began doing all the imprinting in-house. Hopper’s imprints on sportswear for retail and wholesale customers and has an awards department that prints on plaques, trophies, medals and other items for sports and non-sports-related accomplishments. A vinyl graphics department creates art on cars, trucks and banners.

Imprinting

hopping

Baseball, wrestling, soccer and other sports teams at all levels from across the United States and other countries utilize the expertise of the imprinting that can be accomplished at Hopper’s. “Our busiest time is April, May and June due to Little League, soccer and other summer sports,” Hopper said. “We imprint 10,000 shirts for 400 entire teams during this time. We call it our heyday.” While a major portion of the 15,000-squarefoot facility is used for printing, engraving and graphic design work that takes place behind-the-scenes, a front showroom is stocked with sports-related clothing for off-the-rack purchases. “Badger items are huge for us,” he said. “We even have people coming up from Madison for it.” Other showroom selections include professional team sportswear such as the Brewers and sports-related clothing for athletes and fans at Fond du Lac and area schools. Novelty T-shirts and plain T-shirts in an array of colors are available. Screen printing remains a popular method in the industry, although Hopper’s uses high-tech digital printing directly onto garments as well. Hopper’s has 5,000 silk screen frames in its warehouse area, with some more than 30 years old. “The average screen print shop has 100,” Hopper said. “We go through 30 screens (30 different designs) a day. We also make screens for others.”

TOP: Hopper family members gather inside Mark Hopper’s Custom Silk Screening, 77 N. Main St. From left are John, Dave, Kim, Jack (front), Mark and Katie. The business is a familyrun operation that got its start more than 30 years ago. (Patrick Flood/The Reporter)

Family business The business is a family-run operation. Mark and his wife Kim own and oversee the operation on a daily basis, bringing their four adult children on board as well. Oldest son David has worked for his parents 21 years and in every department. John, on staff 10 years, is in charge of IT, handles all awards such as engraving on plaques and trophies, and specializes in banners and removable vinyl graphics that mimic permanent art on cars and trucks.

master printer; Andy Scherg, screening technologist; Tammy Iloncaie, graphic artist; and Michelle Novak, customer service manager. “We think of all our employees as family,” Hopper said. “This is really our home away from home. We spend a lot of time here but enjoy working together as a family.” It didn’t take long to get involved in the

They continue to consult with son Scott, who worked at the business in the past. They have purchased some production machinery from him. Daughter Katie, who is due to graduate from college and embark on a teaching career, is employed as a seasonal worker. Other employees include Jeff Rosenthal,

Experience Downtown Fond du lac is published by The Reporter, Fond du Lac. Contents of this section are published for The Reporter. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior consent of The Reporter. For more information, contact Michael Mentzer, managing editor, at 920-907-7910 or e-mail mmentzer@fdlreporter.com.

downtown community once Hopper’s moved to Main Street. Hopper serves on the board for the Fond du Lac Downtown Partnership. His company recently donated $14,500 to the Officer Craig Birkholz fundraising effort, shipping shirts to 32 states and three countries. “I have always believed in giving back to the community that so graciously supports us,” Hopper said.

Stitch Graphics, a garment embroidery business, is housed within Mark Hopper’s Custom Silk Screening business. Hopper’s utilizes its embroidery services on some projects. For more information on Mark Hopper’s Custom Silk Screening, call 922-3050 or visit online at www.hopperwear. com. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon.

General Manager/Executive Editor: Richard Roesgen Managing Editor: Michael Mentzer | Contributing Writer: Dorothy Bliskey Photography: Patrick Flood | Graphic Artist: Heather Nohr Advertising Director: Lisa O’Halloran | Advertising Manager: Jen Memmel Circulation Manager: Greg Fyvie | Wisconsin Production Center Manager: Tina Tweedale

If you would like to be a part of, or receive information on advertising rates for this monthly section, please call Liz Engh at 920-907-7904 or email her at, lengh@gannett.com.


June 2011

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For more information on what’s happening in downtown Fond du Lac, call 920.921.9500 or log on to www.downtownfdl.com

Surprises in store for this year’s Sidewalk Sale!

