Experience Middleton’s Women-Owned Businesses
With a variety of unique small and large businesses ran by passionate entrepreneurs, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Middleton. Of Middleton’s more…
With a variety of unique small and large businesses ran by passionate entrepreneurs, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Middleton. Of Middleton’s more than 70 restaurants and 55 vibrant shops, galleries and retailers, many are owned and operated by successful women.
Women’s History Month is the perfect time to spotlight some of the many Middleton businesswomen who are making an impact on the community and leading the way for future generations, including Trio Ramen (owned by Xuan Wang, Wendy Weng and Peggy Wang), Grape Water Wine Bar (owned by Nicki Prestigiacomo) and Little Pop Color Shop (owned by Alli Klingbiel).
Even though they differ in each of their business offerings, all five women have one thing in common — they love what they do, where they do it and who they serve.
Whether it be defying social expectations, receiving equitable access to funding, or balancing work and family, women in the business world tend to face a variety of challenges.
And sometimes it’s the challenges that life brings that pave a new career path — often times an unexpected one. This was the case for Nicki Prestigiacomo, who opened Grape Water Wine Bar in November 2017.
“I was recently divorced and unhappy with my current job. Instead of shifting gears and considering a new career, I thought the best thing would be to create my own job that would make me happy,” she said.
Previously working in the corporate world, Alli Klingbiel who opened Little Pop Color Shop in September 2020, described this transition as one she couldn’t imagine not embarking on.
“With owning my own business, I just have more creative control and am able to really focus on what I love most, rather than working on projects or topics that I am not passionate about,” she said.
As for the three best friends at Trio Ramen, they all agreed that their biggest push to open was their desire to defy cultural norms and dive into opening their own business. Doors to Trio Ramen opened in February 2023.
“I wanted to show women and girls that accomplishing their dream is doable,” said Xuan Wang.
“As mothers, we especially wanted our own daughters to see what women in our culture have the potential to achieve,” Peggy Wang added.
Each woman shared how grateful they are to continually receive an abundant amount of support. Internally, all the women have an excellent support system to fall back on. The women at Trio Ramen are able to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders, and Little Pop Color Shop is run by an all-female staff with Klingbiel’s biggest source of inspiration coming from her mom who has been an entrepreneur for years.
“I continually receive a tremendous amount of support from all the businesses in downtown Middleton — many of them are female-owned, which is special to see,” Prestigiacomo said.
Besides having a love for their business, another common trend for these women is that they all have a strong love for Middleton.
“All three of us have raised our families in Middleton, this is our home. We wanted to be the first to offer our own community members a taste of traditional Japanese cuisine,” Wendy Weng said.
Trio Ramen owners’ affection for Middleton diners is clear.
“During business hours, you’ll find us three out on the floor talking to the customers, explaining each ingredient and asking for feedback so we can make this restaurant into what our Middleton community wants,” Peggy Wang added.
Prestigiacomo also loves Middleton — the city where she was born and raised.
“My daughter was the fifth generation in our family to graduate from Middleton High School,” she said. “So, Middleton was the only placed I considered opening.”
Through all the obstacles, hard work and long hours, each of these women agreed that becoming entrepreneurs has been worth it. They all emphasized the importance of following through with a passion or dream —however big or small —creating a thorough plan and not being afraid to ask for help along the way.
These women, as well as the many more female entrepreneurs throughout Middleton, are shaping the way for the next generation of female business owners in this community.
Here is a list of Middleton’s many small businesses ran, or co-ran, by women:
(If you think we are missing a business, please email us.)
- Bauer Jewelry Designs
- Chauette Fashion & Home
- Cloth and Metal Boutique
- Isthmus Art & Framing
- Little Pop Color Shop
- National Mustard Museum Gift Shop
- Promises Floral and and Gift Studio
- Simply Savvy
- The Regal Find
- Tradition Women’s Market
- Tradition Children’s Market
- Apex Nutrition
- C’s Restaurant & Bakery
- Clasen’s European Bakery
- Grace Coffee Co.
- Grape Water Wine Bar
- Hubbard Avenue Diner
- My Sister’s Kitchen
- Poke Bar
- Taigu Chinese Restaurant
- Trio Ramen
Health & Wellness
- Lasting Skin Solutions
- LADRU IV Drip Therapy
- Renu Massage, Energy & Bodywork
- Zucca Pilates