By: Madeline VandenHouten

Businesses along Watson Street have grown significantly in the past year throughout Ripon’s quaint downtown, located just a few blocks from campus. Many of the success stories come from people who attended or are affiliated with Ripon College.

That growth continued over the summer as changes occurred at several of the businesses along Watson Street.

David Knuth, owner of Knuth Brewing Co., is expanding his production capabilities. “David Knuth, a Ripon (College) graduate, has recently added more brewery tanks to his business to help significantly increase production. He hasn’t been able to keep a tank full. He is one of the great success stories we have had over the past year,” says Craig Tebon, the director of Ripon Main Street, Inc.

Another business that is expanding is ErnessiOrganics. Owned by Bryan Ernst, son of Ripon College head football coach Ron Ernst, his urban farm recently moved from Green Bay to Ripon. “Bryan has quadrupled his space since opening and is supplying greens to grocery stores such as Festival Foods and Pick ‘n Save,” Tebon says.

Marigold Yoga, LLC will be transitioning to a new owner and name. Starting in September, Tracy Matthias will be the owner of Lotus Root Yoga, LLC. The Marigold Yoga instructors will still teach at Lotus Root Yoga along with new instructors.

Another new business that opened July 26th is Blue Design Company. Adam and Kim Downs are the co-owners of this establishment.

Craig Tebon noted that he believes that one of the reasons Watson Street has seen such success over the past year is due to the Entrepreneurship Development Course that was held last February through April. The course was held in 314 Watson and led by Tom and Mary Avery as well as Ripon Main Street, Inc.