Business Spotlight - October 2020



Business Spotlight - October 2020


With everything going on around us, it is important to stand strong - as individuals and as a community! Check out some of our local businesses below, and consider supporting them if you are able. We must be flexible and creative as we find ways to adapt to a "new normal," and the following businesses are testament to the strength and resiliency in our community. Stay safe, stay well, and let's get through this together. 



Bliffert Lumber & Hardware

Bliffert Lumber and Hardware, a family owned and operated business, has been serving contractors and homeowners in southeastern Wisconsin for over 115 years. Since their incorporation in 1904, they have helped the community grow by supplying building materials to hospitals, stadiums, and new homes, as well as a variety of other projects. Now with seven locations, Bliffert's beginnings date back to North Side Lumber and Fuel Co. here in the Riverwest neighborhood.


Established in the 1880s by Christian Meckelberg, North Side Lumber & Fuel Company was a staple of the near-northside community. Many homes built in the area of North Avenue, Holton Street, and Chambers Street were supplied with lumber, nails, windows, roofing material, and more from North Side Lumber. As well as stocking the bits and pieces of building materials, North Side Lumber did millwork, made flooring, and sold all manner of soft and hardwood from North American and some South American forests. They also provided the fuel (eastern anthracite coal) for homes and businesses of the area to cook, keep warm, and operate steam boiler-driven machinery.


Coal and lumber delivery to the distributors was by a rail spur that fed the business from the Milwaukee Road’s northbound City Line. The business was finally incorporated in 1904, making the name North Side Lumber & Fuel Company official. About that same time, a young J.P. Bliffert came to work for the company, eventually marrying the daughter of the owner. Bliffert slowly took on more responsibility and managed the concern for several years under the North Side Lumber name. Shortly after World War I, the company name was changed to reflect Bliffert ownership, under which it still operates today. Bliffert Lumber & Hardware is owned and operated by 4th and 5th generation Bliffert family.

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Lexin Communications

Lexin Communications is a fundamental communications consulting firm specializing in strategic communications, crisis communications, public relations and effective communications for organizations. The firm is experienced at identifying crises through various methodologies including analyses, academic research, case studies and surveys to strategically communicate research-based solutions.  They provide services to organizations and entrepreneurs while collaborating with a growing list of partners.


THE VIBE has been a useful resource for Lexin Communications; empowering them with opportunities to network with other businesses and tap into useful programs and services provided by THE VIBE to enhance development as a growing business.


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Eco Clean

Eco Clean is an environmentally friendly, community driven company offering cleaning services for office buildings, schools, churches, mobile car and boating detail and much more. Services are customized to meet clients needs and we accommodate multiple cleaning schedules. As Milwaukee’s only eco-friendly alternative to traditional cleaning services, they use eco-friendly products and processes and reduce water water.


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Black Husky Brewing

Black Husky Brewing, located on the corner of Locust and Bremen, relocated their brewery operations from Pembine, WI to the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee in 2016. Like many local businesses, they have faced challenges to survive and thrive throughout 2020. On March 8th of this year, they hosted a big and very impactful event: the Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day, only to be shut down and open for carryout only on March 17.


Going through these difficult times, they’ve seen feedback from other businesses about the difficulty they’ve had with getting customers to comply with the mask mandate. Black Husky only had one incident with non-compliance since the order was put in place.


This summer, the City of Milwaukee announced its Active Street for Business initiative; Black Husky was the first business in the city to receive approval with their Parklet on Bremen Street, which has proven to be a great success! None of this would be possible without the support of the community, Alderman Nik Kovac, and a wonderful staff.


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