GREEN BAY – A market offering food, from the farm to your table, will be setting up shop in downtown Green Bay.
Titletown Brewing Company says the market will open on a portion of the first floor of the Larsen Canning factory in the city's Broadway District. The brewery is currently in the midst of a multi-million dollar expansion into the property.
Titletown leaders say the market will feature high-quality, farm-to-table prepared food - at mid- to high-end prices – that can be taken home or eaten, on-site.
"Potential for a butcher shop, wine retail, cheese retail, coffee," said Titletown’s chief operating officer Jim Kratowicz
When Titletown got the keys to the old factory in January, the plan was to have the building completely filled with office and retail tenants by the end of next year. Kratowicz says the building is on track to be completely leased out by this fall.
"We're about 90-percent there, right now," said Kratowicz of business and office tenants on the top two floors and the first-floor marketplace.
Kratowicz isn't revealing the group behind the marketplace idea, publicly. That's expected to happen next week.
The marketplace concept is somewhat different from the community-owned grocery store concept New Leaf Market has been working on for several years.
"Healthy, natural food,” said New Leaf’s president Lynn Walter in a phone interview with FOX 11. “We want to make downtown the healthy heart of the city and be the grocery store that makes that happen."
Walter says the group is still committed to building near the Greyhound station on Green Bay’s near east side. The group’s planning option for the property expired earlier this month. Walter says the group hopes to renew its planning option soon.
As for the addition of another niche food retailer in the city's core, Walter says it showcases the need of the area and the business opportunities.
"There's always going to be competition, and it is in a growing market area – like this – I think that's a healthy thing, a healthy sign."
Economic experts agree.
"It may be that what we're looking at going into that location, or what some of the other folks that want to be near there,” said Kevin Quinn, an economics professor at St. Norbert College. “They might be selling a different mix of goods, but they're clearly is some thirst that needs to be slaked."
Green Bay's mayor has also said the city is close to getting a commitment from a grocer to build in downtown.
Last week, the city council shot down discount retailer Walmart's plan to build a supercenter just north of the brewery's expansion.