The Downtown Fond du Lac Sidewalk Sale will take place July 9 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. This fun-filled event is the perfect way to discover the hidden treasures of downtown Fond du Lac in a fun outdoor atmosphere. Downtown businesses will be offering huge savings and great deals on their products and services, so remember to mark your calendars and head downtown on July 9! This year’s Sidewalk Sale will feature two new activities sure to bring added fun and excitement to the event. The Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership has teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fond du Lac County to host a chalk art drawing contest. “Chalk it Up to Start Something Big” will consist of artists of all levels creating works of art in the Nielsen Plaza. Artists will use sidewalk chalk and other blending tools to transform sections of plain sidewalk into something beautiful. For more information contact Deb Miller at (920) 922-8200. In addition, Fox Valley Savings Bank will sponsor the first ever “Cash Cart” during the event. As in the past, four golf carts will be driving up and down Main Street during the Sidewalk Sale, but only one will be the “Cash Cart.” Mirrored after the popular TV Show “Cash Cab” participants will have their chance to win cash prizes for correct answers to downtown trivia questions. Wrong answer? Lose your winnings and lose your ride! Check the DFP’s Facebook page often; Cash Cart trivia questions and answers will be posted at random during the week of the Sidewalk Sale. Thank you to our golf cart sponsors: Gallery & Frame Shop, The Goldsmith, Edith’s Bridal, and Chase Bank Thank you to our activity sponsors: Fox Valley Savings Bank and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Fond du Lac County.

1 - Ahern Gross, Inc. 2 - All the Details, LLC 3 - Fox Valley Savings Bank 4 - Gallery & Frame Shop

5 - Hopper’s Silk Screen Printing 6 - Jack’s Team Sports 7 - Woods Floral & Gifts

Our “Advertising Hot Spots” displays the locations of our valued advertisers in this special section. You can easily find their locations on the map and then find their ads within these pages to find the great specials and deals that they have to offer you!


June 2011

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For more information on what’s happening in downtown Fond du Lac, call 920.921.9500 or log on to www.downtownfdl.com June 21, 22, 23, 24

HealthWorks Street Fair

per guest / infants under 1 are free; 51 Sheboygan St.

Exploring Painting Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 11am-Noon (Ages 5-11); 12:30pm-1:30pm (Ages 12-18); $10 per class, $35 for the week!

Childrens Museum of Fond du Lac, 51 Sheboygan Street; 2:00 - 5:00pm; FREE

Summer is perfect for camping and what’s more fun than singing songs aroung the campfire? Free with paid admission on Fridays in July and August.

We will be using out of the ordinary items to paint and paint with. Past classes have used pudding to paint with for the younger children! Also included, but not limited to, are watercolor and tempra paints.

• FREE snacks for kids!

June 22

• Visit each station and receive FREE admission that day to the Children’s Museum

Art Around Town Begins Childrens Museum of Fond du Lac, 51 Sheboygan St.; 9:15 - 10:00am; $35 for members / $55 for non-members; Ages: 3-5 years old; Instructor: Amanda Lehtola, MFA Lighthouses, Lake Winnebago, soccer fields, waterslides, windmills and farms...Little ones will be proud to display their artwork, inspired by local landmarks. This class offers a perfect combination of activity and art time! Cermamics Around the World (Session A) Begins Childrens Museum of Fond du Lac, 51 Sheboygan St.; 10:30-noon; $40 for members / $60 for non-members; Ages: 6-10

The Health Works Street Fair will be on Sheboygan Street, between Partland and Marr. • Exercise and healthy eating tips • Scavenger hunt at the FDL Public Library • Food vendors and face painting with Betty Trent

Special thanks to our sponsor Agnesian HealthaCare! Kids Bike Race Childrens Museum of Fond du Lac, 51 Sheboygan Street; 2:00 - 6:00pm; FREE;Age Groups: 5 & under, 6-7, 8-9, 1011 and 12-13; Call (920) 929-0707 to register. Kids activities take place on Sheboygan Street, between Portland and Marr. 2:00pm ~ Family fun activities and bike decorating 5:00pm ~ Kid’s bike race and parade (helmets required)

DFP - Downtown Morning Exchange Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership; 8 to 9 a.m. YMCA, 90 W. 2nd Street, FDL Here’s a chance to meet your fellow downtown business associates, share a cup of coffee and friendship, along with the latest downtown news from the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership.

Chalk It Up and Start Something Big! This is a sidewalk art festival for artists of all ages and levels of ability. This competition is sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters. The fee is $12 for 18 and under, and $15 for those over 18, and includes one space, one box of 48 chalks, one set of latex gloves and a sponge for blending - additional materials for purchase during event. Squares will be approximately 4.5 ft. by 4 ft. in size. Registration Forms are available at the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce. Deadline to register is July 5. Grand Opening of Just 4 Kidz Boutique, LLC

Sunday Stories

Sidewalk Sale

Childrens Museum of Fond du Lac, 51 Sheboygan Street; 11:30-12pm; $4.25 per guest, infants under 1 are free

Sponsored by the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Museum visitors are invited to hear a story enhanced with creative dramatics and group participation. Featuring selections from the New York Public Library’s “100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know”, participants will be inspired by literature to create art and fun! Program is free with paid admission. No reservations are necessary.

Great Deals! Farmers Market! Family Fun! Join us for a fun-filled open shopping experience as vendors and merchants line Main St. Nielsen Plaza will be the site of Chalk It Up!, and join in the fun with ‘Cash Cart’ opportunities!

