Small businesses: exploring hidden gems in Ashland
30 minutes south of Bayfield, sits Ashland, Wisconsin. Though, Ashland is most known for its historic murals and nature there’s more than what meets the eye.
A tight knit business community keeps the town strong. Gabriele Block of Gabriele’s German Cookies & Chocolate says that they all work together to ensure no shop is selling the same two things.
Gabriele’s German Cookies & Chocolate has homemade treats from across the pond for purchase. Block says she only makes what she likes to eat. You can find a variety of food like bacon and oranges that are chocolate covered.
All of her recipe’s for her cookies as well as her chocolates are homemade. Block said she has recently started making designer truffles as well.
If you call, Block will ship to anywhere in the country so you can try the famous treats from home. She adds Christmas at the shop is special. She transforms it into what a German Christmas market would look like.
Steve Moore, from Moore’s on Main says that whether you need winter gear, a sweet treat, gift, household items etc. that you can be assured that one of the surrounding shops will have what you are looking for.
Moore’s on Main is the oldest and biggest shop on Main Street. It’s been passed down for now three generations, says Moore. “I took it over for my father in the 90’s who started the business in the 70’s.” They sell a wide variety of clothing, Maribeth Monroe recently celebrated 30 years at as an employee.
“This store is important because there are not a whole lot of clothing stores around here so we want to make sure everyone has what they need.” Steve Moore, the current owner says that there is currently a fall sale right now, so prices will be low.
As we head further downtown, the Market on Main specializes in exceptional local crafts from vendors around the area. Owner Julie Anderson says she has been there for two years and the community and tourists who visit her shop make it what it is.
“We have all sorts of fun stuff, pickleball racket’s, handmade clothes, gifts and more. You just need to come in and check it out.” Anderson says she hopes to see a lot of people from the Bayfield Applefest as it comes around.
As you’re driving around town, keep an eye out for one of the artesian water fountains that are placed around town. Resident Ronald Sztyndor says there is an aquifer that surrounds the area. “The best part is that it runs back into the bay creating no waste at all.” He adds the parking lots are sometimes full with people who are filling up on water for the week.
Monroe and Moore both say that Ashland is the best spot on the South Shore to catch the sunset. You’ll just have to visit if and be the judge of that.