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publisher Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 P (608) 356-8757 • F (608) 356-8875

january/february 2019

vol. 59


editor-in-chief Amy S. Johnson

arts Karl Borgeson.................................40

publication designer Jennifer Denman


senior copy editor

Krystle Engh Naab

The Future of Free Speech for College Students in Wisconsin......44 Jason Hafeman..............................48 Unlocking the Closet.....................54

sales & marketing director


Kyle Jacobson

copy editor

Amy S. Johnson

Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Café...6

sales & marketing manager

Build-A-Brewery.............................50 Pasture and Plenty........................22 Pies and Cakes..............................14 State Line Distillery.........................10

Kelly Hopkins

graphic designers Crea Stellmacher, Linda Walker, Barbara Wilson

food & beverage

landmark Madison Candy Company............38

administration Jennifer Baird, Lori Czajka, Debora Knutson


contributing writers

Savanna Institute...........................30

Broyles & Company CPAs, LLC, Sandy Eichel, Jeanne Engle, Dave Fidlin, Jacob Grace, Kyle Jacobson, Asma Kadri Keeler, Elissa Koppel, Lauri Lee, Krystle Engh Naab, Lori Scarlett, DVM, Liz Wessel



Grain-Free Pet Foods......................34

shopping Wilson Creek Pottery......................18


Eric Tadsen

Food Sports....................................58

additional photographs Apple Wellness, Blazel Photography, Michelle Clasen, Dane County Humane Society, Dodgeville Area Chamber of Commerce, Lieneke Hafeman, ilana natasha photography, Kyle Jacobson, Stephanie Kaat, Karl Borgeson Ceramics, Jim Koepnick, John Martens, Barbara Miner, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce, Project Home, Savanna Institute Staff, Sunny Frantz Photography, Wisconsin State Fair, Ziegler Photography (continued)

well-being Find Your Healthy Place—Educating Yourself on Natural Solutions..........26

including From the Editor................................4 Contest Information......................62 Contest Winners............................62 Individual Tax Change Highlights...56

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all rights reserved. ©2019

No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission by the publisher, Towns & Associates, Inc.

Watch for the next issue March/April 2019. Cover photograph— Crustino taken at Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Café by Eric Tadsen.

from the editor It’s a new year and I for one am glad for it! 2018 was neither my best nor favorite, so the arrival of 2019 feels like a chance for a clean slate. My wish to you, our readers, and to all Madison Essentials contributors, friends, and family is that this will be a year full of new possibilities and opportunities, and that you’ll also be able to continue building upon the things you started in 2018 or earlier, bringing them forward with you into 2019. Whether possibilities and opportunities that come our way are on a personal or professional level, or both, they can provide us a chance for growth. For myself, any prospect of growth is welcome no matter how painful it may be to get there. In every aspect of my life, stagnation makes me weary and discontent. I want to learn from my successes and failures so that I can continually build upon my life’s path. You can’t get to a better place without some kind of growth. As for what 2019 holds for Madison Essentials, we will be revisiting some favorite themes—Epicurean, Well-Being, Open Air, Community & Culture, and Giving & Sharing—and introducing a new one: Madison Style. We want to continue exploring these great topics and to start exploring the style that is representative of the social and creative capacities of the Greater Madison area so that we may celebrate what makes our community loved by those who live here and admired by those who visit. Finally, it’s my wish that 2019 also provides us with less conflict; greater understanding; increased patience; and, most of all, hope, in all its forms and factions. The extent of our lives cannot be greater than the capacity of our hope. May your hope be without limits.

amy johnson

Photographs on page 3: top—Thai Scallops taken at Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Café by Eric Tadsen. middle—taken at Wilson Creek Pottery by Eric Tadsen.

Eric Tadsen

4 | madison essentials

The Looking Glass Bakery – Mini Cheddar Apple Pies

Photograph by Stephanie Kaat

bottom—Southside taken at State Line Distillery by Eric Tadsen.

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e ssential dining

A Far from Ordinary Experience


by Lauri Lee So close to everywhere and far from ordinary, Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Café is likely to inspire diners to leave the hustle and bustle of Madison to enjoy serene country dining next to the Sugar River. Over the short 10-minute drive, the scenery changes to green grass, fields, and farms, hinting at the bona fide fresh and local ingredients of the venue that lies ahead. The schoolhouse itself was built in 1854 and had been used by the Belleville School District until 1972. Bill Hastings purchased the building in 1990, and in 1998, converted it to shops and two apartments. Debbie Schwartz rented space there to operate her shop, The Cottage Gardens, and in 2003, she bought the old schoolhouse. Often tourists came to Debbie’s shop and asked the simple question, “So where can I find a place to eat?” She contemplated the question. After years of directing people elsewhere, Debbie determined that in addition to shopping local, she would also offer a place to eat local. 6 | madison essentials

Wild Salmon – Miso Marinated | Sake Butter Cucumber Relish | Asparagus | Herbed Rice

After renovating the entire building and taking out the apartments and adjoining wall to the shop, the Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Café launched in 2008 with an expanded shop and a small space for lunch sandwiches. Due to its blossoming popularity, the café soon took over the retail expansion until it spilled out the back door onto the patio along the banks of the river.

Garden in Paoli is used in some recipes. They also source and grow relationships with local farmers, cheesemakers, and food businesses. The result—seasonally inspired food made from scratch and presented with flair. Important as the food is, today’s restaurant-goers desire something

And the ingredients at Paoli Schoolhouse don’t get much more local than food grown in the café’s own gardens. The restaurant also obtains ingredients from Clean Fresh Foods, just a half mile up the road, and beer from The Hop Goat Cheese Salad – Local Greens | Local Goat Cheese Pecans | Pears | Strawberries Grapes | Blueberries

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Beef Wellington – Mushroom Ragout | Puff Pastry | Demi-Glace | Asparagus

Caramel Fudge Cheesecake with Chocolate Gelato – Salted Caramel | Chocolate | Walnuts

Chef Luis Garcia incorporates creative and innovative menu touches as well as recipes from different cultures. more complete when dining out. The Paoli Schoolhouse meets this demand by ensuring every element reflects the values of Debbie and the restaurant’s general manager, Lee Rosenhagen. Decorated tastefully for the season, the outside landing sets the tone for the tranquil and beautiful décor that lies just on the other side of the door. Inside, the relaxed and inviting atmosphere, delicious upscale food, and great service combine to create a comfortable, memorable experience. “Staff is mindful that we are not simply selling food—we are providing an experience that is out of the ordinary,” shares Lee. “We want to put a smile on their faces and in their hearts. It’s the little touches, like fresh flower centerpieces and refolding their napkin if they leave the table, that make a difference.” The food is served in a timely and polite manner by an extra attentive staff, who consider comfort when creating a pleasurable dining experience at the

8 | madison essentials

café. Diners are seated on plush black velvet chairs and at tables spaced to allow intimate and private conversations. Alongside fresh, local ingredients, the menu includes fresh fish flown in from around the world. Chef Luis Garcia incorporates creative and innovative menu touches as well as recipes from different cultures, which is important because, when it comes to restaurant menus, foodies have declared that size doesn’t matter—interesting variety does. Luis and the culinary staff, many of whom have been at the café since it opened, regularly prepare blackened salmon and crab cakes, seafood and three cheese ravioli, Asian grain bowl, and jambalaya. Then there’s the chicken pot pie on the lunch menu that raises this classic comfort food up a notch with a puff pastry top. Also available are a selection of salads, sandwiches, burgers, and the café combination of half a sandwich with soup or house salad.

Upscale dinner entrées include beef Wellington, Kona-encrusted beef tenderloin, Brazilian flat iron, coffeeencrusted stella burger, a couple of pasta dishes, and vegetarian and glutenfree options. From the ocean and lake menu, diners can select from Thai scallops, Canadian walleye, and wild salmon. Paoli Schoolhouse is famous for its coconut cream pie alongside other beautifully presented desserts. Sunday brunch and lunch is offered from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and includes French toast, buttermilk pancakes, ham and mushroom omelet, sirloin and poached egg, classic eggs Benedict, quiche, a breakfast sandwich, blackened smoked salmon, and crab cakes with eggs. For lunch, you’ll find chicken salad, a bacon bourbon burger, blackened chicken salad, and a roasted vegetable sandwich. When weather permits, lunch and dinner can be enjoyed on the patio. A full-service bar features craft cocktails and beer, wine, Champagne, and sparkling wine selections to complement your meal. There’s live music on Saturday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. When the weather is nice, musicians play on a stage overlooking the Sugar River. Music is also featured on Thursday evenings, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

landscape architects garden designers site planners 831.5098

OUTDOOR CREATIV VE The comfortable and serene atmosphere draws a cross section of diners. The café is visited by tourists, bikers, and couples on date night, and is a great site for birthday parties, small weddings, and other celebrations. It’s a central hub for those who want to connect in the middle from where they call home. And attire, from biker shorts to wedding finery, is suited to the occasion being recognized or situation that brings visitors to Paoli. The gift shop is just inside the front entrance, making it convenient to browse for distinctive gifts before and after eating in the café. It carries a wide array of jewelry, clothing, accessories, ponchos, scarves, hats, small gifts for home, and holiday gift merchandise. The gift shop with a little café is now known as the café with the unique gift

shop. To enjoy great food and take in the serene experience by the Sugar River, check out Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Café. Lauri Lee is a culinary herb guru and food writer living in Madison. Photographs by Eric Tadsen.

Lauri Lee

Paoli Schoolhouse Shops & Café

6857 Paoli Road Paoli, WI 53508 (608) 848-6261

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essential food & beverage

Grain to Glass

State Line Distillery by Kyle Jacobson

our battles. One thing I love about this mentality is it demands we pay attention to more than just local things. Photograph by Eric Tadsen

Live local. It’s a lifestyle I often find myself reflecting on. In some ways, we all try to live local, but we choose

For as much stress that’s placed on local businesses, suppliers, and artists, the impetus to foster global awareness is essential for the movement’s success. Whether through culture, science, or history, ignorance in facets of the world at large festers a weakness when trying to empower the idea of living local. Restaurants have taken to the live-local movement by embracing farm to table. John Mleziva, founder and head distiller at State Line Distillery, takes that idea to the spirit world with grain to glass. “We can say with confidence that everything we use is Midwestern grain, with the goal of trying to get to everything being Wisconsin grain.” The celebration of local ingredients also lends itself to an uncommon product. “Our grain bill for our base spirit is 60 percent barley 40 percent wheat, which differentiates ourselves from other distilleries. Most clear spirits in the U.S. are corn based, and because it’s the cheapest form of a sugar source for

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The End Or it would’ve been if in 2012 John hadn’t come across the opportunity to pursue a Master of Science degree in

brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. “It was a one-year degree and was one of those moments where I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, ‘I’m going to Photograph by Eric Tadsen


A scratch-made, sustainable, locally grown menu — reflecting the neighborhood and the season.

Photograph by Eric Tadsen

“Quite honestly, I figured I probably would only be in Madison 2 or 3 years, and that’s 11 years ago now.” Like a lot of people here, he fell in love with the bike trails. He also saw what he loved about Minneapolis on a smaller scale, “so the community felt tighter to me in a lot of ways. It didn’t take long to decide this is probably home to me.”

2540 UNIVERSITY, MADISON, WI .....................................


John recalls his introduction to the concept of turning grain into alcohol when his grandpa introduced him to homebrewing. He was a 20-year-old studying biology at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. But the idea of turning grain into gin...that wouldn’t be for another lifetime. After John received his undergraduate degree and worked in a research lab at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, he realized his passion lay in the students and not the plating of bacteria. He pursued a Master of Arts degree in policy and administration and was thereafter hired as the assistant director of student activities at Edgewood College in 2008.