Painting Class

June 23

Sponsored by the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; $12 under age 18, $15 over age 18; Nielson Plaza

June 26

• Savings bonds to winners.

Oil, Acrylic, and Watercolor. Each week we will be learning a new skill specific to the classes needs. Bring your own materials $10. To use the Gallery materials $15.

Chalk It Up!

45 N Main St, Fond du Lac WI; 8 am to 2 pm; From now until our Grand opening you may enter your name to win great prizes with each purchase made. Drawing will be held at 2pm. Must not be present to win. Come join the fun and excitement. There will be prizes and a coloring contest for kids.

• Prizes given to all kids who participate.

Young artists will enjoy exploring cermamics from around the world as they are inspired by literature, history and traditions. Children will create their own traditional black and white pinch pot, Tang Dynasty animal sculpture and Japanese tea bowl. Instructed by Amanda Lehtola, MFA. Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 7:00-8:00pm; $10 per class

July 9

• Bags of goodies.

June 28 Found Object Sculpture Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 11:30am-12:30pm (Ages 5-11); 1pm-2pm (Ages 12-18); $10 per class, $35 for the week!

June 24

We will tap into our creative problem solving skills while we take found objects and turn them into 3D sculptures!

Fond du Lac Bicycling Gran Prix

Painting Class

Sponsored by the Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership

Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 7:00-8:00pm; $10 per class

Fond du Lac is busy planning its third year of downtown bicycle races. We have races for licensed racers, a high schol race, and kids! The Gran Prix is part of an 11-day series of amateur and professional bicycle races licensed under USA Cycling. We have some great, involved sponsors and planning partners. Our race is held on downtown Fond du Lac streets, filled with beautiful and historic buildings. We have lots of great places to eat, drink, and just hang out.

Oil, Acrylic, and Watercolor. Each week we will be learning a new skill specific to the classes needs. Bring your own materials $10. To use the Gallery materials $15.

June 29 Family Art Night Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 6pm-7pm; $10 per family! This class is to get families to work together and create a unique art piece! We will focus on FUN and working together as a family! All ages and abilities are welcome.

June 29 & 30; July 1 Found Object Sculpture Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 11:30am-12:30pm (Ages 5-11); 1pm-2pm (Ages 12-18); $10 per class, $35 for the week! We will tap into our creative problem solving skills while we take found objects and turn them into 3D sculptures!

July 3 Sunday Stories Childrens Museum of Fond du Lac, 51 Sheboygan Street; 11:30-12pm; $4.25 per guest, infants under 1 are free Museum visitors are invited to hear a story enhanced with creative dramatics and group participation. Featuring selections from the New York Public Library’s “100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know”, participants will be inspired by literature to create art and fun! Program is free with paid admission. No reservations are necessary.

July 10 Sunday Stories Childrens Museum of Fond du Lac, 51 Sheboygan Street; 11:30-12pm; $4.25 per guest, infants under 1 are free Museum visitors are invited to hear a story enhanced with creative dramatics and group participation. Featuring selections from the New York Public Library’s “100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know”, participants will be inspired by literature to create art and fun! Program is free with paid admission. No reservations are necessary.

July 12 3D Collage (Ages 15+) Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 5pm-6:30pm; $10 per person Discover how to recylce your greeting cards into cool new art! You can even place photos in them and use the ideas for scrapbooking! ECO Friendly!

July 12, 13, 14, 15 Green Scrap Booking (Children) Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 1pm-2pm; $10 per class, $35 for the week! Each participant will recieve a book to begin their scraping. Bring Memoribilia!! We will also be using recyled greeting cards and other objects to make unique pages for the scrapbooks!

July 13 Green Scrap Booking (Adults) Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 5:30pm-7pm; $15 per person Each participant will recieve a book to begin their scraping. Bring Memoribilia!! We will also be using recyled greeting cards and other objects to make unique pages for the scrapbooks! Painting Class Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 7:00-8:00pm;$10 per class

Painting Class

Oil, Acrylic, and Watercolor. Each week we will be learning a new skill specific to the classes needs. Bring your own materials $10. To use the Gallery materials $15.

Jennabee Art Gallery & Studio; 7:00-8:00pm; $10 per class

July 15

July 6

Oil, Acrylic, and Watercolor. Each week we will be learning a new skill specific to the classes needs. Bring your own materials $10. To use the Gallery materials $15.

July 8 Songs Around the Campfire Childrens Museum of Fond du Lac; 11:00 - 11:30am; $4.25

Songs Around the Campfire Childrens Museum of Fond du Lac, 51 Sheboygan St.; 11:00 - 11:30am; $4.25 per guest, infants under 1 are free Summer is perfect for camping and what’s more fun than singing songs aroung the campfire? Free with paid admission on Fridays in July and August.


June downtown