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Chamber NewsBreak - March 2013

   Business Expo next up for Chamber      
The Chamber is currently planning an event aimed at exposing member businesses and their products and services to potential customers. The annual Business Expo will be held on Saturday, April 20 at Portage High School. This is another great opportunity for our members to expose their businesses on a face-to-face basis with potential customers and other members. Please consider being a part of this event. Watch for the vendor application--and more information about the event--that will be sent out soon.  
   Business Profile:  Pierce's Market Place 
pierces logo

Pierce's is a family owned grocery store that has been in business since 1924. It was founded by William and Anna Pierce who opened their first store on Walnut Street in Baraboo. In 1930, the business was sold to Ralph Pierce, who moved it to South Boulevard in Baraboo. In 1957, Don Pierce bought out his brothers and opened a store in Fall Lake and Muscoda. Currently, Pierce's is owned by 4th generation brother and sister, Dave and Angie Pierce, who own four stores in Baraboo, Portage, Madison, and Muscoda and have deep roots in our area.


Pierce's in Portage takes pride in providing quality products at affordable prices to our customers. Our produce, deli, bakery, and meat departments have exceptionally fresh product including our salad bar, full service meat case, cut fruit, full service floral department and much more. In addition to quality and freshness, we have a high standard for customer service. We provide services that are often a thing of the past: help out to your vehicle or drive-up service. We have been told that you really feel like you are among friends when you are here and that it feels like a neighborhood store!


Pierce's also gives back to the community in many ways. One way is to designate a charitable foundation from our approved list and we will contribute to that organization every time you use your Pierce's Rewards Card. We also donate to the food pantry in several ways. Each Monday, five food pantries we donate to--Portage, St Vincent De Paul, Rio, Montello, and Wyocena--picks up. In addition, we have food pantry gift bags made up, ready to be purchased by our customers. What started as a holiday food drive "give the gift of food," has turned into a year round event. As our store manager Eric Erickson said, "Hunger knows no season." In the 2012 season from November 1st to Christmas, we raised just shy of $9000.00 for our pantries! Thank you to all that helped us to provide food to our friends and neighbors. Pierce's donates to many other events in our community, such as the holiday meal, St Mary's Best Fest, various non profit organizations, fund raisers and of course we are here for all in the event of a tragedy like flood or fire.


We like to have a little fun at the store. Our annual events include the Columbia County Adopt-A-Thon. This is a great chance to meet some of the animals available for adoption and maybe even take home a new addition to the family. We always look forward to the Family Resource Center family event complete with a bouncy house and lots of fun games and prizes. Then there is our anniversary week, holiday open house, the canal day's parade, holiday parade, one day sales and our usual day in and day out fun that we have with our customers.


Pierce's is a rewarding place to shop. When you use your Rewards Card you can earn points and redeem them for free items! We have weekly items and seasonal items like ham and turkey around the holidays. We also recently partnered with Kwik Trip and started our new "Food for Fuel" promotion. We are very excited about this and look forward to rewarding our customers in many ways in the future.


Pierce's is a good employer in Portage. We employ a wide variety of full and part-time employees. We have high school students that are working their very first job and we have meat cutters and others that have made a career out of grocery retail. We are firm believers in promoting from within and we are fortunate that we have many employees that have worked here for a very long time.


We would like to sincerely thank everyone that has supported us through tough economic times as we continue to grow and thrive where the north begins.


   Welcome New Chamber Members   
CLC Sports World LLC 
118 W. Cook St.    Portage WI, 53901
Chuck Kayser at 608-742-1504
Offering a wide range of sports memorabilia 
community bank web
   Home Health United announces grief support group and new hours
hhu logo
The Home Health United - Home Medical Equipment showroom located at 2888 Village Road in Portage will be changing their hours as of Monday, March 4. The showroom will be open from 9am-noon and 12:30-4pm. The showroom is still open Monday through Friday, and has staff on-call to handle patient needs. Please call 800-924-2273 for more information. 
Also, Home Health United offers grief support groups, at no cost, to anyone in the community who has experienced loss. Grief continues well after loss occurs and each individual experiences it in unique ways. Many find it helpful to talk with others going through similar experiences. The Growing Through Grief Support Group meets Thursday, March 21 from 5pm to 7pm at Angie W. Cox Public Library, 119 N. Main Street, PardeevilleGrowing Through Grief is a faith-based series based on the work of Pastoral Counselor Dr. Howard Clinebell. Pre-registration is required. A minimum of four must be registered for the group to take place.

Home Health United (HHU) offers an integrated and comprehensive variety of home health services and is dedicated to helping people remain as safe, healthy and independent as possible in their own homes. 
Their team of professionals offers a wide range of services to meet almost any home health care need from pediatrics to geriatrics. Their more than 450 employees have been carefully screened and trained so patients and their families will feel comfortable, safe and secure as they provide care in the home.
   Markent Solutions opens new office              
markent solutions logo Markent Solutions has announced the opening of a new office in the United Kingdom. Operating as Gatwick Computers Ltd, the new office provides the same products and services that have helped Markent Solutions grow to become one of the foremost Business Solutions providers in the area. Markent is the only Better Business Bureau A+ accredited business solutions business in the Portage area.

