Three local food related businesses have retained Mequon-based Retailworks to enhance customer experiences through consulting and design work.
The businesses include Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, Outpost Natural Foods’ new store in Mequon, and Purple Door Ice Cream in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point area.
“These are three businesses that have great brands and great stories to tell,” said Lyn Falk, Retailworks president. “We intend to tell those stories through retail design that heightens their customers’ experiences and strengthens their brands.”
Outpost Natural Foods
The project for Outpost Natural Foods will be for the Milwaukee-based grocery cooperative’s new store in Mequon, its fourth location and first outside of Milwaukee County. Retailworks is helping with facade design development and interior designs that reflect the Outpost brand as well as the location’s more rural character, Falk said.
The 16,000-square-foot store is being built at the northeast corner of Mequon and Wauwatosa roads (highways 167 and 181). The site is far less urban that Outpost’s two Milwaukee and one Wauwatosa locations.
“We’ll cater to the character of the property and to the more rural setting,” Falk said of the design work. “We hope to capture some of the atmosphere you’d experience at a farmers market, such as feelings of community well-being and fresh food.”
The property will have fruit trees and a demonstration garden, and will be landscaped for storm water management, including a rain garden.
Like other Outpost Natural Foods buildings, the Mequon store will incorporate green building elements, with a goal of attaining certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program for the building and the site. MSI General is the general contractor on the project.
Retailworks has provided consulting and retail design work for Outpost Natural Foods since 1996. This will be the company’s sixth project with Outpost, including design for new construction and for remodeling projects.
The work for Lakefront Brewery starts as the brewery takes over food service from the Palm Garden, the vendor that has been providing fish fries and meals for banquets and other gatherings in Lakefront’s building.
While Lakefront Brewery, at 1872 N. Commerce St., was launched in 1987, it is steeped in Milwaukee’s brewing heritage and the roots of its riverside neighborhood.
“There’s so much history here,” Falk said, noting the building’s original use for The Milwaukee Electric Railway and Light Co. and the fact that the Commerce Street corridor was originally laid out for a canal.
Blocks from construction of the canal — which was never completed — were found during electrical work at the brewery, some of which now line the sidewalk outside the entrance.
All that history and the story of Lakefront Brewery’s rise from its original location in a closed bakery to its current stature will be borne in the design work Retailworks has developed.
"Retailworks has provided us with many new great ideas and concepts for the redesign of our space,” said Russ Klisch, Lakefront Brewery president.
“Our goal is to create a space that is true to its heritage, reflects and communicates the iconic Lakefront Brewery brand, tells some good stories, is 'just funky enough' and ultimately creates a memorable experience for the 80,000+ visitors that come through the building each year,” Falk said.
Klisch intends to add a Sunday brunch and hors d’ oeuvres during evening hours.
Purple Door Ice Cream
The success of Purple Door Ice Cream prompted company founders Lauren and Steve Schultz to plan a move from their current location within the Clock Shadow Building on South Second Street in Milwaukee.
The company started in 2011, manufacturing ice cream solely for wholesale distribution. It started the ice cream shop when it moved into the Clock Shadow Building in 2012, sharing space with the Clock Shadow Creamery, an urban cheese factory.
Retailworks will provide interior design for the new location at 205 S. Second Street, just north of its current location.
The Clock Shadow Building was new construction by Fix Development, and Purple Door’s new location is renovation of an existing structure, also owned by Fix Development. Architecture for the renovation will be handled by Continuum Architects + Planners, which earned national honors for its green design of The Clock Shadow Building.
“We’re looking at a design that is at once funky, arty, family-friendly and a bit retro like an old malt shop,” Falk said.
Along with traditional flavors, Purple Door has produced Balsamic Strawberry, Green Tea, Bacon and other unique flavors.
The new location will accommodate expanded ice cream manufacturing, an indoor retail and seating area, and outdoor seating.
All three construction projects involve the use of natural building materials and sustainable building practices. In addition, all three business operations seek to source food and ingredients locally.
The Retailworks design team includes Holley Bakich and Wendy Roelke.
Retailworks’ designs, recommendations, and educational seminars have helped thousands of business owners create more profitable business environments. The Retailworks team designs interiors, facades, store fixtures and reception counters, and provides merchandising and display services, all to optimize retail experiences that improve sales and profits.
Falk’s clientele represents more than 35 different retail industries, as well as numerous nontraditional retailers such as restaurants, banks and credit unions, manufacturer showrooms, trade exhibits, and downtown communities. Retailworks, founded in 1995, is online at www.retailworksinc.com.
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