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Wausome Foods owner hopes to see expansion of state help for startups


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The owner of a Wausau food startup says he'd like to see more state and federal help for small business startups in the area.

Wausome Foods owner Brian Gunning says there is a lot of help for start-up food production in the state. "We have had a really good relation with the Department of Agriculture, we've had a really good relation with the Milk Marketing Board, with the Buy Local Buy Wisconsin program. They've all been very helpful getting our product known and recognized and in a number of publications."

However Gunning says that help is not in place for a lot of other industries at the local starting level. "There's a lot of programs that are hard for small companies to get to and very easy for larger companies to get into, and we just don't have the political clout to do the things that larger companies do."

Gunning says he'd like to see the Department of Agriculture model for helping businesses spread across the state departments. "If we could replicate what happens at the Department of Agriculture and Milk Marketing Board and seen that grown across other industry sectors, it would be good for the state. It's obviously good for the dairy industry."

Wausome Foods makes baked cheese chips from local cheeses and distributes them across Central Wisconsin, but Gunning says he'd like to see distribution move farther in the future.