Gatwick Computers Limited is conveniently based near London Gatwick airport, the second largest airport in the UK, serving 12 million passengers a year. The greater Gatwick area has a population of approximately one million people and is a very busy commercial and industrial area.

The UK office is run by Darren Hicklin. Darren has over ten years' experience in the IT business and is a fully qualified Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional (MCITP), he also holds the computing industry association, CompTIA A+, N+ and Security+ certifications.
preschool program 2013

   Portage Food Pantry searching for new location

Barb Chesney has been doing an excellent job running the Portage Food Pantry, presently located in the basement of the Episcopal Church - not the most ideal place for the Portage Food Pantry. They have been paying $1000 a year for the church space.


She is looking for a long-term, 900 sq. ft. or larger facility, on ground level, close to Portage, with parking, to use for the Pantry. They need space for 6 - 8 refrigerators. Last year they served 200 households and distributed 58-tons of food. If you know of a space, please call 608-742-6286.



Don rick web


   Portage Center for the Arts events   
portage center for the arts
Once again, Portage Center for the Arts will feature the talents of our own young people. The Portage Elementary & Middle School Exhibit will run from March 1 through March 30, 2013. Join us at the Opening Reception in the Drury Gallery, Friday, March 1 from 4pm to 6pm to meet the artists, enjoy refreshments and marvel at the talent we have in our community.
The Performing Arts Concert Series continues with The Telephone, by Gian Carlo Menotti, a humorous operetta performed by soprano Deanna Horjus-Lang and bass-baritone Anne Horjus, with collaborative pianist Sue Lappin. The performance will be followed by an entertaining recital filled with art songs, opera arias and duets! The concert will be presented in the Zona Gale Theatre on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm. Reserved seats are Adults/$15 and Students/$5. 
For more information on these events or to reserve a seat, contact Portage Center for the Arts, 301 East Cook Street, Portage,  608-742-5655. Open Wednesday through Friday from 1pm to 6pm and Saturday from 10am to 3pm. Visit
   Historic Indian Agency House event
new agency house The Historic Indian Agency House invites you to join us for this Spring's Girl Scout Children's Workshop: Let's Play with Clay! Learn all about pottery on the Wisconsin frontier with a tour of the Historic Indian Agency House site, and participation in a variety of activities-from a question-and-answer session with an experienced potter, to a "dream decorator" session where you will use your bargain sense and style sense to decide what to "buy" from a variety of pottery choices. Of course, you'll also create and decorate your own pots to take home, including Native American-style pinch and coil pots. Best for Brownies, Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors, but all are welcome.

All participants will receive a "Ceramics & Clay" fun patch upon completion of all related activities. Maximum of 15 participants per session, recommended for ages 6 to 12. Register before March 4 for Session 1: Saturday, March 09, 2013, 9:30am to 11:30am or Session 2: Saturday, March 09, 2013, 1pm to 3pm. The fee is $11, and this workshop is geared towards Girl Scouts (troops or individuals), but the general public (boys and girls) is welcome to join in on the fun! 

To register, contact Director Destinee Udelhoven at 608-742-6362 at Historic Indian Agency House, 1490 Agency House Road, Portage, WI  East of Portage, off Hwy 33, down Rustic Road 69.
Glacier Rock March 13
   Enjoy delicious bowl of chili and chicken soup   
Everyone is welcome to enjoy this delicious Annual Chili/Chicken Soup supper on Saturday, March 2 from 5pm-7pm. Your choice, or have both Chili and Chicken Noodle Soup, along with beverage and dessert...all you can eat for just $6.00! Fix your Chili just the way you want it...add macaroni, crackers, cheddar cheese or sour cream. Want it hotter...add more onions, chili powder or Tabasco sauce. Mmmm, good!

The event is located at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church (with the red doors, next to the Fire Station) in Couper Hall, 211 West Pleasant Street, Portage. Contact Robyn O'Rourke at or phone 742-6054 for more information.
   Contribute to community projects   
 The Portage community has a number of projects in the works to benefit the opportunities and quality of life for our residents. In addition to requesting funding from the community, all are eager for others to learn about their projects. Here are links to the various projects and links to find out more/contribute: 

Portage Public Library - Click here        Portage Family 
Skate Park - Click here    

Portage Splash Pad - Click here
Portage Community Center - Click here 
   Great opportunity for cell phone users
For a limited time, U.S. Cellular is offering a $300 credit for switching your family or business to our award winning network. The credit is available for any customer that starts new service with 2 or more lines including at least one smartphone. Our lineup of 4G devices including smartphones, hotspots and modems, our rewards program, one and done contracts, as well as having the highest call quality and network satisfaction make this an incredible offer.

But the deal gets even better. We are giving an additional $50 credit for Chamber members who switch their business or family to U.S Cellular. Hurry into our store located on New Pinery Road, next to Staples, or call Sarah Ruth at 920-299-0660.

