|Store Name The Meal TimeBusiness Type Food and Beverage Stores
NAICS Code 445
Location 70 East Main Street, Platteville, WI 53818
Nearby Businesses Annie’s Downtown Wine & Cheese, Badger Brothers Coffee, Helker Jewlers
Owner/Manager Heather & Joe LeFevre
Special Store Activities Baby Showers, Team Building Events
Community Profile Platteville, Wisconsin (Population: 9,989, 10 mile radius population: 20,642) is nestled among rolling hills in the southwest corner of the state. In the 1800s, lead was discovered in the area, creating a mining boom in the city. The city created the world’s largest M to commemorate this origin as a mining city. The giant M is composed of rocks laid on a hill, can be seen from anywhere in the city and is lighted twice a year. Today, a main source for Platteville’s economy is the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, a school known for its education, business, agricultural and engineering colleges. In fact, there is a growing number of engineering firms locating themselves in the city due to UW-Platteville’s strong engineering program. In 1999, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce Bureau of Downtown Development selected the city for the Main Street Program to revitalize the historic character and development strategies for the downtown area
Products Sold & Niche Developed
The Meal Time is a take-and-bake store in which meal preparation – the shopping, slicing and clean-up- is combined into a one-stop shop for a healthy alternative dinner option. At the Meal Time, customers can either order pre-assembled meals or come into the store to assemble the meal themselves. In addition to monetary savings, self-assembly allows customers to create the meal based on their taste preferences, such as extra spicy or no onions, or for catering to food allergies. Moreover, self-assembly provides an occasion for the family or a group of friend to get together and come to downtown. The store changes the menu month to month to offering 14 main dishes from a variety of cuisines, with examples ranging from beef stew to meatloaf stuffed with mashed potatoes to mom’s cavatina. The Meal Time uses lean cuts of meat, no added flavors or preservatives and the use of whole grains whenever possible so as to promote healthy dinner options for busy families.
Market Segments Served
The typical customers at Meal Time are nurses, teachers, professors or work at the university – those working professionals in the mid to upper 30s and older range who have a family and often feel a time crunch when trying to prepare a regular dinner. These customers look to Meal Time as an opportunity to prepare multiple meals all at one time. Moreover, the typical customers are conscious eaters who appreciate a healthy, quality meal for themselves and their family.
Contributions to the Business Community
The Meal Time, located on Main Street, often works with other main street business. Often customers who come in to buy a meal will then stop by other businesses- such as Annie’s Wine and Cheese- to buy the other components for creating a meal. Also, the businesses will collaborate to promote one another. For example, the Meal Time will bake bread for Badger Brothers Coffee down the road, while offering their coffee in the Meal Time store. Another example is the jewelry store’s holiday tasting in which the Meal Time provides some free samples for the jewelry store’s event, while promoting their own business and food products. The Meal Time has also worked with the local farmer’s market in which they present food demonstrations at the market as well as use local produce whenever possible. Promoting each other’s businesses and events has been important to Platteville’s Main Street businesses and encourages a positive business environment.
Review by : Carissa DeCramer, UW Extension CCED