Photograph by Eric Tadsen

a spirit, it’s what most use. We chose to use barley and wheat because of what it does to the flavor profile. It adds a really nice creaminess to the mouthfeel— the wheat does especially. The barley gives it an ever-so-slight perception of sweetness on the palate.”

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local and whole ingredients

from the State of Wisconsin as we can.”

regret it if I don’t do this.’” Unmarried and with no real estate to call his own, it was now or never. Behind the Times


“And so I jumped off the cliff into the deep end and took a total left turn on my career if I can add anymore clichés. I moved to Scotland and got my Master of Science degree in brewing and distilling, and that was the first time I was introduced to distillation in practice rather than just imbibing.” What came from that experience is very much a celebration of the live-local lifestyle and the artisanry that comes with it. It all starts with good spirits. “Consumers are paying attention about how you make something. What makes it different? Is it authentic? And then, is it good? You can never lose focus on

the fact that what we need to make is world class—is the best expression of a contemporary gin, is the best expression of a grain-to-glass vodka, coffee liqueur, of an aquavit, any of these things. We want the consumer to be as excited to drink it as we are to make it.” There’s a harkening back to times when people took great pride in what they made. It’s part of that lifestyle. John makes the best product he can because anything less isn’t the reflection of himself he wishes to put out there. His education in Scotland lends itself well to that, challenging him to embrace the contemporary through the traditional. He continually ensures his base spirit is the best it can be. Rather than dressing it up to try and hide booziness and sharp notes, he finds ways to highlight Photograph by Eric Tadsen

Photograph by ilana natasha photography

Photograph by ilana natasha photography

“The name State Line comes from trying to use as many

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Your seat is waiting.

Photograph by Eric Tadsen

what makes his base spirit exceptional when developing a new vodka, whiskey, or gin. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s closed off to the idea of dressing his spirits up when they’re perfected and on the bar.

name State Line comes from trying to use as many local and whole ingredients from the State of Wisconsin as we can. It’s to celebrate the rich agricultural history of this state.” A history best served an ounce at a time.

“You just try to bring your best expression of anything that you’re making to the table. ... Mike, our bar manager, is extremely talented at what he does, and he’s also innovative. The cocktails we serve use fresh whole ingredients. Juice, everything, fresh day of for service. We make all of our syrups in house. Everything is as local as possible whenever possible.”

Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

All the details of a State Line cocktail are put under the microscope, even the ice. “Ice is a crucial component to a cocktail. If your ice isn’t dense enough, then you’ve got a dilution factor that happens too quickly and throws off your flavor profile.” State Line utilizes their reverse-osmosis water system to make crystal clear cubes they and others swear by. State Line Distillery has taken live local to the extent of becoming an amalgamation of Wisconsin. It’s not just the ingredients, it’s the hard work and care that goes into each bottle. “The

2019 Highlights ✦ The Cactus Blossoms ✦ Rachael & Vilray ✦ Davina & The Vagabonds ✦ Gaines & Wagoner ✦ Robbie Fulks ✦ Sierra Hull ✦ The Milk Carton Kids ✦ Marty Stuart ✦ Eilen Jewell ✦ Michael Perry ✦ Rodney Crowell ✦ The Subdudes ✦ Robyn Hitchcock ✦ Carlene Carter ✦ Chris Smither ✦ Crystal Bowersox ✦ Leftover Salmon ✦ Del McCoury Band ✦ Della Mae And much, much more ...

Kyle Jacobson

State Line Distillery 1413 Northern Court Madison, WI 53703 (608) 240-0099

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essential food & beverage

Pies and Cakes by Dave Fidlin

Photograph by Ziegler Photography

When it comes to enjoying the finer things in life, artisan bakers across the Greater Madison area have been creating custom crafted pies, cakes, and other scrumptious, satiating treats with toptier ingredients, a pinch of passion, and an ounce of love.

Clasen’s European Bakery

The Mixing Bowl Bakery – Apple Pie

Anyone who’s lived in Madison for any length of time knows about Clasen’s. The veteran bakery is on the cusp of celebrating its 60th anniversary, though the care and craftsmanship that goes into the shop’s assortment of goodies harkens back to a much earlier time marked by Old World-era European customs.

Photograph by Michelle Clasen

“We still stick to the European recipes, and everything is made from scratch,” says Michelle Clasen, who currently oversees operations within the shop. “We really respect the European tradition of baking here.” The commitment to ageold traditions and recipes can be found— and tasted—through such ingredients as egg custard and French buttercream.

Clasen’s European Bakery – Classic Blackforest Whip Cream Torte 14 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Clasen’s, which operates in Middleton and serves as a wholesaler to a number of area grocers, features a variety of sweet treats, including such specialty desserts as carrot cakes, cheesecakes, dobosh tortes, frangipane pear tarts, petit fours, and plum cakes. The Madison area institution also has made a name for itself with its selection of cream-cheese

coffee cakes, fresh kringle, poppyseed coffee cakes, and strudel. While Clasen’s stays true to tradition, Michelle says the bakers on staff also tinker in the kitchen. One of the shop’s newer offerings is the amaretto apple cider torte, which is layered with apple filling, vanilla buttercream, and amaretto. It’s topped off with cinnamon sugar and toasted almonds. “Our pastry staff came up with the concept for it,” Michelle says. When asked about Clasen’s most popular dessert offerings, Michelle says the signature chocolate torte, hands down, has been in demand over the years. It is accented with such ingredients as French chocolate buttercream, chocolate ganache, cocoa-dusted truffles, and a hint of coffee. “It’s become one of our best sellers,” Michelle says.

The Looking Glass Bakery

Co-owners Stephanie Kaat and Keegan Waggett say they founded The Looking Glass Bakery based on their love, care, and passion for food—particularly in the sweet spot of desserts. Their four-yearold business offers up a variety of cakes, cheesecakes, cookies and bars, cupcakes, donuts, French macarons, pies, tarts, and other delectable goodies.

“We really have a wide variety,” Stephanie says. “We like to change it up for the seasons, and we do a lot of custom orders for people for any occasion.” The shop’s artisan approach applies not only to particular tastes, but particular needs. Stephanie says The Looking Glass will make custom orders based on a person’s dietary or allergen needs.

“We really try to be different by offering fun flavors,” Stephanie says. Creativity also is high on the shop’s mission statement, she says, pointing out she will frequently make mini varieties of different desserts so people can sample multiple desserts. “I like to see how small I can make it,” she says. “It’s great for people who like to try different things.”

One of the most popular baked goods at The Looking Glass is a lemon lavender cheesecake, which is topped off with a lavender buttercream. Also in demand are the bakery’s chocolate offerings, including the deep, darkchocolate cheesecake, which features a brownie and graham cracker crust and is complemented with hazelnut Nutella buttercream and shaved white chocolate.

The imagination-filled tale of Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (the sequel to Alice in Wonderland) is the inspiration behind the shop’s name,

Photograph by Michelle Clasen

Clasen’s European Bakery – Signature Chocolate Torte

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Stephanie says, pointing to a scene where the main character serves Looking-glass cake to others in the story.

The Looking Glass Bakery – Wisconsin Sugar Cookies

The Looking Glass Bakery takes custom orders by phone or online and will be hosting a pop-up shop for Valentine’s Day. The bakery also shares its goodies by way of a food cart, which can be found at multiple rotating locations throughout the Madison area. Photograph by Stephanie Kaat

The Mixing Bowl Bakery

The word “mixing” is an apt name for this bakery because co-owners Curtis and Vickie Eberle enjoy mixing up the array of goodies at their Sauk City shop from one day to the next. “What we have available really depends on the day,” Vickie says. “Everything we make is done here, in house and from scratch.”

Photograph by Stephanie Kaat

On average, Vickie says The Mixing Bowl features 6 to 10 pies, 20 to 30 varieties of cheesecakes, and at least 1 cake of the day. The establishment, founded in 2014, also features soft-serve ice cream made entirely from scratch.

Over the years, Vickie says The Mixing Bowl’s lemon blueberry and extreme chocolate cakes have been especially popular. She adds customers also clamor for the chocolate chip cookie dough, turtle, and raspberry cheesecakes. “They usually fly right off the shelf,” she

says. The soft-serve ice cream, which complements many of the pies and cakes on the menu, has also been an oftrequested item on the dessert menu. Some of the options at The Mixing Bowl change with the seasons. Dutch apple, pumpkin, and pecan pies, for instance, are fall favorites, while rhubarb is a popular offering during the warmweathered summer months. Vickie says the Dutch apple pie is a particular source of pride in the bakery because of its crumb topping. “People rave about it. It’s not a normal crumb topping,” she says.

The Looking Glass Bakery – Buttermilk Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Photograph by Ziegler Photography

Curtis and Vickie, who run the shop with their children, say care and quality is front and center in every creation made within their mixing bowl. In addition to the dessert offerings, the bakery features an array of breakfast goods and multiple varieties of breads. “We use really highquality ingredients,” Vickie says. “It’s not

The Mixing Bowl Bakery – Cheesecake 16 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

These are three disparate bakeries that emphasize skill and craftsmanship over a mass-produced product commonly lacking in flavor. Some of the artisans interviewed in this piece are veterans, while others are still new to the sweet scene. Regardless, each of the bakers emphasize their love of creating satisfying desserts right in their own kitchens.

Photograph by Ziegler Photography

stuff out of a can. We try to use as many local ingredients as possible.”

The Mixing Bowl Bakery – Brownie Cake

Dave Fidlin is a freelance writer who has a special affinity for Madison. Dave’s career spans nearly 20 years, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to learn something new each day through his professional pursuits.

Dave Fidlin

Clasen’s European Bakery

7610 Donna Drive Middleton, WI 53562 (608) 831-2032 The Looking Glass Bakery

2817 E. Washington Avenue Madison, WI 53704 (available by appointment) (608) 640-9615

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e ssential shopping

Wilson Creek Pottery Stoneware is Art that Can Be Used by Lauri Lee The craftsman, artisan, and maker are back in vogue. People who want to know the butcher, baker, and the wine and cheesemaker behind their meals are now looking to add the potter to the list. More and more people are seeking an authentic experience of eating from dinnerware made with creative craftsmanship and craving a connection with the artisan behind

it. To them, great food served on a handcrafted plate just seems to feel right.

beautiful and has been handmade from scratch, just like the food that will be served on it.”

Ashley Pfannenstiel (pronounced fanin-steel), artisan potter and owner of Wilson Creek Pottery, credits the growing popularity of handcrafted functional stoneware to the farm-totable movement. “The stoneware is

For Ashley, the story behind Wilson Creek Pottery began when she was in college. An art and education major, she graduated from North Central College outside of Chicago. During her college years, she enjoyed found-object sculpture and focused on welding, woodworking, and ceramics with thoughts of becoming an art teacher. But dreams don’t pay the bills, and the hard reality was that sculpture and ceramics art, and art space in the city, is expensive. Her career took a different direction, and for the next 12 years she found success in the outdoor industry. Art was still Ashley’s first love, so she started to think of ways to change career direction to get back to her greatest passion. Her focus had changed since college to functional pottery so she could create pieces that would fit into

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Life has a funny way of revealing the paths we’re meant to take. Little did Ashley know that lunch with Liz, her friend and former college art instructor, would reveal her new career destiny. Liz encouraged her to check out a friend’s functional pottery studio. A connection was made with Peggy Ahlgren, owner of Wilson Creek Pottery in Spring Green, who wanted to retire and sell her studio. It was important to her to have a potter behind the wheel who would love it as much as she did. At first, Ashley thought this was a crazy idea to leave city life behind and

move to rural Wisconsin. Since she was looking for greener pastures, she soon realized this was a dream come true, to be an artisan potter surrounded and inspired by a picturesque countryside with beautiful rolling hills. Just six short months later in 2012, she found herself making functional pottery and immersed in Spring Green’s artistic community living with Mildred, the dog. The studio has character. It was once a cheese factory serving local dairy farmers living in Wilson Creek valley from the early 1930s to 1973. When it closed, Peggy purchased the small factory and adjacent farmhouse. With the help of family and friends, she converted the cheese factory to a pottery shop and studio and added a hand-built


actual spaces inside the home. The more often we hold something in our hands, the more important a role it plays in our everyday contentment.

