My Wausome Story: Loreen and Ron Glaman, Owners, Vino Latte
Original publication date: December 17, 2020
How do two law enforcement officials end up owning a bustling coffee and wine shop in Wausau?
“Because my job in law enforcement isn’t always positive, I wanted to do something encouraging within the community,” shared Loreen Glaman, who, with her husband Ron, own Wausau’s Vino Latte. “We were customers of the local corner coffee shop – Café le Grand – and when it came up for sale, we felt it was the right opportunity. We purchased the business in November 2003 and have grown it since then.”
Having been born and raised in Central Wisconsin, attending college in Milwaukee and Madison, as well as working in both cities and Appleton, Loreen’s background and experience provided insight and motivation to take on something to call her own.
“Wausau afforded us an opportunity that would not have existed for us in a larger city,” commented Ron. “Although the initial investment was entirely our own, additional resources we had access to here helped make expanding and improving the shop a reality. The City of Wausau was helpful in many ways, from working with City officials and employees on mundane aspects of running a business, to getting guidance and a loan through a special financing program. In addition, the business community in Wausau is very supportive. We have developed relationships with fellow business owners and principals from larger organizations which have led to a deeper community connection.”
In the 16 years the couple has owned the business, they haven’t wasted any time growing and evolving. The business name changed to Vino Latte in 2011, followed by the opening of a second location in 2014. More recently, the owners purchased a much larger space to call home and moved the original Wausau location to the city’s west side, where it resides today. Both credit not only their hard work and the hard work of their staff, but also the supportive business environment Wausau provides.
“Wausau is a small town but the people here are engaged,” said Ron. “We’ve found it to be a tight knit, supportive community, where people are involved with what is happening. Our goal has always been to be connected with the residents of Wausau, and this view has driven a lot of our business decisions. The business community and residents accept and value what we are and what we offer.”
“We are a locally owned and oriented business,” continued Loreen. “You won’t find televisions or a drive up in either of our locations. We want our customers to come into the stores so we can develop a relationship with them. Wausau accepts and values this approach. There are people who want big box stores and chain establishments, but a growing number of people in Wausau value small, locally owned, businesses. Wausau is a unique community, in that you have your chains, but you also have some really special one-of-a-kind businesses, and people who support them.”
In addition to the supportive small business environment, the couple both commented that the city affords them a lot of luxuries they didn’t have when living in other parts of the state.
“The outdoor amenities here are huge,” commented Ron. “You have your city environment – with the always growing downtown and expansion of businesses in other neighborhoods, but within five minutes, you can be out in the middle of nowhere hunting, fishing, or hiking. The community remains affordable, the cost of living is decent, and traffic is nonexistent.”
“The people, the central location, and the opportunities are really what make this community special,” shared Loreen. “It’s a very supportive community.”
Vino Latte is a gourmet coffee shop, eatery and wine boutique, featuring healthy food options, artisan pizza, homemade desserts, a unique selection of wine for retail purchased and by the glass, and a growing selection of whisky. Vino Latte has two locations, located in Wausau and Weston.