A Family Recipe For Small Business Success
As readers of this newsletter well know, I always love to visit Wisconsin’s small and medium sized businesses, and I have a special place in my heart for the family-owned and operated businesses that carry a company across the generations. This week I saw a new spin on the same idea: a small business based on family recipes. Glorious Malone’s Fine Sausage has been producing gourmet pork delicacies since the 1950’s.
Today my friend Daphne continues a family tradition that began with her parents George and Glorious Malone, who started a small deli on Milwaukee’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Drive. Glorious was inducted into the Meat Hall of Fame in 2011 as the first African-American woman to earn certification for her operations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. What a tremendous legacy.
We often joke in politics that laws are like sausages—if you like either of them, you should never see them being made. I have to say, though, that my visits to Malone’s and many other Wisconsin food processing plants disproves the quip. I am always impressed with the cleanliness and professionalism of Wisconsin’s food and beverage industry cluster companies, and appreciate Daphne’s commitment to continuing her family’s tradition of excellence.
A Fresh start for young people
We talk a lot about reentry issues in this newsletter, and usually that focuses on adults currently in our correctional system. But it’s also important that we do all we can to keep our young people out of correctional institutions in the first place, which is why I’m so excited about Operation Fresh Start. OFS works with at-risk youth in Madison and across the state to offer a better path than a life of crime, drugs, and dependency. Fresh Start instills not just job skills, but life skills like respect and discipline.
Connecting people and ideas
Our technical colleges regularly partner with local manufacturing companies to create pipelines for talent. But Fox Valley Tech is taking this cooperation to a whole new level with their Manufacturing Mall in Neenah. Basically, this facility brings together companies across the manufacturing supply chain to cooperate on common projects; so a welder might be right next to a metal stamping company. These guys all started their American dreams in their garages, and today they’re clustered together to create a seamless supply chain with ready business referrals.
At the close of last week I spent the day in western Wisconsin with my friend Rep. Nancy Vandermeer. Nancy and I visited Mayo Clinic in Sparta, which is using the power of technology to offer the highest quality care to local residents. For many of our rural communities, telemedicine offers instant access to world-class experts who can diagnose, counsel, and treat from many miles away.