Chamber Wreath Decorating Contest

City of Oconto     Electrical Service & Supplies

The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce invited all its Chamber members to participate in its 1st Annual  “Wreath Decorating Contest 2016”.  Each  2016 Oconto Chamber member was entitled to a free 36” wreath to decorate as they chose in any creative manner.  There were 56 wreaths picked up and they were lit around town on or about December 3rd.  

The judging took place at the December Chamber meeting. There was a 3 way tie with the City of Oconto, Electrical Service & Supplies and Patsy Bake declared the winners. Each will receive $25 in Chamber Bucks. 

After 5 Oconto Floral

The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a “Christmas Open House” at Oconto Floral at 220 Main St. Oconto on Thursday, November 17, 2016. Stop in and see the newly renovated interior of the shop and meet the new owner, Becky Fahler.  You can find items for anyone on your shopping list.  They specialize not only in floral items, but scarves, jewelry, hand bags, cards, candles, wine glasses, glassware, ornaments, memorial stones, plaques and statues. The shop also carries seasonal items and gifts for all occasions.

Oconto Floral offers floral delivery in and around Oconto and also nationwide through its reliable florist network as they are members of Teleflora.  This provides same-day delivery for important last minute gifts!  Check out their website:

Oconto Floral serves the following areas in Wisconsin:Abrams, Lena, and Oconto.  They also serve Oconto Elementary, Middle and HIgh School and local restaurants. The following facilities are also serviced: Gallagher Funeral Home, Oconto Bellin Hospital, Rhodes-Charapata Funeral Home, GMSP, KCS International, Prevea, Neroco, Unlimited Services, and all Nursing Homes.

They are family owned and operated. The shop is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and Saturday 9:00 a.m to noon. The phone number is 920-834-2828. oconto-floral-aoconto-floral-b

Pictured left to right is Pearl Christopherson, Cary Yudes, Becky Fahler, and Mark Greatens.

Care Partners Ribbon Cutting

grand-opening-allgood-staff-1The Chamber coordinated with Care Partners Country Terrace for its ribbon cutting ceremony on Nov. 3, 2016. This facility is a Wisconsin based Assisted Living provider with long term care solutions to seniors in 24 cities with 43 properties and continually growing. Founded in 1999, care Partners owner, Jason Lindemann, developed programming to assist staff in providing exemplary service. The facility has 25 private rooms, each with a private bath. It is located at 301 Pine Ave. Oconto. Call 920-516-7433 or email for further info. care-2care-1


The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored “Restaurant Week 2016” April 17-23 for the third consecutive year.  Just shy of 1300 votes were cast at all of the restaurants to choose the “Restaurant of the Year 2016.” Customers were given slips to fill out at each of the following establishments that chose to participate in this Chamber activity. The Chamber is pleased to announce that Benjamin’s Family Dining which is located at 303 Brazeau Ave. Oconto is this year’s winner. They have received a plaque from the Chamber to display in their business.  Oconto has many diversified establishments that serve food and each is unique in its own rite. Benjamin’s was voted as having the best Breakfast Skillets, stir fries and catfish. They also held a drawing for two $20 gift certificates and these were won by Kelly Trepanier and Pamela Leneau.  Check out their extensive menu items.

Brothers 3 is located at 106 Superior Ave. Oconto and still seems to be the favorite spot for homemade pizza especially the Deluxe. Enjoy a menu item on their deck overlooking the Oconto River.

Crivello’s at 818 Main St. Oconto got many votes for the Vinny burger and its Family Style Chicken. Crivello’s was the Restaurant of the Year 2014. Why not book an event in their banquet hall!

Irish Greens at 2946 Logtown Rd. Oconto makes one mean Philly Cheese sandwich and their Friday fish fries continue to draw crowds. Why not get in a game of golf and dine before or after your round.

The Oconto Legion Golf Club which is located at 532 Jefferson St. Oconto  is now becoming famous for its pan seared walleye and Shrimp Scampi. Thursday night’s menu includes many ethnic & specialty food items which have become popular.

Wagner Shell at 517 Smith Ave. Oconto was voted as having the best broasted chicken. Why not call them up and have your food delivered?

Wayne’s Family Restaurant at 805 Brazeau Ave. Oconto is the place to go for awesome pies and breakfast items such as Belgian waffles. They still have won many national pie contests with Caroline Imig the baker.

Wise Guy’s Riverside Bar at 106 Smith Ave. Oconto which came in second this year was voted as serving outstanding Prime Rib and steaks, Deep Fried Tacos and a Cheese Head Burger. They also held their own drawing for a $25 gift certificate which was won by Bill Cook.  Wise Guy’s was the Restaurant of the Year 2015. Watch for their expanded deck overlooking the Oconto River.

The Oconto area is fortunate to have all of these eating establishments with such diversified menus. Why not try each and every one of them and recognize them as being an outstanding 2016 Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce member. You can join the Chamber as a business, organization or individual. The Chamber meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at a local bar or restaurant.



