Orchid Award

    Since 1994 this award has recognized a Chamber Member business who completed a substantial facade development and/or redevelopment building project within the last year contributing to the promotion of commerce, economic development, and the overall beautification of the Waunakee/Westport area. Over the years the history of this award has recognized projects, large, small, new, and re-modeled, relevant and deserving nominees. The investment enhances the business environment of our community and inspires commerce. Next year we will be celebrating the 25th year of the Orchid Award!!

    This year the Chamber is pleased to introduce (FIVE) 2016 Orchid Award Nominees:
    1) Gather Creative Studio & Guest House 111 W. Main St.
    2) Hovde Properties/Village Crossings 114 E. Main St.
    3) Little Strokes Swim Academy 1029 Quinn Dr.
    4) Waunakee Community Bank 1351 Water Wheel Dr.
    5) Village Mall/WI Management 257 S. Century Ave.

    Nominees and winner will be announced at the Chamber Mardi Gras Celebration & Auction on March 2nd. The business will again be honored at the Community Wide Awards Dinner on April 30th.

    The following are the Orchid Award Nominees:

    1)  Gather Creative Studio & Guest House at 111 Main Street:   Owners are local residents, Susan & Brian Gardner, who bought the former Mojo’s in Sept. 2015.  After months of planning & hard physical labor, Gather opened its door in Mid Sept. 2016. Susan Gardner wanted a place where she and others could create for hours, days, or weeks at a time. Gather was BORN!.  It is a place where friends, come together, cook, create, reunite & celebrate. Gather has a Sitting Room Craft Room, Dining Room Kitchen, guest rooms, bathrooms & showers. One overnight room is completely handicap accessible.  
    Challenges to converting a bar into a place to relax & create were many over the course of the year. Creating cozy bedrooms, turning a large commercial kitchen into a gourmet kitchen, and retaining the buildings 100 year plus charm were a priority. The Gardners’ wanted a place to draw visitors to downtown Waunakee. Susan said it does her heart good when she goes out on the rooftop deck and she can count several “fun lady shops” that are female owned and operated.  

    2)  Village Mall owned by WI Mgt:  Village Mall is a long-standing neighborhood retail space in Waunakee consisting of 56,000 square feet and out lots. Situated in a highly visible location with lots of traffic on Century Ave, the anchor tenants include Ace Hardware, Papa Murphy’s, and Subway. The recent “facelift” renovation cost $100,000 in capital improvements and Village Mall has significantly increased its quality tenant base and welcomed LSM Chiropractic, Hometown Pharmacy, Little Caesars and Infinity Martial Arts.  

    3)  Waunakee Community Bank located at 1351 Water Wheel Drive in the Kilkenney Farms addition. This new 6600 square foot prairie style bank opened its doors in December 2016. The bank facade incorporates its prairie surroundings into a modern, progressive feel that is Waunakee. WCB is a branch of the Oregon Community Bank that was founded in 1976. This new bank prides themselves on hiring local workers & giving back to the community that they serve.  

    4)  Little Strokes Swim Academy located in the Arboretum Office Park at 1029 Quinn Drive was founded by long time residents, Bill and Rachel Tygum. Originally, Bill started giving lessons in a small hotel pool, but grew quickly and moved to the Madison Country Day School in 2006. The new custom facility on Quinn Drive opened in August of 2016 and features a million dollar warm water indoor, 6 lane pool, built in UV light filtering system (to allow for less chemicals), locker rooms, family bathroom and party room. Bill said that not surprisingly the community response has been overwhelming and they have expanded their classes with swim stroke development & clinics.  

    5)  Hovde Properties:  Village Crossing at 114 E. Main St in downtown Waunakee:  Madison based developer, Hovde Properties came to terms on an agreement with the Village that included demolition and construction of the former Koltes Lumber site.  The re-development includes premier high quality retail & restaurant space on the 1st floor and office space and shared conference room on the 2nd floor.  
    The original building, built in the late 1800’s has remained intact and the new construction has been built around that to maintain its downtown character & ambiance. The original building has a history that Hovde restored including the original facade and similar design elements of new construction, but celebrating the past.  The building offers 24,000 square feet of retail, 11,000 square feet of office space and a 3600 square foot outdoor rooftop patio as part of Lone Girl Brewery. The project has complemented an array of businesses & new projects in the area that has been a driver for revitalization and has fit in nicely with private investment taking place.  Currently Lone Girl Brewery, Red Barn Company Store & Ecco Salon are the major anchor tenants with a prime spot still available to rent on the first level.  

    Past Orchid Award Winners
    2015 Waunakee Furniture ETC
    2014 MNM's Coffeehouse
    2013 Access Wisconsin
    2012 Kwik Trip & Sweet Pea Floral
    2011 Waunakee Fire Station
    2010 May Vision Center
    2009 St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
    2008 Koltes Lumber
    2007 Murphy's Mill
    2006 Skalitzky's Jewelers
    2005 Rotary Plaza
    2004 Nolan Anderson Agency 
    2003 Piggly Wiggly
    2002 Arboretum Centre
    2001 Wisconsin Management
    2000 Williamson Surveying
    1999 The Waunakee Depot
    1998 Hofbrau Haus
    1997 Mill House Quilts
    1996 Rex's Innkeeper
    1995 Country Inn & Suites
    1994 Meffert's One Stop
    1993 Video Library