   Alumni Curling Bonspiel coming up   
portage curling club Come to the  Portage Curling Club for the Portage Alumni Curling Bonspiel on March 8 & 9, 2013. Portage Alumni gather and form teams in this 2-day event that emphasizes fun, family, and friendships. Food and beverages are for sale to support the club. For more information, go to
   PACT puts on 'Drinking Habits'    

Portage Area Community Theatre (PACT) is pleased to announce another dinner theatre show. Drinking Habits is a comedy about nuns who are secretly making wine to sell to the locals to keep their convent open. Paranoia sets in when two reporters go undercover, as well as possible spies from Rome who show up, threatening  to close the convent. Accusations, mistaken identities, and romances run wild in this laugh-out-loud farce. Wine and secrets are inevitably spilled as everyone tries to preserve the convent and reconnect with lost loves. Don't miss this zany fun dinner theatre adventure!
Drinking Habits is directed by Bob Viking, PACT veteran. The dinner show is set for March 14-17 and March 22-24 at the new banquet hall facility at Northwoods, Inc., just south of Portage on Hwy 51. A beer and wine cash bar will be available. Tickets are $24 for the complete dinner and show and are available now at the Portage Furniture Store in downtown Portage.
Businesses are encouraged to purchase a whole table of 8 seats for their employees or preferred customers, which entitles them to a free $40 ad and thank you in the program for only $200 (a savings of $32). For this business special call Bob Viking at 608-742-3009.

our house logo Join us for our Bingo Bash on Friday, March 15 at 2pm. Great prizes!!!! Snacks will be served. The fun happens at Our House Senior Living Community, 215 Northridge Dr. in Portage. Bingo is scheduled the third Friday of the month at 2pm. Visit or call 608-697-2626 for more information.

Our House Senior Living provides Assisted Care, Memory Care, and Senior Apartment settings located in residential neighborhoods where residents are able to maintain relationships and stay active in their community. The intimate size of each Our House Senior Living enables a setting in which staff and residents get to know each other as family. Each resident's physical and emotional needs are met while affording them
dignity and privacy in a warm, friendly home.
   Portage Public Library hosts event       
Portage Public Library welcomes Bill Jamerson and The Dollar-A-Day Boys on Thursday, March 21, from 6pm to 8:15pm. Join us for this musical tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) complete with stories, songs and refreshments! All ages are welcome.
   Portage Lions Radio Auction, Egg Hunt coming up     
Portage Lions Club is hard at work planning their Annual Radio Auction to be held on Saturday, March 23. This is a fundraiser for the Portage Lions Club to help support pre-school vision screening, eye exams, glasses for the needy and transportation of eye tissue to and from the Eye Bank in Madison. Other projects include scholarships, donations to the Safety Patrol Trip, the High School Athletic Fund, Santa's Workshop, annual Easter Egg Hunt and many others. 

Another of their ever-popular events, the Portage Lions Club Easter Egg Hunt, will be held on Saturday, March 30, from 10am to 10:30am. 
Foil-wrapped chocolate eggs will be scattered outdoors on the grounds of Woodridge and John Muir school at 10am on Saturday morning. Bring baskets or bags to collect eggs. Children are separated by age groups from 1 to 10 years of age. For more information, contact Peter Grimm at 608-742-2590. 
   Upcoming Business After 5

Business After 5 - March  

Tuesday, March 12 from 5pm-7pm hosted by United Country Hamele Auction & Realty. Join fellow Chamber members for networking, conversation and refreshments at our monthly Business After Five.  


April Business After 5 - U.S. Cellular at Suzy's Steak and Seafood House


Reserve a month in 2014, yes 2014, for your business before they're taken!!


Community Events

   March Chamber Meeting & Event Dates
6th      Ambassador Meeting at Community Bank     8am
12th    Business After 5 - hosted by United Country Hamele Auction & Realty   5pm-7pm
20th    Ribbon Cutting for Grean Clean at Chamber office   9am
21st    Mayoral Debate  (Location and time TBA)
   Ribbon Cuttings  
caboose ribbon cutting
A ribbon cutting was held at The Caboose BBQ Company, 1207 Dunn St., to celebrate this new business in Portage.The Caboose BBQ Company is the real deal when it comes to Homemade food and true smoked BBQ. They are open Monday through Saturday at 11am. Their grand opening is Saturday, March 9. For more information, call 608-745-2693. 

   Give Portage Green Gift Certificates! 
Portage Green Gift Certificates make an excellent gift. Used just like cash, the certificates can be purchased from the Portage Chamber in $5 and $10 increments. Recipients of the Portage Green may redeem them at these participating Chamber member businesses. By buying Portage Green Gift Certificates, you are helping to boost local business by keeping thousands of dollars right here in Portage. For more information, call the Chamber at 608-742-6242.


The Portage Area Chamber of Commerce is providing leadership for
 building a healthy economy and a high quality of life in the Portage Area.
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NEWS BREAK is a monthly publication of the Portage Area Chamber of Commerce.  Please contact the Chamber if you have news about your business that you would like to include in the next issue. 
 Our deadline is the 20th of the month.  Email your news to