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gas-reduction kiln situated outside between the studio and farmhouse. The gas reduction kiln is heated to 2,400 degrees, which gives Ashley’s work a unique look, different than an electric or wood kiln. Reduction refers to intentially cutting the amount of oxygen that goes into the kiln. This forces fire into the clay in search of more oxygen, which draws out new colors. After Ashley creates the shape of the pottery and puts on the glaze, the creations are surrendered to the fire of

the kiln to let nature take over to add an element of uniqueness. The atmosphere swirls around the clay, doing all sorts of interesting things to the glazes. Firing takes three days that include a 24-hour period where Ashley has to set an alarm to check on it every 45 minutes, all day and throughout the night. When she opens the kiln at the end of the firing process, it’s a surprise to see what nature performed and how the pieces came out. Functional pottery is created to be used rather than for decoration. When making it, there are many components to consider that go far beyond throwing a cylinder on the potter’s wheel and slapping on a handle. The potter wedges the clay, centers it on the wheel, throws the form, trims it, adds handles, decorates and designs it, carves, sands, fires, hand glazes, and refires each piece to perfection. Technical decisions are

20 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

made to determine the size of the pot, the position of the handle, the volume in a vessel, plus the design and aesthetics. If you’ve never had the pleasure of drinking from a pottery mug before, you may not realize that coffee and tea may actually taste better. The size and shape and curved edge of the vessel provide lip appeal, affecting the sensory experience as the aroma and liquid find the taste buds of the tongue and mouth. The handle should comfortably cup the hand of the user and be able to carry the liquid’s weight. Pottery mugs help keep hot and cold liquids at the desired temperature for longer than other cups. It’s more than a mug, it’s also a piece of art you get to hold. Wilson Creek Pottery uses the same red stoneware clay with its unique aesthetic and earthy feel and firing practices Peggy used for over 40 years.

A testament to its durability, neighbors are still using her pottery daily. Pottery is nonporous, glass-like, and hard as stone, so it’s chip resistant and can be used in the oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher. To learn about how pottery is made from the ground up, visitors are encouraged to take the 45-minute scenic drive from Middleton to Spring Green to meet Ashley and wander around the studio to see pottery in different stages of creation. Wilson Creek Pottery is a few minutes from downtown Spring Green and open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. But it’s best to call ahead.


comfort food

our featured restaurant specialties

Lauri Lee is a culinary herb guru and food writer living in Madison, Wisconsin.


Photographs by Eric Tadsen. Try this signature dish at

Egg batter-dipped challah bread, topped with bananas, brown sugar rum sauce, and pecans. Good Morning! 444 Johnson St., Madison 608.467.5051 |

Lauri Lee

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Look for more featured dishes in every issue!

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essential food & beverage

PASTURE AND PLENTY by Dave Fidlin Pasture and Plenty Ham and Gruyere with Fresh Cucumber Salad, featuring Enos Farms Ham, Roth Kase Gruyere, Batch Baguette, and Veggies from Elderberry Hill and Raleigh’s Hillside Farms.

In a nutshell, Pasture and Plenty is a meal kit service, deli and catering company, sit-down restaurant, test kitchen (dubbed a “kitchen studio”), and hub for other local businesses to sell products. Trying to pigeonhole Pasture and Plenty, one of Madison’s newest eateries, into one simple category is futile— and it comes by design, several years of behind-the-scenes planning, and a vision.

and hub for other local businesses to sell products. American Provenance and Wilson Creek Pottery are among the merchants with a presence inside Pasture and Plenty’s space, while the bounty of beverages—coffee, wine, and beer—are locally sourced.

What is simple is the establishment’s mission of cultivating the farm-to-table movement and ensuring people short on time can still nourish their minds and bodies with delicious, nutritious meals. Christy McKenzie, founder of the company, says Pasture and Plenty has established working relationships with more than 30 local farms, ranchers, and bakers.

As for the local partnerships, Christy says the concept fits hand-in-glove into her philosophy of making Madison a better, stronger place to live, work, and play. “I think it’s important to highlight and amplify the work of other businesses,” she says. “We all move farther—and faster—when we do it together.”

In a nutshell, Pasture and Plenty is a meal kit service, deli and catering company, sit-down restaurant, test kitchen (dubbed a “kitchen studio”),

Pasture and Plenty’s evolution into its current 3,500-square-foot space along University Avenue has been a work in progress the past several years, and

22 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Christy says more changes are afoot as the business continues to evolve. A milestone came this past summer when the establishment quadrupled its space and assumed the footprint of the venerable Rennebohm’s drug store. The seed for Pasture and Plenty, however, was planted well before the company began operating out of its initial 900-square-foot space adjacent to the former Rennebohm’s in summer 2017. Christy, a Madison native, has a rich background in food systems, their economic impact, and related policy issues. With her University of Wisconsin– Madison education in the mix, Christy says she also found herself grappling with a deficit many people struggle with in today’s fast-paced world—time

and balance—and the need to ensure her family continued to enjoy quality food amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life. “I started this business to solve our own need and hopefully help solve other people’s needs,” says Christy, whose personal and professional background includes time in Seattle before returning to her native Dairy State stomping grounds. “We knew that we needed and wanted to put together more of a community hub.” As one piece of the puzzle after another came together, Christy created the business plan that birthed Pasture and Plenty. While Christy, whose resume includes a leadership position with the food-focused social network Allrecipes, is one of the pivotal leaders behind the establishment, she is quick to point out many people are responsible for bringing a sketched concept into crystal sharp focus the past several years.

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“It’s been fun to work with such a talented team and bring vision to reality,” Christy

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“The concept,” Christy says, “is by design and mimics what is in season and what is available from local providers.” says. “It’s been an amazing year, seeing what everyone’s brought to the table. It’s been an incredible group project, and it’s really been a joy to be a part of it.” As Christy and the rest of the team of 18 staffers continue settling into Pasture and Plenty’s expanded digs, the establishment’s ongoing evolution is taking hold. The in-house eatery, which continues to pay homage to Rennebohm’s legacy with such original décor as the flooring, has a rotating menu offering that will be changed up from one week to the next. “The concept,” Christy says, “is by design and mimics what is in season and what is available from local providers.” Pasture and Plenty’s in-store hours vary, and Christy says she anticipates expanding them in the future. The eatery’s menu includes an array of breakfast and lunch offerings, available for dine-in Tuesday through Friday. A sampling of the ever-rotating list of menu offerings includes bakery, other breakfast options, sandwiches, soups, salads, and beverages galore. Outside the core operating hours in the morning, afternoon, and early evening hours on four of the five weekdays, Pasture and Plenty has offered a Wednesday dinner, available for dinein or carryout. Meat and vegetarian options are available “for families or singletons,” according to the menu. Across the United States, there has been quite a bit of buzz in recent years about meal kits and their place in the marketplace as consumer interest has moved in an upward trajectory. The 24 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

offering has, and will continue to be, a fundamental part of Pasture and Plenty’s operations plan as 2019 gets underway. Christy and her team offer meal kit subscriptions on four-week cycles, kicking off on Mondays and renewable thereafter. The pricing structure is tiered and offers flexibility depending upon the number of persons in a household. Pasture and Plenty has dedicated hours Mondays for subscribers of the service. An extension of Pasture and Plenty’s meal kit service is farm-to-freezer offerings, which are available to all in the community—meal kit members and nonmembers alike. Farm-to-freezer offerings include such meals as pastas, Asian-inspired dishes, soups and stews, and vegetarian meals. In keeping with the company’s mission, farm-to-freezer meals also contain locally sourced, seasonal ingredients with ease in reheating quickly and efficiently in mind. “I think this will be a big area of focus for us in 2019,” Christy says.

Dave Fidlin is a freelance writer who has a special affinity for Madison. Dave’s career spans nearly 20 years, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to learn something new each day through his professional pursuits.

Another area of the business that is expected to grow in the year ahead is the kitchen studio space for cooking and food-preparation demonstrations and classes. “This component of the business,” Christy says, “touches on the desire to ensure Pasture and Plenty serves as a platform for promoting community.”

Photographs by Sunny Frantz Photography.

In keeping with the concept, the company has carved out the original dining space (under the smaller, original footprint) and repurposed it for a community room that is specifically being tailored toward meeting space and special events. While Pasture and Plenty still has a number of areas of business under development or in launch mode, Christy also is taking a moment to bask at the road that already has been traveled. As she reflects, she says she is overcome with joy and gratitude. “We’ve been humbled by how well received our food and the renovation work has been. We are so grateful to be a part of this neighborhood and this food community.”

Dave Fidlin

PASTURE AND PLENTY 2433 University Avenue Madison, WI 53726 (608) 665-3770

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essential well-being

FIND YOUR HEALTHY PLACE Educating Yourself on Natural Solutions by Krystle Engh Naab Looking to discover a better version of yourself for the new year? Some may look to aesthetic or external improvements; however, examining the dietary choices you make daily will impact not only how you look, but feel. In a fast-paced world, some of us aren’t getting everything our bodies need. To combat this, some have turned to a natural solution. Tim and Becki O’Brien of Apple Wellness, a nutrition-supplement store, fight to educate and empower others to find their healthy place. Experts agree that the best way to get vitamins and other nutrients is through the food you eat, but as Tim points out, that may not be as easy as it once was. “People come 26 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

to our stores because the food is not what it was 50 or 100 years ago. … A bowl of brown rice has 40 percent less calcium than it did in 1960s. “So we’ll have two categories [of customers], the folks that simply want to feel more energized and uplift their mood and lower stress and feel better day to day—they are already healthy individuals, but they want to be even healthier. And the second category is people that have chronic issues, like chronic pain, digestive issues, headaches, migraines, chronic stress, sleep problems, depression, and they want to treat those things naturally, not with drugs.”