From the left: Sharon Pennington, Nikki Speller, Josie Grauvogl, Kathy Hayes of the Oconto Chamber & Jon Asani




The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored its 9th Annual “Spring  Business Expo” at the Bond Community Center on Saturday, March 19, 2016. Over 42 vendors displayed their products and services. Vendors and attendees were able to purchase delicious food items from  Brothers 3, Wayne’s Family Restaurant and the Oconto Legion Golf Club. The Chamber would like to thank the Bond Community Center for hosting this event once again. The admission to the Expo and the money from the raffle items will go to Farnsworth Public Library. The Chamber wishes to thank all the businesses that contributed a gift item for the raffle items.  The following businesses and organizations exhibited: Abrams Spotlight Productions, Americare Senior Services, Avon Products by Patsy Bake, Bay Impressions, Bellin Health, Bond Community Center, Brothers 3, Butler & Co. Main Street Health, City of Oconto Park & Rec , Police and Fire Dept., Cottages at Meadowlands.  Farnsworth Public Library, First Presbyterian Church, H & R Block, Image Apparel, Koehne Chevy, Buick, GMC,  Machickanee Players, Mortell Studio, NEW Credit Union,  NEW View Industries, Nsight Telservices. Oconto Copperfest, Oconto County Historical Society, Oconto Legion Golf Club, Peterson Chiropractic, Porterfield Country, Prevea Allergy, Family Medicine, Orthopedic & Footcare and Vision, Ruins Adventure Mini Golf, Thrivent Financial,  Unity Hospice, Wayne’s Family Restaurant, Van’s Refrigeration, and WOCO.  Also the Chamber would like to thank the Oconto County Reporter for the great ad and WOCO for their continued coverage of our event before and during the Expo. See the Chamber’s ad for Restaurant Week April 17-23. Try a new dining experience in our local restaurants and bars and vote for the “Chamber Food Establishment of the Year 2016.” Last year’s “Restaurant of the Year” Wise Guy’s Riverside Bar.  Also it is time to pick up applications for Miss Copperfest 2016 at Oconto High School, Image Apparel or look for it in the Oconto County Reporter. The deadline to submit applications for Miss Copperfest is May 20, 2016. 102_2227102_2226

Chamber Chat

nwtc pic      The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce held its February monthly meeting at Wayne’s Family Restaurant. The guest speaker was Tom Duffy of NWTC. He is the Small Business Developmental Director. Some of the services that this division offers include workshops for small businesses such as an entrepreneurial profile assessment of employees, a one page business plan class, marketing on facebook and a CEO roundtable. They also provide business coaching to help create a strategic plan for a business, outreach programs and special events. On April 7, 2016, NWTC will sponsor an event called “Taste of Entrepreneurship” at the NWTC Campus from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. You will be able to taste delicious food from businesses in NE Wisconsin. Also there will be a “Business Success Summit” at Lambeau Field on November 9, 2016.

      Don’t forget to sign up if you are a business or organization for the 9th Annual Spring Business Expo at the Bond Community Center on March 19th from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Admission is $1.00 (children under 6 free) which goes to Farnsworth Public Library.

      If you are a business or organization, please drop off any new flyers, promotions, giveaways for the new resident “Welcome Bags” at Image Apparel.

      The Chamber will host an “After 5” event at the new carriage house behind the Beyer Home along with the Oconto County Historical Society on Thursday, May 19th. Further details will follow.

       The Oconto Chamber’s Membership & Public Relations Committee met to discuss new ideas to incorporate into the 2016 calendar. One new idea that is in the works is “May Fest” to be held on a Saturday in May at the Harbor. We would like to ask local restaurants and bars who are interested to set up a booth to sell their food products. We are also asking local organizations to sponsor an activity that would be family oriented such as a bike decorating contest, a jump rope contest, a corn hole tournament, etc.  The Chamber will sponsor a band or DJ for this event and also sponsor a Smelt King & Queen Contest.

The Chamber will also be sponsoring a Fall Decorating Contest and a Christmas Decorating Contest for local businesses and residences. There will be various categories and nominations will be accepted with prizes awarded by the Chamber.

We would also like to see more involvement for Harvest Fest, so we are asking if any group is interested in organizing a scarecrow decorating contest, a pumpkin decorating contest or a pet contest or a recipe contest. Harvest Fest is September 24, 2016.

We are also investigating to see if any bars or restaurants are interested in an Oconto Market on Main St. similar but on a smaller scale that surrounding communities such as Green Bay do where food booths set up shop on maybe a Tuesday night along with some craft vendors. Further inquiries will be made for this event.

The Chamber will host a Mayoral Forum at Crivello’s on Thursday, March 31 at 6:00 p.m. which will last about one hour. The two candidates who are running for Mayor of the City of Oconto (Victoria Bostedt & Lloyd Heier) will answer pre-determined questions that they will receive about two weeks in advance before the Forum. There will be no questions allowed during the Forum. But you may meet informally with each candidate after the debate to discuss any issues.

      The Oconto Hospital Foundation is sponsoring a Beer & Wine Tasting Event on April 9, 2016 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Tickets at $30 each can be purchased ahead of time. Watch for more details.

      The Oconto Lions Club is once again selling red, yellow, or rainbow roses or a spring bouquet at $15 each until April 8th. See any Lions Club member to order.

      The Discover Wisconsin’s first broadcast to highlight Oconto County will air on Saturday, March 26th. The Chamber will sponsor a viewing of this at the Oconto Legion Golf Club. The show will air at 6:30 p.m.  Snacks will be provided.

      OCEDC has undertaken a Destination Assessment Process to determine opportunities for expanding the area’s appeal to visitors. Tourism to this County is estimated to already add $78.8 million in visitor spending to the region’s economy, powering 853 full-time jobs. This process will help determine if these economic impacts can grow even larger. If you would like to fill out answers to 6 brief questions, contact Kathy at or stop in at Image Apparel.

      The next Chamber meeting will be at the Oconto Legion Golf Club on March 15, 2016.

Picture attached: left to right: Ron Hayes, Chamber President; Tom Duffy, NWTC; Bob Schwartz, Chamber Board Director and Chairman of Tourism Committee; and Don Nerenhausen, Chamber Treasurer.

This column is written by Kathy Hayes, Chamber Board Director