A Vibrant Community
Spring brings new energy to Mount Horeb

Our Village has weathered the cold and Covid-19 restrictions, and we are cautiously enthusiastic for this summer and the remainder of what 2021 will bring. Businesses along Main Street and across this community are gearing up for visitors and locals who want to be out shopping, dining, and enjoying what Mount Horeb has to offer. This weekend is inspiring, in our downtown business district, we have four businesses celebrating their grand openings, and the Streatery program will be kicking off. The energy is palpable, and even caught the attention of some of our local news outlets. Recently WKOW interviewed some of our new store owners about their businesses and what drew them to open in downtown Mount Horeb. Click the link to watch now. 

Thanks to the Housing Task Force, conversations surrounding housing have been ongoing, and are engaging with the community for feedback. A recent online panel conversation about affordable housing and anticipated projects had over 70 participants. The task force will soon send out surveys to residents, businesses, and those who work in the Village to get their feedback and input on solutions.  

If you are interested in hearing more about opportunities for development, housing, or where your business can fit into our community, please reach out.

Rowan Childs
Economic Development Director
Recent News

  • Upward: National e-commerce company, Gempler's, announces their first brick and mortar retail endeavor with a store on Main Street
  • Upward: Grumpy Troll has a new sister, Sugar Troll. A new business by the owners to offer Italian style gelato, locally-sourced sweets, and old fashioned candy
  • Upward: Icki Sticki moved to a larger location: coffee, ice cream, drive-thru, and an Amazon Locker pick up
  • Upward: Jangle Soap Works will take over Isaac's Soaps old store location in April
  • Upward: Construction begins on Wyser Engineering's new office downtown
  • Upward: Streatery program was approved for 2021 from Apr. 15- Nov. 15th
  • Movement: The Chamber plans for Art Fair, Brew Fest, and Fall Market
  • Movement: The Village prepares to start a new Comprehensive Plan with community input this summer and fall
  • Housing: The Housing Task Force is mid-way through their session led by UW Extension, Sharon Lezberg, and Kristin Runge
  • Housing: 20 unit apartment building by the golf course by Steve Brown Apartments is near completion
  • Housing: A 7 unit Apartment project was approved for developer Jeff Riegert
  • Housing: Landsby Ridge (51 unit Gorman Company) was approved for a $1,350,000 loan from the Dane County Health and Human Needs committee for the housing project on Blue Mounds Road

Streetery Program approved for 2021

The Village Board approved the Streetery Program for 2021, including the extension of dates, from April 15th through Nov. 15th. The staff will update last year's guidelines to accommodate improvements for restaurants, cafes, and food-based businesses. Last year's successful program included a grant program for restaurants to cover furniture and safety equipment. A recent survey of downtown businesses gave further insights including 95% of participants asking for it to return.

Business Highlight:
Who is Gemplers?
A farm and home business that supports businesses and consumers across the United States. We carry some of the best brands you know (Carhartt, YETI, Patagonia, Keen, Columbia, DeWalt) and some that you should. We have a proud history of finding commercial-grade products and we love serving customers. We believe Gemplers is a phenomenal alternative for the consumer who values high-quality brands but desires the midwestern, personalized shopping experience. Customers can purchase on our website, in our retail store, or call and talk to one of our Wisconsin-based customer service folks. We are very proud of our 81-year-old heritage and are amid an exciting chapter as we are once again family-owned and fiercely independent!

What's new?
Gempler’s is excited to announce that we have opened a retail store in the old Artisan Woods space. The opening is scheduled for this weekend and will be our second location in Mt Horeb. We moved the product and marketing teams to Mt Horeb in early 2019, with a small office above the post office. Our distribution center and customer service teams make their home in Janesville; we are Wisconsin through and through. The store will be a great way to meet customers and build the brand. We are excited to announce two long time village residents, Sean Johnson – Head of Business Development and Polly Rosborough – Store Manager, are heading up the venture.

Why the move to Mt Horeb?
The location is ideal, and the business community is very well suited for entrepreneurs. We have been impressed and encouraged by the entrepreneurs in the village that are doing so many interesting and innovative things. Every week I hear of yet another cool story or person. It’s invigorating to be around other people and businesses who have found their way or are trying to find it. The community is small and well connected, making it ideal for meeting people and developing relationships. Gemplers started in Mount Horeb and saw some of its best days, so returning here makes sense. Come see us soon!

Find more at gemplers.com or visit their new store now open on Main Street.

Property highlights: a sampling of opportunities in our village. Please reach out for further properties or what you are looking for.

