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The beauty of small business unity: Walker’s Point

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Photo by Mark Jessen

The Fifth Ward, also known as Walker’s Point, offers some of the best food in all of Milwaukee. But this distinctive area does more than just serve food.

Katie Walters, 34, is the retail manager of the Clock Shadow Creamery at 138 W. Bruce St., the only cheese factory in Milwaukee. The Clock Shadow Creamery gets its name from the shadow that casts over the building from the landmark Allen-Bradley Clock, known as “The Polish Moon.” The Creamery makes most of cheese in the store, and everything they sell is from Wisconsin.

“A majority of the products for sale at the Clock Shadow Creamery come from local neighborhood small businesses,” Walters said. Cheese Curds are made fresh twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays. The owner of the Creamery is a certified Master Cheese Maker, a title which requires a minimum of 10 years of cheese production. Wisconsin is the only state in the country that requires a certification for cheese makers. The Clock Shadow Creamery also offers tours and tastings on a weekly basis.

Walker’s Point features numerous restaurants and bars. Zad’s Tavern at 438 S. 2nd St. is a third shift bar that is open from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day. Gavin Jenders, 29, is a bartender at the tavern and loves the casual vibe that the customers bring in.

“This is the kind of bar that you can walk in and be served instantly,” Jenders said. Zad’s is also a stop on the Pedal Tavern, the party on wheels that does pub crawls throughout Milwaukee. Jenders likes working at Zad’s because “it is the only bar in the area that is open during during the third shift.” Zad’s quality service, food and drink is unique destination for anyone visiting Walker’s Point.

Attached to Zad’s Tavern is Camino, a restaurant that offers the area’s finest craft beer. Casey Rataczak, 37, the owner of Camino, opened the restaurant last year. They offer specials, such as $5 burgers on Mondays, and a “Polish Happy Hour” which offers a free pierogi with a purchase of a craft beer every weekday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Trivia Tuesdays is also a popular event at the bar.

“Here at Camino, we offer a great variety of food and a diverse selection of beer,” Rataczak said. Camino also offers vegetarian options.

Indulgence Chocolatiers on 211 S. 2nd. St. is one of three Indulgence Chocolatiers in the area, the others being in Wauwatosa and Shorewood. Molly Hayes, 23, is the chocolate pairing bar manager serving the sweet tooth of customers daily.

“We don’t just make truffles,” Hayes said, “We also offer unusual flavors of truffles.”

According to Hayes, “dark chocolate sea salt” is one of the most popular truffles ordered by customers. Indulgence Chocolatiers make all of their products in its store using ingredients from local businesses.

“We like to support the small businesses around here by buying their ingredients and selling our products,” Hayes said.

Indulgence Chocolatiers serves products from the nearby ice cream shop, Purple Door, on 205 S. 2nd St. This style of wholesale business keeps the Milwaukee small business running. Hayes is in charge of orchestrating group events, which display the production of the savory treats.

Small businesses are the backbone of Walker’s Point. Walker’s Point is more than just the Fifth Ward. It’s a collection of people that contribute to the community with their dedicated service, generous hospitality and great food.

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