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   I'm a firm believer that when we support our community and each other, we can do more. It's all about making a difference where we live and going the extra mile to show that our town has so much to offer. The work though, begins with each of us, with our visions and efforts. 


exposed wall art



This blog series strives to showcase but a sampling of what makes our community special, why we should continue working hard to attract talent and support it and what inspires me. I first met Laura (pictured above) when I moved to Baraboo in 2002 and we were classmates at Boo-U. Today she and her husband Mark are the owners of Con Amici Wine Bar.



 Con Amici Wine Bar is answering the call by featuring different artists on a monthly basis; as far as I know, this is the only establishment with a rotating art exhibit downtown Baraboo. Artists are also encouraged to hold an opening artist reception during that month to meet and greet the public.


The featured artist for October is Cathy Lawson (images below)







There is no doubt that Laura & Mark Krause are big supporters of the Arts downtown but they are also focused on running a sustainable business, and this is something that I'm very passionate about. 


Laura tells me that they are bringing environmentally friendly to another level; their business creates very little waste. Con Amici's electricity is windpowered and emphasis is placed on using and reusing. They offer patrons cotton/hemp towels, electric hand dryer, biodegradable soap and of course cloth napkins when we order food/drink items.



The resourcefully creative minds behind the Con Amici brand are also focused on supporting as many local and Wisconsin businesses as possible. For example, their great selection of cheeses come from Carr Valley, amazing chocolates from Roots Chocolates (the most amazing chocolates you will ever have); the bread comes from Neat-O's Bake Shoppe in Baraboo. The wines they offer are a combination of good price and taste; they have served coffee from our local Coffee Bean Connection and now Lodge Coffee Roasters, also local.


I'm always in the mood for my very favorite, Wollersheim sparkling grape juice and the cheese/ fruit platter they serve!

 Con Amici is an inviting place and people travel from all over Wisconsin to visit it. When we met last Monday a patron that was visiting Baraboo stopped by to tell Laura she had been looking forward to visiting and though they were leaving, she promised to return. Con Amici is closed Sunday & Monday.


Laura & Mark have created a space that is eclectic, casual and elegant at the same time; their newly added outdoor sitting space promises to be a hit. I personally loved the decor and the wall art that the transformation revealed. These buildings are full of vintage treasures waiting to be discovered.








There is no lack of charm and style at Con Amici, from the comfy furniture to the yummy food to the ongoing events. Piano Joe sure keeps it classy and entertaining.


It's a place to share great conversation with a local friend or one visiting from far, meet coworkers after a long day or perhaps celebrate the birthday of someone special. Whatever your reason for visiting is, you will find, that the ambiance "feels" right.



Laura certainly subscribes to the believe that with running a business comes the need to find a balance between work and relaxation. She relies on her supportive staff and family, her faith, enjoying nature and singing as much as possible, to decompress. 



On a personal note, one of the strongest messages I took with me from our meeting was that we should not wait until the perfect time to go after our dreams. Do your research, yes, but find time to nurture your goals so that they may become a reality.


Don't wait for the perfect time. The Time is Now.


 Cheers and Congrats to all the dreamers and the Doers!