By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Sep 21, 2021 at 11:01 AM Photography: Lori Fredrich

In February, Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market and OnMilwaukee embarked on an unprecedented project: creating the “Wisconsin Restaurant Cookbook.”

The book, which contains over 40 recipes from restaurants throughout Wisconsin, was created with the goal of raising $100K in funds, all of which will be used to disseminate grants to struggling restaurants. [Read more here]

Wisconsin Restaurant CookbookX

A history of helping restaurants

As the project moved forward, the cookbook team reached out to WWBIC (Wisconsin’s Womens’ Business Initiative Corp.) to act as a fiscal agent and assist in disseminating the grants to as many restaurants as possible.

WWBIC was chosen largely on the basis of their mission: to assist entrepreneurs statewide with financial and business education, one on one coaching and lending. Nearly a quarter of all WWBIC clients last year came from the food and beverage industry. Many of those clients benefited from online business and financial training led by industry experts, low interest loans and expert coaching.

Since its inception in 1987, WWBIC has assisted countless restaurants in Wisconsin, including Antigua Latin Inspired Kitchen, a contributor to the cookbook, which utilized the organization’s services to open their doors in 2016. 

“I could not have opened my restaurant without WWBIC,” notes Antigua co-owner Citlali Mendieta-Ramos, “Their assistance with marketing and developing my business plan gave me the tools to grow.”

Countless other restaurants and food businesses, including Olano’s Empanadas (Racine); Sobie’s (Oconomowoc), Purple Door Ice Cream (Milwaukee), and MobCraft Beer, have utilized and seen growth thanks to programs built by WWBIC.

Facilitating the “Wisconsin Restaurant Cookbook” grant program is just another example of how WWBIC is stepping up to assist small business owners across the state.

Apply for a grant 

All restaurants in the state of Wisconsin are eligible to apply for the “Wisconsin Restaurant Cookbook” grants. The simple application takes less than 15 minutes to complete and can be completed online. [Apply now]. The deadline for grant applications is Nov. 1, 2021.

The goal is to offer grants of roughly $5,000 to as many restaurants as possible. The number of grants disseminated (as well as the amount of each grant) will depend on the total dollar volume received from sales, sponsors and donations.

Restaurants are encouraged to complete the application now for best consideration as sales for the cookbook wrap up.

Help us reach our goal

Cookbooks are available for $9.99 at all Pick ‘n Save and Metro Market stores. Please consider purchasing a cookbook the next time you shop. Every cookbook gets us closer to our goal of $100K and makes it possible for us to assist more restaurants.

Of course, consumers can make an even bigger impact by donating directly to the grant fund, with every penny going back to the restaurants that make our cities and state such an amazing place to live, work and eat. If you have the means, please consider a generous donation to support this worthy cause. [Donate here]

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.