Store Name Downtown Grocery
Business Type Food and Beverage Stores
NAICS Code 445
Location 607 3rd St., Wausau, WI 54403
Nearby Businesses Jeannie’s Coffee on 3rd, Rillings’s Shades, Evolutions in Design, Bridal & Formal Salon, Black Purl, Back When Café, La Prima Deli, Sweets on 3rd.
Owner/Manager Blaine Tornow and Kevin Korpela
Special Store Activities Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick-up location
Year Opened 2006
Community Profile Wausau is located in North Central Wisconsin, and is the largest city in Marathon County. The population of Wausau proper is 38,500, with 80,000 people living within a 10 mile radius. Wausau is known for its mining of red granite, and visitors to this city can also experience the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, the Granite Peak Ski Area and a world-class kayak course. The economy of Wausau is driven by paper manufacturing, insurance, home manufacturing, tourism and a growing health-care industry. Downtown Wausau is experiencing renewed growth with the addition of new office space and a hotel.
Products Sold & Niche Developed
Downtown Grocery carries locally produced and organic foods. Much of the products the market carries come from local farms, with a giant wall map illustrating their origin. Downtown Grocery also carries regional and national brands, such as Organic Valley and Seventh Generation products, and is the first commercial drop-off location for local community supported agriculture (CSA) farms in Wausau.
Market Segments Served
Downtown Grocery typical customers are those who are who are concerned about environmental and economic issues surrounding industrial agriculture and thus seek locally produced and organic food. Downtown Grocery also carries fair trade and natural products not found elsewhere in the community. In the back of the store is an organic café serving throughout the day. The majority of shoppers here come from the downtown area, but it is also a destination for those who come downtown seeking Downtown Grocery’s unique market and selection.
Contributions to the Business Community
Employing nine people, Downtown Grocery became the first grocer in Downtown Wausau. A 1,500 square foot historic building was renovated and restored to become Downtown Grocery’s home. Downtown Grocery attracts people to the downtown and provides the first grocery option for people living in the area. The market serves as a pick-up location for local community supported agriculture (CSA) farms. Downtown Grocery produces bi-monthly online newsletters to update customers on what local produce is in season, announce arrivals of new products, and deli menu.
Review by: Joshua Clements, UW Extension CCED