By Rachel Werner

“Espresso forward” is how owner Cosmas Skaife describes the gourmet coffee and global experience patrons receive at Rosie’s in Monona. A paradise for connoisseurs, the coffee bar and bakery features an extensive selection of the most unusual and highest-ranked coffees in the world—all sourced by Madison’s JBC Coffee Roasters. Skaife encourages guests to expand their palates by venturing outside of prepackaged flavor combinations and not to “mask the taste” with milk and sugar. Displayed with a flourish, coffee making at Rosie’s mimics art when baristas brew manually via the pour-over method and a traditional Japanese process that uses a large glass syphon in which a final decrease of temperature draws the coffee through the filtration system like a chemistry experiment.


Rachel Werner

Paleo Mama Bakery founder Belle Pleva’s mission goes beyond satisfying your sweet tooth. Pleva hopes her line of baked goods, granola and snacks will “encourage healing through diet” for individuals like her who live with food allergies or dietary restrictions. Each Paleo Mama Bakery item is free of additives, corn, gluten, grain, refined sugars and soy, and only two of Pleva’s 18 products contain dairy. Pleva is clear her company goes beyond the latest weight loss trends or celebrity fads by motivating consumers to be “more mindful” about the ingredients in the foods they purchase and eat. Paleo Mama Bakery’s chocolate chip cookies, candied pecans, cranberry walnut granola and mini cheesecakes are a few of the local faves available at Hy-Vee, Willy Street Co-op, Madison Fresh Market and through Square Harvest.


Rachel Werner

If the first thing you picture when you hear the word ‘slider’ are those mini- White Castle burgers, then a visit to Slide Food Cart will disavow you of this notion. The cart offers a delectable weekly assortment of eight sliders, including gluten-free and vegan options such as the veggie-centered ‘Mr. Sweet Potato Head’ or the Buffalo sauce-marinated ‘Buff Chick.” Owner Christine Ameigh aims to make her food a local staple. She offers one cart during peak work-week lunch hours at the Capitol Square, a second cart that travels around town with regular stops at Research Park and now her most popular side—potato chips—are packaged and available at Metcalfe’s, Hy-Vee East and Jenifer Street Market.

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