Education and information is vital to the supplement industry. Information about how to best serve our bodies is often evolving as we learn new things. Odds are you remember taking or doing something when you were younger for health reasons that is no longer recommended, but that’s generally because science never reaches an answer that it won’t question or explore further. Tim accesses numerous sources from different platforms to receive information about the naturopathic world on health topics, and to stay ahead of the times. “For example, we’ll get notified when Baylor University has produced a new clinical trial in treating cancer the natural way. Treating cancer,

arthritis, and depression at Baylor University for the last 15 years, and we get those updates. A recent one that just came out was a clinical grape-seed extract that if you get it in the right form kills cancer stem cells. Chemotherapy and radiation might zap the cancer, but it doesn’t kill off all the cancer stem cells, which is why recurrence with cancer is constant and comes back with a vengeance. Good science is showing clinical grape-seed extract is actually killing those cancer stem cells. “[We enjoy] being that knowledgeable, caring resource. In fact, there is not a day that goes by between the two stores that I don’t receive four to six testimonies of people getting off the medications. It is pretty rewarding. … ‘Are you serious? That worked? I’ve been suffering for this amount of years and this little natural place knew what to recommend, and


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now I feel 80 percent better.’ To me, that is where I get excited.” As important as it is for people in the industry to keep up with the science, there’s a second component of a nutritionist’s education that goes beyond the books: experience. Tim has worked with thousands of customers to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t, and understands that there’s always more information out there. “I have a lot of people who are smarter than me that I learned from to gain the education to find out what works.” Some might be quick to point out that supplements aren’t FDA approved. On its face, this might seem a negative, but Tim argues, “No food is FDA approved; however, we know there is healthy and not healthy food. When you look at a greater perspective of supplements being food, you can learn what Hippocrates said, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’ Food heals thy self. Supplements are from foods, and you learn what is good for different systems and make those recommendations. And we need to be careful and not pretend we are doctors or pharmacists. That’s why I love the medical side of having people work with their doctors or pharmacists to see if you can try this natural approach versus the drugs.” No matter which works, the end goal, as Tim says, is to make the individual happy and healthy. And health is more than just being nutritionally balanced. Chronic pain,

28 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

often defined as pain lasting more than 12 weeks, plays a large role in decreasing a person’s quality of life as they suffer over the years. A popular beneficial product Tim discusses is “CBD oil. It has all the benefits of medicinal marijuana without the high. The top two categories it’s used for are stress and chronic pain. Most of us don’t want to get high; however, we’ve heard of all these benefits for chronic pain, cancer treatment, stress, anxiety, sleep problems, and depression. CBD is the active compound from hemp that has all those benefits without the high. And we’ve been seeing tons of lives changed by that.” This lends itself to educating yourself on inflammation. Tim says, “Inflammation is the root of every disease or condition. If people can get inflammation cleansed out of their bodies on a daily basis, they’ll feel better as a whole.” He then points out what he sees as the most powerful anti-inflammatory on the market: curcumin, a component of turmeric. “That’s a nutrient product that I want to get the word out on.” Tim says most pain issues can be resolved through knowing the proper utilizations of curcumin and CBD oil. The options for staying healthy inside and out are plentiful. No matter where you decide to go or what you decide to do, Tim emphasizes finding a place that stresses “soul before sale. Always putting the customer first and fighting for their health and success more than anything else.”

Krystle Engh Naab is a freelance writer and copy editor for Madison Essentials.

Photograph by Barbara Wilson

Photographs provided by Apple Wellness.

Krystle Engh Naab

APPLE WELLNESS FITCHBURG 6313 McKee Road, Suite 100 Fitchburg, WI 53719 (608) 663-2640

APPLE WELLNESS SUN PRAIRIE 2824 Prairie Lakes Drive, Suite 108 Sun Prairie, WI 53590 (608) 825-0080

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essential nonprofit

Savanna Institute by Jacob Grace If you could travel back a few centuries to look at the land we now know as Dane County, you’d see a landscape of waving grasses and wildflowers shaded by scattered trees and shrubs. Large herbivores graze lush foliage that has been managed by native peoples. The highly productive ecosystem is neither a forest nor a grassland, but

a bit of both: a savanna. This type of ecosystem, which once covered much of the Midwest, including over five million acres of Wisconsin, was almost entirely converted to farmland after European settlement. When Kevin Wolz imagines Wisconsin’s farms of the future, he

Kevin Wolz shares a laugh at the Savanna Institute landowner field day.

imagines farms that look very much like the landscapes of centuries ago. As founder and co-executive director of the Savanna Institute, Kevin is working to establish widespread agroforestry in the Midwest. Agroforestry offers an opportunity to keep Midwestern farmland in agricultural production while also reaping the benefits of natural savanna ecosystems. “Savannas protect the soil, regenerate nutrients, sequester carbon, and support biodiversity,” says Kevin. “By mimicking the patterns of natural savannas, agroforestry can do all these things while also producing food and providing farmers with a source of income.” During his work as a graduate student at the University of Illinois, Kevin saw a growing demand from farmers and landowners for information on agroforestry practices. In 2013, he founded the Savanna Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, with the goal of laying the groundwork for large-scale agroforestry in the Midwest. Now in its fifth year, the Savanna Institute conducts on-farm research with farmers and university researchers

30 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Vulcan Farm, a Savanna Institute demonstration farm outside Sidney, Illinois, exemplifies the agroforestry practices intended to replicate the savanna ecosystems that once covered much of the Midwest.

across the Midwest, leads field days and monthly webinars, and hosts the yearly Perennial Farm Gathering in Madison, which has grown rapidly from a handful of farmers meeting in a barn to a conference attracting over 100 Midwest agroforestry enthusiasts.

The Savanna Institute conducts on-farm research with farmers and university researchers in the Midwest.

“We want to create a future with a stable climate, clean water, and thriving farm economies,” says Keefe Keeley, Savanna Institute’s co-executive director and a PhD student in the Nelson Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “It’s kind of a mix of cutting-edge science and old-fashioned people power, but we believe that agroforestry can do it all.” The field of agroforestry consists of a growing body of research and practices that have been used around the world for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Agroforestry practices include growing trees for fruit and nut production, timber harvest, and wind and rainfall management. Trees can even be combined with crops, like small grains in a practice called alley cropping, or incorporated into livestock production through a practice called silvopasture. In fact, agroforestry can serve many

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Landowners gather to hear Kevin Wolz, founder and co-executive director of the Savanna Institute, speak at a field day at one of the Savanna Institute demonstration farms in May 2018.

of these functions at the same time, making trees a multifunctional crop that can reduce financial risk and remain resilient to market variability. On a breezy day last May, landowners from around the Midwest gathered

in a large shed near one of the Savanna Institute’s northern Illinois demonstration farms. These landowners were attending a Savanna Institute field day to learn more about options for implementing agroforestry leases and cost-share programs on their land. “I think it’s really important what they’re doing here,” said one attendee who had recently inherited her parents’ farmland. “I’d like to be doing stuff like this on my farm, but I can’t really do it all myself. And whatever I do is going to have to be worth it economically.” Other attendees expressed similar sentiments—many were currently renting their land out for row cropping but sought more longterm, sustainable options. In one field, Kevin was answering questions with Cathe Capel, owner of the demonstration farm. Kevin has established a 99-year lease with Cathe for 10 acres, which have been planted with a variety of tree crops. She grazes her sheep in the alleys between the tree rows.

32 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

At the far end of the field, Keefe was answering questions about tree crops. “I’ve put in some hazelnuts and chestnuts, and I’ve had currants for a long time,” said one attendee. “But it’s all in one corner of my farm. How can I scale up?” The attendee represented a growing group of enthusiasts who were already familiar with tree crops but looking for ways to raise them at a larger scale and greater profit. The Savanna Institute has been working to make this possible as well. The demonstration farm itself boasted over 400 varieties of edible crops, including hazelnuts, chestnuts, currants, plums, apples, raspberries, grapes, serviceberries, and elderberries. Partnerships with organizations, like the Northern Nut Growers Association, the North American Fruit Explorers, the Association for Temperate Agroforestry, and the University of Missouri’s Center for Agroforestry, help the Savanna Institute connect growers with the most up-to-date information. Research collaborations are also a big part of the Savanna Institute’s work. These include research projects investigating carbon sequestration in agroforestry systems, tree protection and survival during silvopasture

establishment, insect pest and pollinator surveys on agroforestry farms, and performance trials of various tree crop. In 2018, the Savanna Institute published a book, Planting Tree Crops, that provides detailed instructions for implementing common agroforestry practices in the Midwest. The book has already been downloaded over 1,500 times from the institute’s website. At the end of the field day, Kevin and Keefe were exhausted but jubilant. “I got so many detailed questions,” Kevin says. “You can tell people are taking this seriously. Today was a big day, but this could get so much bigger!” Jacob Grace is an outreach coordinator for the Savanna Institute and a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin– Madison agroecology program. Photographs provided by Savanna Institute Staff. Photograph by Greta Landis

“Landowners and renters can both benefit hugely from long-term agroforestry leases like this,” Cathe says. “But it’s important to be clear about your goals early on so that everyone knows what they’re getting into.” Many beginning agroforestry farmers lack the land or capital to start farms of their own. Kevin hopes the Savanna Institute can be a bridge between farmers and landowners interested in putting savannas back on the landscape.

Jacob Grace

SAVANNA INSTITUTE 1360 Regent Street #124 Madison, WI 53715 (608) 448-6432

Oak savannas like this one (Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, Woodstock, IL) once covered more than 5 million acres of Wisconsin.

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e ssential pets

Grain-free Pet Foods

Fact and Fiction

by Lori Scarlett, DVM

There are a lot of grain-free pet foods on the market today. People think that grain free means allergy free and better nutrition for their dog or cat. Neither is actually true. Contrary to popular belief, grain-free diets do not offer any health benefits over a diet that contains grains. While some of these foods may be perfectly fine for your pet, current research is finding that grain-free foods made with human-grade ingredients are lacking some key nutrients for the health of your pet.

Let’s start by talking about those “evil” grains. Designer pet food companies want you to believe that corn and wheat are bad for your pet, contain no nutrition, and are just put in foods as cheap filler. This is not true. Grains—corn, wheat, oats, and rice—are excellent sources of essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Photograph provided by Dane County Humane Society

Corn, when ground very fine, is highly digestible. Grains decrease the total fat and calories in a diet, which is important since over 50 percent of dogs and cats are overweight or obese. Instead of grains, these boutique diets often substitute potato, which has less protein and more sugars. Grain-free foods, as a whole, contain substantially more calories per cup than do non-grain-free foods.

34 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

What about the gluten in grains? There’s a rare genetic disease in one line of Irish setters in the United Kingdom with a gluten sensitivity. Apart from that, dogs and cats don’t have documented gluten allergies. Wheat gluten is more than 80 percent protein, with a similar amino acid profile to meats, and is highly digestible. If you see a pet food labeled gluten free, you can be assured it is a marketing gimmick and is not a better diet to feed your pet. What about food allergies? Food sensitivities (an abnormal response to

something in the food that does not involve the immune system, such as lactose intolerance) and allergies (a reaction, like hives or scratching, to something in the food, usually a protein, that involves the immune system) do occur in cats and dogs. Food allergies are most commonly to proteins: beef, chicken, wheat, dairy, lamb, and corn. Because it takes time (upwards of years) for a food allergy to appear, a pet can develop an allergy to any of the ingredients in a food. If your pet is gassy, has soft poop, or vomits frequently, it might be worthwhile to try a different diet that has a completely different protein source than what you’re currently feeding them. Many of the designer pet foods, however, have a lot of different protein sources, making it difficult to find a food with ingredients the pet hasn’t eaten before. Over-the-counter diets are also manufactured on equipment that makes other pet foods, so there are trace (or more) amounts of different ingredients in the food. Pet food manufacturers can also substitute ingredients in their foods without informing consumers or noting it on the label for up to six months. “Premium” foods also have a lot of different ingredients, such as flaxseed, vegetables, and fruit, which can cause

excessive gas. If you’re concerned your pet may have a food allergy, it is best to work with your veterinarian to find an appropriate food to try. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started investigating the connection between dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and pet foods containing peas, lentils, legumes, and potatoes as main ingredients (a main ingredient is considered any ingredient before the vitamins and minerals listed on the ingredient list). DCM is a condition wherein the muscles in the heart become thinner, making it harder for the heart to pump. The heart valves may start to leak, eventually leading to congestive heart failure. The disease is thought to have a genetic component and is mainly seen in giant-breed dogs, such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards, Newfoundlands, Irish wolfhounds, as well as boxers, Doberman pinschers, and cocker spaniels. But recently, several cases of DCM have been diagnosed in golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, and other atypical

Friday, March 15, 2019 Monona Terrace Puppy snuggles, cocktails & dinner to beneďŹ t animals at Dane County Humane Society Societ

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Boutique pet foods might advertise that they use human-grade ingredients and no by-products. By-products are what is left over once the intended product (often a food made for human consumption) is made. When flour is milled from wheat, for example, the leftover product is wheat bran, which is considered a byproduct. Meat and chicken by-products include some parts that people eat (liver, kidney, and tripe) and parts we don’t typically eat (lungs, spleen, kidneys, gizzards, and heart). It does not include hair, horns, teeth, or hooves. If your dog or cat catches an animal in the yard, the first thing they eat are the internal organs. They instinctively know that the highest level of nutrients are in the liver and heart.

