BY MARTHA DIX —
The new Metro Market store located on Oakland Avenue opened on February 16th. The store is the largest of all the Metro Markets and the only one with two levels.
“I am excited to be able to bring this to the community,” said Anthony Kuchinsky, store manager.
The store is looking to build a strong relationship with Shorewood.
“I have already started reaching out to city planner and manager and we have started to help out with events,” Kuchinsky said.
Metro Market catered a dinner for the MSO and Shorewood orchestra before their side-by-side concert last fall, and, according to Kuchinsky, the store is looking forward to sponsoring other Shorewood events like the annual bike race, holiday tree lighting and arts and crafts fair. They also plan to donate to food banks and other community organizations.
“I think people are really looking forward to having a regular grocery store in town,” said Jenny Vulpus, community member.
The store has many new amenities the previous Pick’n Save did not have, including a smoothie bar, spice shop, candy shop, soup bar, sandwich bar, salad bar, rolled to order sushi, fresh oyster bar, barbeque bar, build your own trail mix bar, bulk foods, fresh and natural juices and a grill station where a person can order anything from the meat or fish counter and have it grilled right there.
“We thought having a store that was a little higher end with more amenities was something this community would embrace,” Kuchinsky said.
“With all the food bars they have there it will be really nice place to have lunch,” said Becky Jonen, junior.
Metro Market is also trying to foster a relationship with the high school. According to Kuchinsky, when the store first made its hiring plans one of the first things it did was meet with Tim Kenney, principal.
“We talked to him about doing job fairs and pairing up with the school,” Kuchinsky said. There were about 200 job opportunities that were available to high school students.
“We really wanted the first candidates that got job opportunities to be high school students,” said Kuchinsky.
Jonen was hired to work at Metro Market 15-20 hours a week. “It has given me a lot more confidence in myself because … it has really helped with my interpersonal skills,” Jonen said.
According to Jonen, the previous Pick’n Save had a high level of distrust toward teenagers.
“I don’t know how they managed, you used to have to pay first and then come back with the receipt to receive what you bought,” Jonen said.
Jonen thinks the large amount of teenage employees will help ease potential tensions.
Shorewood was chosen as the location for multiple reasons.
“The old Pick’n Save that was there made the most money per square foot of all the Pick’n Saves even though it was quite small,” Vulpus said.
“We know what success a grocery store could have in this market,” Kuchinsky said.
According to Kuchinsky, he felt the old Pick’n Save was outdated and the space for them to build was open.
One of the goals of the Metro Market is to provide traffic for other businesses.“We are going to bring a resurgence to the Oakland Avenue district,” Kuchinsky said.
Jonen expressed concern that the Metro Market may be causing Shorewood to become commercial instead of the small business feel Shorewood is known for.
“I feel like they could have chosen a bigger city to put it in, but Shorewood could really benefit,” Jonen said.