Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 21:20
Competition has made it difficult for small town
grocery to turn a profit
The Village Market, 119 Highland Dr., the only full-service grocery store in the Village of Fredonia, is under new ownership — at least for the next six months.
David Roggenbuck has been trying to sell the business for the past year. He owned the store since 1997.
The new owner is Germantown businessman Rameshbhai A. Savaliya, who has a six-month lease on the store with an option to buy the property. He will operate the business with his sons.
The change in ownership went into effect Wednesday, June 24, a week after the transfer of the store’s retail liquor license was approved by the Village Board.
The sale of the store includes all of the existing inventory and furnishings.
Roggenbuck said the market has had a difficult time turning a profit recently, largely because of the intensity of regional competition.
“I really hope the new owners can make a go of it,” he said.
“It is a tough business, especially when people only stop in for one or two items before heading to places like Walmart or Target for their major grocery shopping.”
Roggenbuck said he was told the new owners plan to operate the business much as it has been.
The new owners have not operated a grocery store previously, but Roggenbuck discounted that as an obstacle for success.
“Business is business,” he said.
The store had a staff of eight employees, but the new owners have not yet said how many existing workers will retain their jobs.
What Roggenbuck is certain of is that he is done with the grocery business.
“If the building ends up coming back to me in six months, I don’t plan on restocking. I’ll just have a vacant building to sell,” he said.
Much the same dynamic came into play in Belgium, when a grocery store was built on Highway LL but closed when the volume of customers failed to justify keeping
the business open. The building remains vacant.
In an ironic twist, the sale of the modest Village Market in Fredonia coincides with the opening of the Meijer store in Grafton, the largest grocery retailer in Ozaukee County.
THE VILLAGE MARKET in Fredonia has undergone a change in ownership. The former owner said the grocery can only remain in business if local residents make a point of shopping locally. Photo by Mark Jaeger