If grain-free diets aren’t that great, is a raw food diet a better choice to feed your pet? No! Raw meat can be contaminated with bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter, and Listeria. These bacteria can cause very serious diseases in your pet, which can lead to death. The humans in the house are also at risk from the handling of the food, the food bowl, and from the pet’s mouth. Raw diets are often not nutritionally balanced, which can cause additional health problems in your pet. Proponents of raw diets argue that raw meat and bones are what our pets’ ancestors ate, and they were healthy, had good coats, and nice teeth. But our pets’ ancestors lived, on average, 2 to 3 years, while our pets now live upwards of 15plus years. Feeding a cooked, balanced diet is much safer and healthier for all involved. So how should you determine what the best diet is for your pet? First, ask your veterinarian, not the sales person at the pet store. Veterinarians have at least four years of veterinary education

Photograph provided by Dane County Humane Society

dog breeds. In looking into the possible cause, it was found that all the dogs ate grain-free foods as their primary source of nutrition for months to years. Some of the dogs had low taurine levels, an amino acid required for normal heart function. Research is ongoing in this area, but current recommendations by the FDA are to not feed grain-free food.

and access to the most current research articles on nutrition. Your veterinarian should be discussing your pet’s diet and weight with you at all wellness visits. If they aren’t, speak up and ask! Spend time looking at the pet-food bag. Remember that besides factual information, the label is a promotional tool to attract pet owners. Unregulated terms, such as holistic, gourmet, premium, all natural, and human grade, are of no value in assessing the nutrition of the food. It’s all advertising and you’re paying a premium for that.

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36 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Look at the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) information on the side of the bag. If it says “for all life stages,” it’s formulated for growing puppies or kittens and has higher levels of nutrients (and often calories) than a healthy adult animal needs. Contact the manufacturer to find out if the company employs a full-time veterinary nutritionist who is board certified by the College of Veterinary Nutrition. Companies like Royal Canin, Hill’s, and Purina all have veterinary nutritionists and do research on prescription diets as well as over-thecounter foods. These companies are paying for nutrition research and not just marketing research.

A colorful bag with cute pictures, a high price point, or a heart-rending television ad doesn’t mean a food is any good, let alone the best. The best food is different for every pet—it should be the one with the nutrition research to back up the claims, the one that keeps the pet at an ideal weight with a good fur coat, the one that doesn’t cause a lot of gas, and the one that the pet will eat.

Photograph by Brenda Eckhardt

Lori Scarlett, DVM, is the owner and veterinarian at Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic. For more information, visit

Lori Scarlett, DVM & Charlie



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es s en tial landmark


by Jeanne Engle

The story of the Madison Candy Company building, 744 Williamson Street, is in its link to Madison’s industrial beginnings and growth. Until the late 19th century there was little manufacturing in Madison due, in part, to the opposition of the city’s leaders, especially those in the professional and academic communities. However, spurred on by inevitable development around the many railroads on Madison’s east side, attitudes changed and city leaders began to see industry as a sign of growth. They also realized the added tax revenues from industry would fund services needed by a growing city. But only high-grade factories that employed skilled, well-paid artisans were encouraged to locate to Madison. Industry was to be concentrated on the east side of the city in the factory district. Madison Candy Company was located on the west end of the district. To this day, very few buildings stand from Madison’s early industrial period, 38 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

of which candy manufacturing had been an important local industry. Madison Candy Company was founded in 1899 at another Williamson Street location, where they manufactured a variety of candy and were best known for chocolate creams. The company marketed its products throughout Wisconsin and later in Illinois. In 1903, Madison Candy Company moved up the street and a new factory, designed by John Nader, a prominent Madison architect and engineer, was constructed to be closer to the railroad. There were 27 stoves and 11 or 12 chimneys to support the candy production. The factory ceased operation in 1927. Even with its vernacular commercial style, the Madison Candy Company building displays decorative elements on its front facade. The wall along the edge of the roof has stone caps with a roughened surface. Two round windows flank a date stone that reads “1903”. The

four arched windows on the second and third floors give the appearance of being separated by red brick columns. The building stood vacant for several years until the Wisconsin Farm Bureau occupied it in 1935. Beginning in 1946, the building was home to Ela Industrial Supply Company. Architect John Martens bought the building in 1991 and rented the space back to Ela for six years until that company found another location. During that time, John had ample opportunity to explore and study the three-story building and plan for its restoration brick by brick and board by board. When the building spoke to John, he listened. “It was important to understand what the building wanted to be and then fit that in respectfully and economically. This particular building, located in a neighborhood with a troubled past, “deserved to be seen by the public,” John says. “Even though a restaurant is

more of a challenge for a landlord than an office building, I thought a restaurant was the best way to activate the building, the street, and the neighborhood.” John approached Monty Schiro, founder of Food Fight Restaurant Group, who immediately saw the possibility. Monty’s Eldorado Grill opened in 1998. Ground Zero, owned by Lindsey Lee, opened next door that same year. Both establishments have been in their current locations ever since. “There were no surprises when renovation started. I saw what remodeling had been done over the years. I knew what was required from building codes. I planned for infrastructure that would minimize major changes, but I could still get financing to renovate only one floor at a time,” John says. As it turned out, once reconstruction started and John had secured Eldorado Grill as a tenant, his credibility went up and he was able to obtain one loan for the entire building’s renovation. The Madison Candy Company building is listed on both the State and National Registers of Historic Places. As an intact example of industrial architecture, the Madison Candy Company building represents architect Nader’s expertise in both design and engineering, according to the nomination document. The building was designed to withstand the weight of heavy equipment and supplies. It was important that the building be fireproof since it housed an industry that relied on cooking. On each of the levels, a central wood beam runs the 60foot length. The beams are supported by heavy wood posts and, in the basement, by massive masonry columns.

fashion, John was able to get them to do jobs, like the tedious work of installing repurposed wainscoting throughout the building. John, originally a Kaukauna native, has a degree from the University of Southern California in architecture. He is one of the founders and first treasurer of the Friends of Historic Third Lake Ridge, dedicated to preserving the history of the Williamson-Marquette neighborhood. In 2017, John received a lifetime achievement award from the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation. He was recognized for his advocacy for historic preservation as well as for his preservation projects, including the Madison Candy Company building. “I never considered myself a preservationist,” says John. “I just like old buildings, especially industrial buildings. … Everyone is a preservationist when they feel the presence of the past. Seeing the details and the pride that went into the work goes beyond historic preservation. What you see in these buildings are in ourselves—embedded are mistakes as well as better moments. But we shouldn’t be concerned with polishing the defects. There are stories behind those defects.” As for the future, John declares Williamson Street, with his Madison Candy Company building, to be “the original mixed-use urban community. It is the best example of what was there from the start; it doesn’t need to be built from the ground up. My hope is that its diversity is maintained and that this community does not lose its charm.” Jeanne Engle is a freelance writer. Photograph by John Martens. Photograph by M.O.D. Media Productions

“The patina on the wood floors speaks to the countless hours of people who labored there. The dings and scratches look like something one would want to get rid of, but those are the most precious parts of the building,” says John. When restoring the building, he carefully removed woodwork and hired neighborhood youth to denail it so that it could be used again. John regaled his construction crews with stories about the building and its early days. As the crews became more aware of the building’s history, in Tom Sawyer

Jeanne Engle

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e ssential arts

KARL BORGESON by Elissa Koppel

“I think it was because of all these new, young teachers who had just gotten their MFAs and were coming to teach where I was going to school. They were all, you know, totally into their own work and teaching. They were young and vibrant, and I thought ‘Wow, I want to be one of them.’ The fire in them impressed me.” Karl Borgeson spent the entirety of his artistic career teaching. In a house he built with his students, mirroring the endeavor his father undertook before him, Karl shares that as long as he had wanted to practice art, he had wanted to teach. Hearing his stories, it makes sense. Karl’s life has been shaped and crafted by his teachers and students. Karl began as an undergraduate business major at the University of Minnesota. “All my life I had been involved in artistic pursuits in terms of drawing and painting and making things, but it didn’t occur to me that I could study art as a career. My first year [as a business major] was just horrible. I hated it.” Karl’s advisor noticed his dejectedness and invited him to complete career placement tests. She evaluated his 40 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

results and, seeing “aesthetics,” pushed him towards his artistic tendencies. “I went back to school as an art major, and during my very first semester at this school, St. Cloud State University, there were five brand-new teachers. One was a pottery teacher, and a ceramics course was required for all art majors, so I signed up for that. And that was it. That was the turning point. I took that class and I decided right then and there that I wanted to work in clay and teach, so that’s what I did.” While earning his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, Karl got married and had a child. Afterward, he worked for a moment as an assistant professor at Humboldt State University in California. Two years after earning his BFA, Karl returned to the University of Minnesota to earn his Masters in Fine Arts in ceramics and sculpture. “I was there for two years and went on from there.”

To talk about Karl’s postgraduate move is to talk about him as a professional and artist in his prime; he landed where he would spend the duration of his career. After finishing at the University of Minnesota in 1970, Karl began teaching ceramics at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. He retired from the university 32 years later and is now a professor emeritus. His time spent teaching was undeniably fundamental to his creative process. “You learn probably as much from your students as you teach them,” Karl laughs. “It’s kind of amazing. There’s a lot of subtle things you can gain, especially from collegelevel students. I was 30 when I started at Whitewater, but my students were basically between 18 and 22. I felt really in sync with them. And I was fortunate, I think, to have had a lot of really good students—really dedicated people that would be in the studio working any time they could.”

In learning about Karl’s dynamic with his pupils, it’s clear the relationship was always mutually beneficial. As his students brought their creative energy to the wheelhouse, he invested in them more and more. Their art enabled his own to develop. For instance, Karl had focused his body of work on a firing process called raku for approximately 20 years when he found himself creatively bereft. “I felt I was sort of run out of fresh ideas. I was just repeating myself. I took some of my students down to a woodfire conference at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. I really got turned on to the idea of wood firing.” Prior to his time in Iowa, Karl was cultivating a body of work that was “purely more art related, more art influenced.” The bowls, teapots, and platters he was fashioning were not usable. At this conference, Karl decided to build a wood-fire kiln upon his return home and switch his priority from form to function. The shift back toward objectively functional work harkened back to his time in undergraduate and graduate school focusing on usable

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pottery. The difference in that moment and onward, however, would be the manual energy Karl would invest. “Of course it required a lot of physical labor. Gathering the firewood, for one, and then the firings themselves were super labor intensive. I was firing the kiln by myself.” Venturing into his retirement, managing the arduous endeavor on

his own eventually became too much. Halfway through his retirement, Karl deconstructed his kiln and rebuilt it as a gas fire kiln. Abandoning his prior technical mechanism while still keeping his new stylistic priority, Karl ventured into the second half of his retirement with an adamance toward the functional and an open mind to new style. Not looking for it, Karl found a new appreciation for aesthetic when he and his wife visited Mali, West Africa. “The influences are a combination of architecture, of basketry, textiles, even the clothing people wore—all of this. We were there for a month. The whole time we were there we were driving from village to village, and I’m thinking about all the work I want to make when I get home.” Though his work is untitled, it’s easy to identify which of his pieces bear the Mali influence. One of his objects features bent metal studs and a smooth rabbitshaped metal-coated top, mirroring both the art and architecture Karl witnessed 42 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

After his initial trip to the country, Karl returned to Mali and visited Burkina Faso and Benin as well. During subsequent travel to Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Mongolia in the years of his retirement, Karl patiently and graciously found new patterns, textures, and colors to embed within his oeuvre.

