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Grants Entrepreneurship

Red Letter Grant Funds Four Female-Led Businesses

Mi Mi Café, Raybay’s Donut Co., Tilly Training and Teaching, and Misha & Co. each receive $2,000 after extensive application process

Grace Schutte |

RED LETTER ROUNDUP: The Red Letter Grant awarded four $2,000 awards to emerging women-owned businesses based in western Wisconsin.
RED LETTER ROUNDUP: The Red Letter Grant awarded four $2,000 awards to emerging women-owned businesses based in western Wisconsin. (Submitted photo)

A nonprofit organization aiming at promoting female leadership and entrepreneurship in the Chippewa Valley awarded four female start-up businesses $2,000 grants on Friday, Nov. 12. Recipients of the Red Letter Grant were evaluated and determined based on their economic plan, financial need, need in the community, passion for the business, and viability to succeed, said Crystal Halverson, one of five judges for the awards and general manager of the Menomonie Market Food Co-Op. 

According to a media release, the program received 14 applications from 10 counties throughout western Wisconsin. This year’s grant cycle also celebrated the five-year anniversary of the Red Letter Grant, which has helped 27 women-owned businesses and has invested $76,000 into the entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

The four $2,000 grants were awarded to Mi Mi Café, Raybay’s Donut Co., Tilli Training and Tutoring, and Misha & Co. Doulaing with a Purpose.

Mi Mi Café

A popular destination at Eau Claire’s Downtown Farmers Markets, Mi Mi Café is a mobile food establishment selling authentic Vietnamese street food, such as Vietnamese coffee and banh mi. Mi Sullivan – the owner and founder – intends to use the grant money to buy fresh and local ingredients from farms and producers across the Chippewa Valley. 

Raybay’s Donut Co.

Founded by Rebecca Denny last summer, Raybay’s Donut Co. is a local gourmet donut business and delivery service. When she found out Eau Claire was gourmet donut-less, Denny made it her mission to make her own, which she sells on her website and at various pop-up events. Denny plans to put the $2,000 toward getting a brick-and-mortar location in town. 

Tilly’s Training and Tutoring 

An upcoming organization created by Tammy Tillotson looks to provide specialized education for teachers in areas surrounding literacy. Tillotson’s life work has been dedicated to helping children with dyslexia. With the grant, she seeks to provide enhanced education for both teachers and for training those passionate about helping teachers and students. 

Misha & Co. Doulaing with a Purpose  

As a support doula, Tamisha Woods seeks to assist women throughout their pregnancy journeys. From prenatal visits to lactation consultation, Woods will be a counselor and support system for pregnant women across west-central Wisconsin. She plans to dedicate the money toward getting her name out to other women to let them know of the services she is ready and eager to provide.