Innovator Group Member introduction:
Silvernail Geodesign

Hi, I am Janet Silbernagel Balster, a native of the Mt. Horeb area with a passion for creating and protecting beautiful places. So with extensive international and public lands experience at universities, non-profits, and federal agencies over the past 25 years, I launched Silvernail Geodesign, a small woman-owned private practice committed to "geographically smart design."  With a focus on large landscapes – private and public lands and multiple ownerships, I help engage communities with interactive map tools to see their collective visions and stories come to life and facilitate the legacy and stewardship of such valued landscapes. 
After taking some entrepreneurial workshops through UW-Madison last year, which were helpful yet a little generic, I was excited to learn of the Mount Horeb Innovators group. I jumped at the chance to join this group of real people who have or are actually building businesses right here in our place. Already I am learning from them, sharing marketing ideas, gaining some leads for my work, and enjoying their shops and eateries along the way!

The Innovator group meets monthly, with 80 members from the greater Mount Horeb area, providing a new community of innovators and entrepreneurs that meet to network, support, and foster ideas. Click the button to find out more.
Nonprofit highlight: NHN
Neighbors Helping Neighbors

“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into the giving.” -- Mother Teresa
On a chilly but seasonable Friday afternoon in late January, a steady stream of vehicles flowed through the snow-covered parking lot outside Neighbors Helping Neighbors’ facility just off the beaten path downtown.
At this weekly contactless, drive-through food distribution, necessitated by the ongoing pandemic, grateful customers of all ages, family arrangements, and income levels received a nutritious variety of produce, meats, dairy, packaged staples like flour and peanut butter, personal care essentials like toilet paper and shampoo, and their choice of weekly food specials that included gems like a block of hard cheddar from world-renowned cheesemaker Willi Lehner.
The following morning, shoppers descended on the adjacent Clothes Closet and made their way through aisles of donated in-season clothing, carefully sorted by department and by size, with name-brand finds on nearly every rack. Earlier that week, NHN president Janna Hansen had connected an area family with fellow nonprofit organization Porchlight, which provides people a pathway to stable housing thanks to funding from NHN.
For our neighbors in need, there is no cost to these services. Yet they are priceless.
The vision of a one-stop resource hub in Mount Horeb has become a reality, thanks to the financial generosity of businesses and individuals in our community, a network of partners who provide truckloads of food every week, and an army of dedicated volunteers from 15 partner churches and the community at large.
An outgrowth of the Clothes Closet, which has served the community since 1997, NHN intended to ramp up gradually in 2020. That all changed once Covid-19 hit. NHN established a mobile food pantry in March at the Mount Horeb United Methodist Church, shifted operations to its expanded home at 102 E. Lincoln St. in July, and merged with Blue Mounds Food Pantry late in the year to enhance its coverage of the Mount Horeb Area School District service area.
By year’s end, NHN had served more than 9,200 food shoppers and nearly 1,000 clothing shoppers in 2020. That translates to an average of 115 unique families served per month.
NHN was formed on the premise we can elevate the quality of life for everyone in Mount Horeb by providing/connecting our most vulnerable citizens with resources that can empower them to move from a survival mode to a place where they are able to thrive and prosper.
The heightened need for these services shows no signs of letting up through the early months of 2021, and NHN invites you to “put your love into the giving,” as Mother Teresa said so eloquently. For information about donating, volunteering and connecting people in need with our services, go to mthorebneighbors.org.
Welcome, new MadREP President & CEO:
Jason Fields, CFEI, CCRS

We met virtually with Jason and Paul Jadin in late January and thanked Paul, his predecessor, for all of his help over the last couple of years. We look forward to working with Jason and promoting the greater Dane County area as a great place to live and do business.
Some information about Jason: Jason joined the Madison Region Economic Partnership in January 2021. Prior to joining MadREP, he served as a Wisconsin State Legislator. Jason represents the United States as a senator of the World Business Angel Investment Forum (WBAF). He is the founder of The Financial Promise Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization that teaches personal financial & business literacy. He is also the Founder and Managing Director of Dark Knight Capital Ventures, a venture fund that seeks to invest in underrepresented founders across America.
Jason started his career in the financial services sector where he collaboratively managed over $100 million in assets. His experience includes bonds, equities, derivatives, insurance, and both residential and commercial loans. He has also worked as a financial advisor, investment advisor, personal banker, credit union branch manager, and investment banking associate.
He is a published author with six books, four of which focus on financial topics for beginners. He hosts a weekly radio show, The Financial Promise radio show; 30 minutes of Power with Jason Fields, on the largest Christian Radio Station in Wisconsin, Joy1340am/98.7fm. Jason is a certified financial education instructor & certified capital raising specialist. He holds a BS Degree in business management from Cardinal Stritch University.
Rowan Childs
Economic Development Director
Nic Owen
Village Administrator
Keep in touch!
We want to be in touch with you, so please add us to your email contact list. Please call or email Rowan to introduce yourself and or bring an important matter to our attention. Thank you for helping us make the Village of Mount Horeb a vibrant community for all.

Reopening Resource: Wisconsin Safety Council
Return to Work: Businesses must show they are prepared to keep employees, customers and other guests safe. YouTube link