Small Works at Abel Contemporary Gallery in Paoli at the end of 2018, and will be in the Clay Collective Spring Pottery Tour in Johnson Creek on May 4 and 5, 2019, and Cannon River Clay Tour in Farmington, Minnesota, on June 22 and 23, 2019. His art can also be found at

Karl continues to present his pottery at shows throughout the country. A seasoned creator, he participated in

Elissa Koppel is a freelance writer and a local artist. Photographs provided by Karl Borgeson Ceramics. Photograph by Olivia Loomis

in Mali. While the studs reflect those placed in the local mud huts to allow people to ascend them and replaster their outside surfaces, the horns parallel “an amazing sculpture I saw in a museum in Mali. It was a carved wood sculpture, not a mask, but a kind of head form. It had these horns poking out, and I was just totally enthralled with it. That’s what you see in there. That’s my interpretation of these horn shapes on the sculpture I saw.”

Elissa Koppel

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e ssential community

The Future of


for College Students in Wisconsin by Asma Kadri Keeler

College students across America have long been at the forefront of the First Amendment conversation. Campuses have frequently been the epicenter for confronting controversial issues and feeling out social discourse through oratory and protest. Accordingly, higher education institutions have historically struggled to balance the free speech rights of students against those of invited guest speakers. Currently, much of the public dialogue taking aim at the First Amendment and what constitutes protected speech is wrapped up in NFL protests and tweets from high-profile national politicians. However, here in Wisconsin, administrative crackdowns on campus protest are taking center stage in the conversation on First Amendment rights and who they are designed to protect. To those unfamiliar with its rich history and tension with First Amendment rights, the University of Wisconsin– Madison is the site of the infamous Dow Chemical protests in late 1960s. UW–Madison was the first major higher 44 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

education institution to have an oncampus protest turn violent and deal with a multiple-day campus shutdown. In fact, throughout the ‘60s, UW– Madison students engaged in sit-ins, walkouts, boycotts, massive rallies, and heckling on a variety of issues, from the Vietnam War to civil rights for African Americans. While each instance of protest was met with varying forms of discipline, citations, suspensions, and even arrests, UW–Madison did not attempt to preemptively curb protest in any way other than continuing to discourage violent behavior. Fast forward to 2017. UW–Madison now believes that protesting is still permissible but disrupting others’ free speech rights through certain acts of protest is not. Where they draw the line is murky. In an uncharacteristic shift from its history of protecting broad forms of protest, in October 2017, the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents passed a policy that would require a student to be suspended or even expelled if they more than once attempt to silence a speaker

or shut down an event with a disruption. While the initial 2017 policy had no further detail about what a disruption might look like, in September 2018, UW–Madison released a new set of guidelines entitled the Protest Response Procedures (PRP), which address rules for campus protests that are designed to quell disruptive demonstrations that, in the school’s view, ultimately stifle free speech. The idea is to better protect the free speech rights of all individuals on campus, regardless of how popular or unpopular the speech might be. As valiant as the goal sounds, the problem is that the University seems to be prioritizing speech that is likely to garner protest over a student’s right to protest. Both are considered protected speech under the First Amendment, so why does one result in suspension or expulsion while the other receives a shield of policy protection? The Supreme Court of the United States has made it clear that First Amendment protection in educational settings is often a fact-specific inquiry, but vague

and overbroad restrictions on speech and expression will likely be found unconstitutional. More importantly, where there are less-restrictive options available to protect whatever the asserted governmental interest in limiting speech, the government action is probably unconstitutional.1 In the 2007 Supreme Court case Morse v. Frederick, the Court found that the First Amendment did not protect a high school student’s right to display a banner reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus”. While it was clear that students have the right to engage in political speech and protest, the Court believed that the right was outweighed by the school’s mission to discourage drug use among young, impressionable high school students. Again, it was a factspecific inquiry that largely turned on the validity of the school’s reasoning in curbing the student’s speech that likely does not apply to college students, who are presumptively better equipped to evaluate controversial speech.





ngs i d d e W s & t e u q n a B

the sole justification that other speech ought not be disturbed. There is no specific factual justification that applies to protecting college students. The policy is also overbroad in its definition of disruption. It considers “blocking


the vision of others in any manner” and “producing noise that interferes with events and activities” as forms of disruptive speech subject to the sanction of suspension or expulsion if done more than once. Setting aside the fact that the

UW–Madison’s PRP attempt to curb student speech and expression with

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It seems disingenuous for UW–Madison to cloak the PRP under the mandate of First Amendment protection. From a constitutional perspective, the First Amendment does not require UW to protect a speaker from being shouted down or heckled nor does it require UW to prevent hecklers or other dissidents from controlling what is said on campus. As a public educational 46 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

institution, UW may want to commit to the position that free discussion is of the highest importance on a college campus and, in keeping with its duty to foster that discussion, it will not allow certain types of speech to be eliminated from circulation. But to suspend or expel a student for protesting is an extreme measure. The First Amendment answer to disfavored speech is not to limit expression opposing the viewpoint, it is to encourage robust debate by making space for the speaker and the protestor. 1

Ashcroft v. ACLU, 542 U.S. 656 (2004).

Asma has been a staff attorney at the ACLU of Wisconsin since October 2017. Photographs by Barbara Miner. Photograph by Barbara Miner

guidelines are extremely broad, arguably, there are multiple less-restrictive ways for the University to achieve its goal in protecting unpopular speech that do not include the drastic measure of expelling a student from college after two disruptions. Students around the country are challenging stricter campus speech rules and litigation surrounding protected speech is active and ongoing in the federal circuits, which often focuses on the content of the speech at issue. While UW–Madison maintains that the PRP do not single out protest based on content, it seems a difficult pill for students to swallow given the fact that the PRP are only triggered when someone is protesting an event, viewpoint, or concept they might disagree with. That in itself could read as a content-based restriction.

Asma Kadri Keeler

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Project Home receiving a donation from Group Health Cooperative.

e ssential community

Jason receiving a Dane Buy Local Biz Award.

Jason Hafeman Photograph provided by Project Home

by Kyle Jacobson

Photograph by Lieneke Hafeman

Isaac Newton would later reiterate this quote to state that the credit to his achievements belongs to those who came before him as much as they do himself. After speaking with Jason Hafeman, I find his attitude just as much shares in the humble nature of these persons through his efforts and successes with Project Home and Dane Buy Local.

Project Home’s Serving Those Who Served helps veterans stay in their homes.

The virtues of strong communities are often found in cycles of reciprocity, but it all starts with someone reaching out. It wasn’t too long ago the lingering shadereborn we call “the economy” found itself on death’s doorstep once again. Jason recalls, “I was a new dad. I had a one-year-old son, and here I am. I lost my job. My wife had recently finished nursing school and was working parttime. It was tough.”

Photograph by Lieneke Hafeman

We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours. —John of Salisbury

48 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

A familiar story, and one not often met with a happy ending. But sometimes opportunity shines from undusted selves and those who knew us long ago. “I had a friend,” Jason says, “who I grew up with who works at Project Home. I knew him since we were five years old.

And he said, ‘Okay, this will be different for you, but we’re hiring because we just got an influx of money for a weatherization program, which is all about energy-efficiency improvements for low-income residents.’” With a new house and growing family in Eau Claire, the decision to uproot their lives and make a move to Madison wasn’t automatic. But Jason’s wife was onboard, and her courage to take a chance soon became his own. Jason found himself with a position on the weatherization crew of Project Home. Working in attics and crawl spaces was unexplored territory for Jason, but the work gave him another mentor, Juan. “When I started out new and all these things were new to me, he was really patient,” Jason says of Juan. “He showed me how to do everything. He trained me. And the things that I didn’t get right away, he was helpful and positive and patient with me. Not all people that are training people, especially in the trades, are like that.” And it was Juan who would push Jason to apply for a crew leader position,

With an appreciation for the work the weatherization crew exhibits and a recognition of how opportunity disguises itself, Jason now sees how he can extend the same saving graces through Project Home to communities and individuals in the Greater Madison area. “Most of the time, to have those opportunities you need someone to give you a chance. We all have to have someone take a chance on us, otherwise we don’t get anywhere.” Project Home has become the vehicle through which Jason can take a chance on others more immediately thanks to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit already having reverence in the area. It often starts with the recognition of where a struggle exists. “A lot of people don’t like to ask for help,” Jason says. “But the programs are there to give people a hand and make a permanent improvement.” Often the idea of permanent improvements plays a keystone role in the work Jason does. He sees a person’s income as a pie, and something like, say, a regularly flooding basement cuts into that pie frequently. By doing some light landscaping and coercing water to gather and flow away from the house, that homeowner might find a bit of extra money they can use to better their situation rather than taking a seasonal hit multiple times a year.

Photograph by Blazel Photography

Working at Project Home’s Paint-a-thon.

Photograph by Lieneke Hafeman

which would eventually lead him to his current role as outreach manager.

Project Home Run Derby fundraiser.

That’s what success looks like in Jason’s world—improving the life of an individual so they can better their community, which in turn benefits everyone in the area. Some of his work involves teaching classes to arm capable homeowners with the tools and know-how to make weatherization improvements to their own homes as well as their neighbors’ if they’re so inclined. Jason never gets tired of hearing the phone calls from houses Project Home has worked on after a big storm. Calls like “I can’t believe it. This is the first time my basement didn’t flood during a rain.” The theme of reciprocity in Jason’s life is furthered by his work with Dane Buy Local. “When I started in the outreach role, I started looking into different ways we could connect Project Home with the community. Dane Buy Local was one of the first organizations I found, and it fit really well because we’re not a regional chapter of a bigger organization—we’re a local nonprofit. Dane Buy Local is all about connecting local businesses and nonprofits and giving them a bigger voice. We understand that if we’re promoting local business, we’re all going to be better off.” All these pieces of Jason really compose a deeper philosophy that takes part in all the work he does. The idea that, though he’s taken chances, he’s been provided the opportunity to do so is something Jason doesn’t let go unnoticed. He works within the reality he experiences time and time again. “Ninety-five percent of

the homes I’ve been in, these are just people that need some help, whether it’s health related or they lost their job or now it’s a single parent trying to raise three or four kids. Everyone’s struggling in one way or another, but these people are really struggling.” Sure, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but the wheel barely holding on with two lugs might be more worth your attention. It’s come up multiple times in this article, but I want to give Jason the last word so he can reiterate his credo. “We have to be brave enough to take some chances to do something great. We also need some people to believe in us and take chances on us.” To see more of what Project Home does for the Greater Madison area, check out Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

Kyle Jacobson

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e ssential food & beverage

BUILD-A-BREWERY by Kyle Jacobson

Almost every homebrewer I’ve met has sat down with one of their beers and thought, “I should open a brewery.” It’s a passing thought, but what’s not to like? Brew your own beer, run the bar like iZac or Ted Danson, and enjoy the fruits of your labor day in and day out. I asked my old brewing friend if he was still thinking about opening his own brewery. His response was along the lines of, “Why would I do that to myself?” Opening a brewery comes with a lot of freedom when deciding what business model to pursue and what beer styles to explore. With that freedom, expect a huge initial investment involving equipment, licenses, and real estate. Seems easier to let someone with a degree of business acumen and a bit of money take the financial risk while the brewmaster is hired to create a few money-making beers with the bonus 50 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

of being as creative as they’d like with flavor profiles and ingredients when crafting the house’s other beers.

location’s need and determine if it’s met. Apparently, we’re not quite there a long shot.

