News Flash


Posted on: April 24, 2020

NWBDC and NWRPC Helped Violet on Cedar Introduce Wine Country to Burnett County

Violet and Cedar

Northwest Wisconsin Business Development Corporation (NWBDC) and Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NWRPC) provided the financing options needed for Violet on Cedar to introduce the wine bar concept to Burnett County.

Violet on Cedar carries a variety of wines and superior, fresh-made food served in a comfortable environment.

“Our goal is to provide high quality cuisine and wine in an intimate and relaxed atmosphere,” Ginna Laure, co-owner and level 2 Wine and Spirit Education Trust certified wine educator.

The menu upon opening will include small plates, cheese/meat boards, soups, salads and desserts. The menu will expand as the business develops and offers a prix fixe (flat price), five-course meal served weekly to interested patrons. Violet on Cedar will also be available for special events, meetings, private parties and holiday celebrations.

“This concept is building upon the success of our prior “diner’s club” that was offered privately in 2014 and 2015,” said Virginia Harstad, co-owner and general manager.

Harstad and Laure are very committed to the community and have both been involved in many small businesses throughout the years including the Small Town Veterinary Practice in Webster. They have met and made friends with a variety of the practice’s clientele and wanted to bring a piece of their traveling experiences to the heart of Burnett County.

“We have noticed the success of some other higher scale restaurants, vineyards and distilleries cropping up in the county and we wanted to join in on the unique experiences and offerings,” Laure highlighted.

Laure and Harstad renovated a home on the corner of Cedar and Sturgeon. The renovated home was a solid choice for the type of environment they wanted to create. It also provided a large enough space to accommodate two kitchens, one dedicated to the light fair and entrée items for the wine bar and another dedicated to a gluten free bakery. Laure and Harstad have developed and tested gluten free recipes which have received very positive reviews.

“Gluten intolerance is now one of the top priorities in the food industry and one of the most requested foods at commercial restaurants,” Harstad stated.

With the help of a lead lending institution, the ownership turned to NWRPC to help with the final gap financing needs. Between the NWRPC SBA microloan program and the NWBDC revolving loan fund, Violet on Cedar was able to buy the final items needed to open its door and share the owners’ zest for fine wine and Mediterranean based cuisine.

To see if your business would qualify for a startup, transition or expansion loan product at NWRPC, contact loan fund manager Ken Pearson at (715) 635-2197.

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