August 29, 2017

Northeast Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Highlighted in Growin’ Wisconsin Video Series

Taking the leap into small business ownership is a large undertaking. Limited funding, strenuous schedules, and no guarantee of success are just some of the challenges entrepreneurs may face. Too often, these obstacles keep individuals from pursuing their dreams. With the right support and resources, these businesses can be brought to life – and grow the Wisconsin economy.

To inspire area entrepreneurs to follow their passion, 1st National Bank developed the Growin’ Wisconsin video series. Each video, about three minutes in length, highlights local small businesses that have an inspirational story to tell. They paint a picture of the business owner’s journey from concept to execution, and lessons they’ve learned as they continue to grow. The videos are spread digitally and have so far collectively garnered over 100,000 views.

“It is important for us to support Wisconsin businesses from the roots up”, said Greg Lundberg, 1st National Bank’s Northeast Market President. “The Growin’ Wisconsin videos not only serve as a resource to those watching, but they are a marketing tool for the business owners. We are dedicated to our clients and want to help them generate exposure by telling their stories.”

Royal Montessori Academy is a private pre-school in Green Bay that offers the Montessori philosophy curriculum, a teaching method based on children’s sensitive periods of development. In the Growin’ Wisconsin video, owner Tara Collins explains how “wanting something more” for her own daughter took off and the school has now expanded to a second campus, enrolling more than 450 students.

Two Door County businesses have also been highlighted – Tapuat Kombucha, makers of a fermented tea beverage brewed for its digestive benefits, and Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza & Grille, a popular restaurant using locally-sourced ingredients in Fish Creek and Sister Bay.

“Owning a small business is an everyday challenge, an education, a test of wit and will, and also an exercise in freedom and creativity”, said Mary Deviley, co-owner of Tapuat Kombucha with husband Nick. The couple founded Tapuat in Fish Creek in 2009 and now distribute to hundreds of grocers and retailers throughout the Midwest.

“Someone with a small business idea doesn’t always know where to turn for professional guidance”, said Ben Gibson, business banking relationship manager at 1st National Bank’s Northeast Branch. “It can be hard for people today to trust a bank. Sitting down and talking with us – understanding that we are their neighbor, their advisor, and their partner – can completely change their outlook.”

“I wanted a partner, just like I do with every single vendor, farmer, everyone I use”, said Wild Tomato owner Britt Unkefer. “I want it to be a partnership that we’re working together, and when we were building Wild Tomato Sister Bay, that’s what we started looking for, and that’s when we found 1st National.”

Tapuat Kombucha’s Mary Deviley echoed this mindset. “1st National is the only bank that talked to us personally and said ‘We believe in what you’re doing. We believe in you. We’re going to lend you this and watch it grow.’ Having that constant communication was something I never thought was possible.”

The name of the video series comes from 1st National Bank’s vision of Growin’ Wisconsin – one person, one business, one relationship at a time. Aligning with this vision, the bank has a separate website with financial resources to help people grow their life, business, and community. houses helpful articles, guides, and videos for people of all stages of life.

1st National Bank’s Northeast Branch is positioned to offer a full suite of banking products to fit today’s savvy business owners and management. Their unique operating model allows them to be in the field, tending to client needs on a day-to-day basis. Located at 2181 Oneida Street, their office is centrally located to service the greater Green Bay area.

Products and services include business and commercial lending, mortgage lending, treasury management, personal banking, as well as investment and estate planning.


About 1st National Bank

1st National Bank has been Growin’ Wisconsin for more than 140 years – one person, one business, one relationship at a time. Locations can be found in Berlin, Green Lake, Green Bay, Montello, Omro, Poy Sippi, Waunakee, Westfield, and Winneconne. Their full-service locations have been offering both personal and business clients with a portfolio of products and services that are designed with the client in mind. Local decision-making, community involvement, community ownership and a Board of Directors comprised of local citizens have been the driving successes of 1st National Bank since inception. For more information, visit or call 1-855-876-1500.