But there are still the bold out there going after the whole kit and caboodle. Jessica and Erika Jones of Giant Jones Brewing own one of the newest, if not the newest, breweries on the block. Jessica and Erika saw opening a brewery as an inescapability. “We opened a brewery because we couldn’t not open a brewery more than we decided to open a brewery.” But why Madison? Surely the area is getting close to capacity.

But how then does a brewer or entrepreneur decide what business model is right for them? For Giant Jones, it was a well thought out process that took 10 years to come to fruition. “We had just kept pushing against opening a business,” Erika says. “I think there’s a lot of models out there. We explored some of them. We explored having business partners. We explored doing a cooperative. There’s so many possibilities, and I think we ultimately asked ourselves ‘what’s going to make the most sense for us?’” They ended up going it alone together with a clear cutoff point when it comes to capacity: 1,200 barrels. That’s the number they came to that will allow them to live the life they want by fully utilizing the space they invested in.

Turns out that’s not the case. Jessica says, “There are quite a few breweries around the area, but there’s space for probably twice as many because the amount of beer that’s consumed in this town doesn’t compare to the amount being produced in this town.” So there’s a great place to start. Define a

And that’s another thing: the space. “Once we said we’re gonna brew in this space and we’re gonna brew at this particular scale, it pretty much narrowed down what we were gonna be,” Erika says. “What equipment we could buy or the size of things. ... It’s a big learning curve.” They also went in knowing they would be moving 80 percent of their beer outside of the building as opposed to, say, Working Draft Brewing, which

looks to move most of their beer in house. Jessica goes into the headache of actually building in that space. “Every day of construction, multiple times a day I would very quickly have to become an expert in something I didn’t know existed to make an expensive decision I’d need to live with for the rest of my life. And once I had made that decision

WILLY EAST: 1221 Williamson St. WILLY NORTH: 2817 N Sherman Ave. WILLY WEST: 6825 University Ave.

Everyone welcome!

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Find out more about each location and learn our story at

52 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

five minutes after discovering the topic, I could forget that that topic existed anymore because I would never have to make said decision again.” Another part of the planning process really comes down to knowing the market you’re entering and knowing yourself as a brewer. I’d say over the past decade the Madison beer scene has undergone an evolution of sorts. In 2008, to me going to breweries was almost straight up comparing one style to another interpretation. Here’s Ale Asylum’s Amber Ale—I wonder how that compares to Capital’s or Lakefront’s. Now we have over 20 breweries in the area, and they’ve taken on different philosophies in what brewing can be and how that translates to sales and community. This allows for someone looking to insert themselves into the Madison brewery scene to find a gap of sorts and bring something new to what deceivingly might look like a full table. For Erika and Jessica, they saw an opportunity to bring on big dry beers (as opposed to big sweet and malty ones). Jessica had

already asserted her expertise in the area, having written the curriculum for two of the three classes when Madison College started their craft-beer certificate program, and now she could showcase her approach to less-common styles in Madison. “We love Barleywines,” Erika says. “We felt there’s not a lot of familiarity with that in this area and this region.” They also wanted to have beers that didn’t leave patrons one and done, so they ensured stronger versions of familiar styles would be on tap that also showcase Jessica’s knowledge. And when it’s said and done, there’s no guarantee of success. There are ways to plan ahead and try to circumvent potential shortcomings, but the risk is there. The risk is real. At the heart of it all, every brewery knows who they are and where they are, and they work to embrace and be a part of that. “We’re a little organic brewery run by queer women that pays living wages,” Jessica says. Erika adds, “We can make a little impact here, in our community.” May new breweries continue to raise the bar and, with it, our pints.

Kyle Jacobson is a copy editor for Madison Essentials, and a writer and beer enthusiast (sometimes all at once) living in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Photographs by Kyle Jacobson.

Kyle Jacobson

Giant Jones Brewing recommendations: I fell in love with their Stout, but definitely make the trip and try all of Erika and Jessica’s tap beers.

CATERING YOUR PARTY, Our Kitchen! Find our catering menu at

When it comes to breweries doing great things and paving the way, Jessica and Erika couldn’t pick. Everyone in Madison and the rest of the state bring something unique and integral to the scene. Drink beer from wherever you are.

Hilldale | West Towne

GIANT JONES BREWING 931 E. Main Street, Suite 9 Madison, WI 53703 (608) 620-5172 madEssentialsAd_10.18.indd 1

10/11/18 9:25 AM

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e ssential community

Unlocking THE CLOSET by Sandy Eichel

For the past year, I have written about leaving a life of should. I have shared how I did what my father wanted me to do, how other traumatic events molded who I was, and how my whole life was about pleasing other people. Now I want to talk about coming out of the closet—but it’s not what you think. I’m not talking about my sexual orientation, although I do identify as queer, I’m talking about a larger closet that encompassed all of who I was. The closet that was filled with thoughts that controlled me and allowed others to control me. It was the closet of should. The closet was so dark that I didn’t even remember what light was, and I could no longer see myself. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. I felt trapped. I didn’t realize I was in a closet and I didn’t know life outside of it. When I started to overcome the thoughts that had kept me in it and decided that, regardless of how bad it was outside, I was going to leave, other thoughts came to keep me there. “If you leave, you’ll lose all of your friends, you’ll lose your business, you’ll lose everything.” 54 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

The closet is better referred to as a dungeon, but when I was in it, it didn’t scare me. It seemed normal because it’s what I knew. The more time I spent outside, though, the more I realized how much the closet had sucked. It’s like a toothache—you don’t realize how much it hurt until the tooth is removed and you no longer feel the pain. The pain had been increasing every day and every year, but I got used to it, then I got used to more pain, and on and on. Unlocking the door of the closet, which was locked from inside, and stepping out into the light, I was ready to pursue my life and figure out who the heck I was. Getting out of the closet was a huge decision and a big leap. I remember the moment when something I knew deep inside came out of my mouth. It was the realization that I would never be able to live my true life and be happy if I stayed in the situation I was in. I realized I could free myself from a life of should. That not only could I do it, but that I was going to do it, no matter the cost. I was finally willing to give up everything for the one person in my life who was

worth it, me. And through that choice and others to follow, I learned to rely on myself and not look to society or those around me to dictate who I should be. I had to have the radical faith that I would be alright and leap into the unknown. What’s cool about taking a leap like this is that when I was brave enough to take it, all the resources I needed appeared exactly when I needed them. I felt like the universe was converging to help me find my way, but I had to take that first, most difficult step. I had to choose me. With each decision after the leap, I became stronger. The muscle of relying on and listening to myself got bigger. Be warned: it’s a sneaky closet, and you yourself may be in it right now without realizing because it’s comfortable and familiar. You might wonder as you read this, “Oh crap! Am I in a closet? And if so, how do I get out?” Maybe you aren’t stuck completely. Maybe you only slip in when you visit family or are around certain people, then you squash down who you really are into a little box and shove it under

your bed. The way you can tell is how it feels. Being outside of the closet in the light may feel a little scary, but it always feels like freedom. The closet can feel comfortable or safe or easier, but it never feels like freedom. To live an authentic life requires courage and facing fears, but it’s worth it. If it’s so difficult, why would anyone want to do what it takes to get out of the closet? Because you are meant to do and be more—we all are. We can’t do the things that we’re meant to do until we escape. I expended an immense amount of my energy living a life of should, and once I stepped out of that life, I was free to do so many other wonderful things that not only bring me joy, but make a difference in the world. I had always been passionate about raising money for charities, but who was I to think that I could start an initiative that would directly impact underprivileged kids? I had stayed small and just didn’t have the bandwidth. Coming out of the closet of should is my proudest accomplishment. Spitting in the face of what I was supposed to do was the bravest thing I’d ever done and the most important. Stay tuned. This year, I’ll share the many lessons I’ve learned living my best life. I feel more joy and more positively impact those around me. What the world really needs from all of us right now is kindness, and that starts at home with ourselves.

Madison’s local

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OPEN DAILY! 3330 atwood ave. madison, wi 53704 | 608-246-4550

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Fully licensed - FAA part 333 Waiver Stunning stills and 4k video - - 608-469-2255

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Under the rules in effect prior to 2018, seven income tax rates apply to individuals: 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35, and 39.6 percent. The new tax law retains seven tax rates, but modifies them as follows: 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35, and 37 percent. As under the prior law, rates increase with taxable income, and the income ranges for each bracket vary depending on filing status (single, married filing jointly/surviving spouse, married filing separately, or head of household). Changes to the income tax brackets will lower the rates at many income levels. Here are a couple of general examples. A married couple filing jointly with taxable income of $85,000 in 2018 will have a marginal tax rate of 22 percent under the new law, compared with 25 percent under the prior law. A married couple filing jointly whose taxable income in 2018 is $250,000 will have a marginal tax rate of 24 percent under the new law, compared with 33 percent under the prior law. The income levels affected by each tax rate will be adjusted annually for inflation. However, the new brackets are currently set to expire after the 2025 tax year.

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In addition to lowering the tax rates applied to your taxable income, the new law also modifies how taxable income is calculated. Here are some of the changes: The basic standard deduction for 2018 is $12,000 for a single individual and $24,000 for a married couple filing jointly compared to standard deductions of $6,500 and $13,000, respectively, under the prior rules. The itemized deduction for mortgage interest payments is now allowable only on mortgage interest paid on underlying indebtedness of up to $750,000, as compared to $1,000,000 under prior law. Additionally, the act suspends the deduction for interest paid on home equity loans and lines of credit unless they are used to buy, build, or substantially improve the home that secures the loan. The total itemized deduction for all state and local property and income (or sales) taxes is capped at $10,000 ($5,000 for a married taxpayer filing a separate return). The personal exemption, which had been scheduled to be $4,150 under prior law, has been eliminated. Under the new law, many more taxpayers are expected to find that claiming the standard deduction is more valuable than itemizing deductions, simplifying their filing tasks. Others may find that their itemized deductions have been substantially limited, particularly people who live in places with relatively high state and local taxes and housing costs. The four changes listed above are set to expire after the 2025 tax year.


Under the prior law, the IRS used the Consumer Price Index for All-Urban Consumers (CPI-U) to adjust various thresholds and limits each year to compensate for inflation. Under the new law, the IRS will use the so-called Chained Consumer Price Index (C-CPI-U) instead. CPI-U assumes that consumers buy the same things in the same amounts year after year and do not alter their behavior when prices change. C-CPI-U assumes that consumers do shift their preferences to less costly alternatives. The differences between the indexes appear small from year to year, but over longer periods of time, C-CPI-U is expected to show noticeably less inflation than CPI-U. That is expected to reduce the amount of inflation indexing applied to tax brackets, deductions, and credits. The new law makes this change permanent.


The floor for triggering the alternative minimum tax has been raised. For married couples filing joint returns, the exemption is now $109,400—up from the previously scheduled exemption of $86,200. For those filing as single taxpayers, the new exemption amount is $70,300—up from $55,400. Additionally, the income levels at which the exemption is phased out have increased. These changes are set to expire after 2025.


