Progressive Grocer Independent

OCT 2014

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10 | Progressive Grocer Independent | October 2014 L ake Mills, Wis., a town of about 5,000 situated between Madison and Milwaukee, is being nudged toward the fu- ture, and Lake Mills Market and its owner, Mitch Eveland, are doing the nudging. "Some of the things we've done are a little bit ahead of the times for this community, but over the long haul, they are things that the business is trending towards," Eveland says. He cites online ordering and two electric car-charging stations as a couple of examples, but Lake Mills Market also features fresh-made sushi seven days a week, and departments throughout the store feature products made or grown in Wisconsin. Eveland, who has worked for several independents as well as chains, also owns Capitol Centre Market in Madison, about 25 miles away. He purchased the Madison store in 2007, but to grow his business and allow his employees to advance their careers, he needed a second store. "I wanted to provide opportunities for advancement of my staf, and I also wanted to put my stamp on a ground-up market, us- ing my 40-plus years in the business," Eveland explains. He had his eye on Lake Mills, located just of Interstate 94, between Wisconsin's two major cities, which could pull customers from sev- eral communities. After conducting market research of the area, Eveland discovered that more than 30 percent of the residents did their shopping outside of town, which indicated the community could support a second supermarket. (Te town's other su- permarket had opened nearly 40 years ago.) Construction on the new store began in May 2013, and it opened Jan. 14. "We wanted to create a market where we treat customers so well that they choose to become our regular customers," Eveland says. "But if we can't be their primary store, we can be their secondary store." Eveland began advertising the Remaking Habits Lake Mills Market strives to push the envelope while meeting customers' needs. By Katie Martin Cover Story Lake Mills Market

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