Charitable Contributions—generally, for those who itemize their deductions, the limit for claiming deductions for cash donations to qualified charitable organizations has increased from 50 percent to 60 percent of the taxpayer’s “contribution base” (generally, adjusted gross income exclusive of net operating loss carrybacks for the year). Child Credit—starting with the 2018 tax year, taxpayers can claim a $2,000 per child tax credit, or double the prior credit amount. The refundable portion of the credit has been increased to $1,400 per qualifying child, and other restrictions on the credit have been eased. Divorce and Separation Agreements—generally, alimony paid pursuant to a post-2018 divorce decree or separation agreement will not be deductible by the payer and will not be included in the recipient’s gross income. Education Savings—distributions from 529 plans will not be included in gross income where used to pay up to $10,000 per year of qualified education expenses at elementary and secondary public, private, or religious schools. Under prior law, only distributions for qualified higher education expenses were tax free. The $10,000 limitation on qualified elementary and secondary school expenses will apply on a perstudent (not per-account) basis. Estate and Gift Tax Exemption—the basic exclusion amount has been increased to an estimated $11.2 million, up from $5.6 million under prior law. Health Insurance—beginning in 2019, consumers will no longer be subject to penalty taxes if they lack health insurance. Please keep in mind that this is a summary of selected highlights and should not be considered tax advice. To fully understand how the new tax laws affect your situation, please consult a qualified tax advisor.

Broyles & Company CPAs, LLC Middleton, WI • (608) 960-4700

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Photograph provided by Dodgeville Area Chamber of Commerce

e ssential travel

Ever since Madison’s local Chef Tory Miller beat Iron Chef Bobby Flay in a head-to-head contest on the Food Network, people have been talking about competitive cooking with a bit of local pride mixed in. This is the emerging world of competitive cooking, where cooking meets competition in a festive atmosphere. Communities are capitalizing on food events as a draw for visitors. Competitive cooking can feature celebrity chefs and last-minute ingredients or a single ingredient that inspires the professional or amateur chef to concoct a new or signature version of a standard dish. Think chili and barbecue competitions. And for an amateur who has been told that they should enter a competition, local, county, and state fairs offer an opportunity to earn personal gratification and bragging rights. Every state seems to have at least one competition that challenges chefs to reinvent recipes for a well-known state 58 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

by Liz Wessel

ingredient, food product, or dish. Think bourbon in Kentucky, seafood in Maine, and grilled cheese in Wisconsin!

in the Caribbean, features cooking with indirect heat while grilling uses direct heat.

The next Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship will be held in Dodgeville, April 27. There will be professional, amateur, and youth competitors, and spectators may cheer the chefs on. All entries are required to contain 60 percent Wisconsin cheese. Competition categories run from the classic grilled cheese and build up to dessert.

KCBS holds a series of competitions— the NASCAR of barbecue. Competing in one of these events has become a real team sport. Teams have some pretty creative names and uniforms (branded t-shirts) for the fierce competition.

This is a great for families. Not only does the featured dish resonate with younger eaters, but they’ll also appreciate the youth chef category. For barbeque contests, you just need to find one of the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned events and watch the pros. The title of barbeque champion has to be one of the most sought-after titles in the country. Barbecue, with its roots

Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship Photograph provided by Dodgeville Area Chamber of Commerce


Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship

Photograph provided by Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce


In 2018, out-of-town teams dominated the Manawa-based event with our homegrown Croix Valley Sauces coming in ninth overall. Croix Valley Sauces, with their winged pig shield, has a variety of barbecue, tailgate, and grill-related products: Croix Valley Foods. They started as a northwoods steakhouse, and customers kept suggesting they bottle that sauce—so they did. Entering barbeque competitions has only improved their brand recognition. Be at the next Wisconsin event to pick up some tips from the pros and cheer on our local competitors. For a unique take on cooking beef, travel to Minocqua for the Beef-A-Rama. The

event started in 1964 as Fishorama to celebrate the season’s opening day, but it evolved into a beef celebration, and the community never looked back. Chefs start cooking their signature beef dishes before dawn and are judged midday. The community offers many activities and music to keep you entertained, such as the cow pie plop. It’s a game of chance for where will the cow poop land in a gridded paddock area. You buy a deed for a space in the paddock and then hope the cow likes your real estate. Part cooking competition, part street festival, Beef-A-Rama is for the entire family. And make sure you wear your best cowthemed accessories.

Photograph provided by Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce


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favorite batch of chili at the end of the day to take it home.

Wisconsin State Chili Cookoff

But don’t underestimate the competition at this event—it’s a qualifier for the International Chili Society World Championship.

Photograph by Jim Koepnick

Do you have a signature pie or cookie? A favorite pickle, condiment, or jam recipe? Enter them at the Wisconsin State Fair. The rules are pretty specific, so read them once and then read them again. Make sure that you have all the required elements of the category. Culinary days at the fair include judging categories for yeast breads, quick breads, fresh fruits and veggies, cookies and bars, pies, and canning. Your budding chef may want to enter the Kids Culinary Challenge.

Since 1971 Italian Specialties & Delicatessen ®

Huge Deli Featuring

Take-Out Dinners & Homemade Entrées —Try our housemade frozen pizzas­­—



You can be a spectator or a competitor at a food event, but don’t just stay home. Get your firsthand food sport experience and maybe even pick up a tip or two for your own cooking.

Wisconsin State Fair

San Marzano tomatoes


authentic extra virgin olive oil from Italy

Imported Olives & Olive Oils, Tomato Products, Artisanal Pasta & Cheeses, Frozen Filled Pastas Only from Fraboni’s: For Over 60 Years… Our Original “Porketta” Roast


The fair offers true amateur competition, but be prepared to share your secrets. One of the entry requirements is a copy of your recipe that the fair gets to publish.

M-F 9-7; Sat 9-6; Sun 9-5

108 Owen Road • Monona 608-222-6632

60 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s

Photograph provided by Wisconsin State Fair

• Hot & Cold Sub Sandwiches • Antipasto Platters & Sandwich Trays • Homemade Deli Salads • Lasagna & Mostaccioli • Spaghetti with Meatballs • Gluten-Free Pastas & Sauces • Homemade Pasta Sauces • Meatballs & Sausages (hot or mild) • Italian Recipes & Housewares

For a less-formal competition, but one that still earns bragging rights, enter a chili competition, such as the longstanding Wisconsin State Chili Cookoff in Green Lake. If you’re not competing, you can be a spectator, taster, and judge—Green Lake’s event features a People’s Choice award. Bid high for your

A new event introduced in 2018 and sponsored by Patrick Cudahy LLC was the Bacon Tailgate Bake Off. The key ingredient: minimum one pound of Patrick Cudahy bacon. Who can resist this competition?

Photograph provided by Wisconsin State Fair

Wisconsin State Fair

Photograph provided by Wisconsin State Fair

Liz Wessel is the owner of Green Concierge Travel, which has information for honeymoons and other ecotravel at

Wisconsin State Fair

Liz Wessel


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advertiser index association

Sugar River Pizza Company........................... 36

Aldo Leopold Nature Center........................ 35

Tangent............................................................. 45

Dane Arts............................................................ 7

Tempest Oyster Bar......................................... 33

Dane Buy Local............................................... 24

Tornado Steak House..................................... 33

Dane County Humane Society.................... 35

Vintage Brewing Co. ...................................... 45

Food Fight......................................................... 52

Willy Street Co-op........................................... 51

Madison Originals........................................... 19

Wollersheim Winery & Distillery..................... 36

Sauk Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce....................................................... 46

entertainment & media

CONTEST Win a $50

Gift Card!

Back of the House Online Video Series....... 61

dining, food & beverage

Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison......................... 64

Athens Grill....................................................... 32

Home Elements & Concepts......................... 42

Bavaria Sausage Kitchen, Inc....................... 59

Journey of Aging............................................. 61

Blue Agave Restaurant and Lounge........... 20

Olbrich Botanical Gardens........................... 55

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream..................... 51

Our Lives Magazine........................................ 55

Clasen’s European Bakery............................. 15

Stoughton Opera House................................ 13

Dorf Haus.......................................................... 20

WORT-FM........................................................... 25

Drumlin Ridge Winery..................................... 59 Fraboni’s Italian Specialties &

home & landscaping

Delicatessen............................................... 60

ZDA, Inc............................................................... 9

Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier.......................... 47 Grape Water Wine Bar................................... 47


Imperial Garden.............................................. 29

American Family Insurance DreamBank.... 63

Lombardino’s Italian Restaurant & Bar.......... 5

Bergamot Massage & Bodywork.................. 17

Metcalfe’s......................................................... 53

The Buckingham Inn....................................... 28

The Mixing Bowl Bakery.................................. 15

Four Lakes Veterinary Clinic.......................... 35

The Nitty Gritty................................................. 27

Hotel Ruby Marie............................................... 7

The Old Feed Mill Restaurant........................ 32

The Livingston Inn............................................ 28

Oliver’s Public House...................................... 11

Monroe Street Framing................................... 43

Otto’s Restaurant & Bar.................................. 27

Red Arrow Production.................................... 23

Paisan’s............................................................. 19

Tadsen Photography...................................... 55

Pasqual’s Cantina............................................. 2 Pizza Brutta......................................................... 5


Quivey’s Grove................................................ 31

Abel Contemporary Gallery......................... 41

Riley’s Wines of the World.............................. 39

Deconstruction Inc........................................... 8

Samba Brazilian Grill....................................... 39

Hilldale.............................................................. 37

The Side Door Grill and Tap........................... 39

Karen & Co......................................................... 5

State Line Distillery.......................................... 47

Kessenich’s Ltd................................................. 37

Question: “Which local artisan’s studio was previously a cheese factory?” Enter by submitting your answer to the above question online at, or by mail with your name, mailing address, phone number, and email to: Madison Essentials c/o Towns & Associates, Inc. PO Box 174 Baraboo, WI 53913-0174 All entries with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for one of two $50 gift cards. Contest deadline is January 18, 2019. Gift cards will be honored at all Food Fight® Restaurant Group restaurants (see

Good Luck!

Winners Thank you to everyone who entered our previous contest. The answer to the question, “Which business is currently in the process of changing their location from Paoli to Middleton?” is John/ Christine Designs. A $50 Food Fight Gift Card was sent to each of our winners, Mary Beth Ruppert of Fitchburg and Kyna Ganshert of Madison.

CONGRATULATIONS! 62 | m a d i s o n e s s e n t i a l s


FREE EVENTS | INSPIRING EXHIBITS | OPEN TO ALL DreamBank has recently moved to the brand new Spark building, located just eight blocks down East Washington Avenue from the state capitol. Our beautiful, new space is designed to support and inspire your dreams. Stop in and check out our monthly exhibit, have a cup of coffee or attend free events that are offered daily. Find a full list of free events and RSVP by visiting: Mon – Thur: 8 am – 8 pm | Fri: 8 am – 5 pm | Sat: 9 am – 4 pm | Sun: Closed 821 East Washington Ave. | Madison, WI 53703 | 608.286.3150 |

American Family Mutual Insurance Company S.I., American Family Insurance Company, 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783 ©2018 014883 – Rev. 8/18



t e B t Bes





Madison Essentials January/February 2019  

Madison Essentials is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to promoting the Greater Madison area and its independent businesses and organizations....

Madison Essentials January/February 2019  

Madison Essentials is a bimonthly magazine dedicated to promoting the Greater Madison area and its independent businesses and organizations....