The city’s newest grocery store features fresh-squeezed juice from watermelon, celery and beets; a gelato and coffee bar; and a smoothie station.

But the Metro Market that opened Tuesday in Grandview Commons on the Far East Side also embraces the carnivore — in a big way not found in Roundy’s three other Metro Markets in the state.

A barbecue station includes smoked brisket, pulled pork and ribs. In the midst of the fresh meats department, a grill is used to cook, for free, any meat or seafood sold in the store. It can be wrapped in foil and taken home or eaten in the cafe of the 58,000-square-foot store.

If the concept is successful, more Metro Markets could be coming to other Madison neighborhoods, possibly replacing some of the city’s Copps stores, which are also owned by Roundy’s.

Metro Markets include more fresh and prepared foods and a higher level of customer service than Copps.

“We want to see how this works and how it’s received, but it’s not out of the question,” said John Boyle, group vice president of operations for Roundy’s. “Depending on how this goes, it could give us confidence to broaden it.”

A competitive market

The Madison area is considered one of the most competitive grocery markets in the Midwest, with three Woodman’s Markets, two Walmart Super Centers, three Hy-Vees, two Costcos, two Metcalfe’s and 11 Copps stores. The city’s Downtown includes a Capitol Centre Market and Fresh Madison Market. Willy Street Co-op is looking for a third location, and Onalaska-based Skogen’s Festival Foods has announced plans for a store on East Washington Avenue that will open in 2015.

The Metro Market, a modified version of Roundy’s Mariano’s Markets in the Chicago area, is expected to draw customers not only from the neighborhood and the Sentry store at 4602 Cottage Grove Road, about a mile away, but also from Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie, McFarland and other parts of Madison.

“Obviously it’s going to take something away,” said Dave Schommer, owner of the Piggly Wiggly in Cottage Grove. “We’re going to put up the best fight we can, but I think we’ll be fine.”

The Metro Market, with 275 employees, was originally proposed as a Copps and was approved by the city in late 2012 following months of debate, petitions, contentious meetings and volleys of emails among those for and against the project. Many neighborhood residents protested the plan, saying it would create too much traffic, jeopardize safety, increase noise, litter and odors and decrease the value of nearby homes.

On Tuesday, the 312-stall parking lot was almost full, and the smell of smoked and grilled meats filled the air outside the store.

“It’s going to be very good for the community,” said Tomas Thomas, who lives in the neighborhood and toured the store. “This is very nice. I’m really excited.”

Roundy’s opened its first Metro Market store in 2004 in downtown Milwaukee and added stores in Brookfield in 2010 and Mequon in 2011. A fifth store will open in 2015 in the Milwaukee suburb of Shorewood. Roundy’s, which also owns Pick ’n Save, has 24 Mariano’s in the Chicago area, 11 of which are former Dominick’s stores.

“This will become a destination store,” said Tony Kuchinsky, the 30-year-old manager of the Madison Metro Market who has 15 years of grocery experience. “There’s no one else with these offerings.”

“This will become a destination store. There’s no one else with these offerings.” — TONY KUCHINSKY, manager of the Madison Metro Market

Barry Adams covers regional and business news for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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(12) comments

Jaybe
Jaybe

I wish them good luck. From what I've read this is make or break time for Roundy's. Within 30 days of Hy Vee's announcement in February that Hy Vee was entering the Twin City market, Roudy's announced they were closing the 22 Rainbow stores they operated in Mpls-St Paul. As Hy Vee expands into new markets, they force competitors to up their game or wither away. Consumers benefit from this competition. it's easy to see in Madison that Hy Vee has spurred other supermarkets to improve. Hy Vee is consistently rated as one of the top ten supermarkets in America while Roundy's is consistently rated as one of the worst. Perhaps with the new Metro Markets they can turn their situation around.

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@Jaybe;

I live within a couple of blocks of the new HyVee, and even being on the same side of Whitney Way, I'll still cross it (at Tokay Blvd) to get to Copp's.

Full disclosure, I used to work at the "old" Copp's (just south of the new one) from 12/1972 til 03/1974, and being a creature of habit feel a certain allegiance.

HyVee is clean and new and all, but it is EXPENSIVE. It's a warehouse type without warehouse prices; "upscale," if you will.

I do stop in if they have a special on something I want (usually produce) but don't need all the rest of it.

That "upscale" concept seems to appeal to certain folks like my big money like my BFF's, @Nav/@Nav1 & @adamman.

The former trades at Copp's on Shopko Drive for other reasons as well.

They have far deeper pockets for their Brie & Chablis needs and will drive the extra mile in their EcoBoxes (or on their BIKIES) to seek out and indulge a "shopping experience."

The Gotch

Nav1

@the Gotch,

Wow, you are up early today making fun (in jest) of your BFF's!

You are right in that HY VEE is expensive. However, it does have a lot of variety. When I go there I only go there to buy advertised items which are reasonably priced.

Copps is the MOST expensive, however. They had started to interest me a little when they advertised their organic produce but it was just a ploy to get people in the store, as I think their traffic is down.

My guess is that Adamann, who is far more wealthier than me (possibly you), probably goes to Whole Foods to see if he can find Mary Burke there to wink at, and try to woo her with organic lemons he has bought to make his lemon aid!

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@Nav1;

Someone has to hit the bricks early to keep Lefty ON his/her toes WITH feet to the fire.

That used to be the exclusive franchise of @totmtom33; hope he reassumes his slot sooner rather than later.

I had an early out-of-town meeting & got up to work out before hand.

Cardio, anaerobic, & tweak Lefty, the Righty 'triangle' burn; it gets you up & at...um...them!

I saw some pretty good prices on a few items at Metro Market; hard to miss with home delivery and have to remove the section A "rib" ad on each morning's offering over the last couple of weeks.

I'm not much for "upscale;" it's a hoity toity high falutin' type of thing that appeals to the kind of shopper I'm not.

They probably have MSNBC on monitors throughout.

If they can get ME to drive way the heck out there to your nape of the neck, they really got something; but I don't see that happening.

A true BFF living near the Metro Market would accept the responsibility of a fulfilling a list with but the verbal promise of reimbursement.

And offer delivery!

The Gotch

PMM2020

It's unlikely that I'll stop in at the new store as it's not 'on the way' nor am I fan of Copp's/Roundy's stores. However, it sounds like a great addition to that area despite the vitriol of some unhappy neighbors. @KayeMaye: Your comments about the local Sentry (possibly) going out of business are absurd. As a former long-time employee of that particular store, I could tell you plenty of stories about how that business has been run into the ground because of the unbelievably poor management and minimum-wage pay to their employees. One of the reasons why people such as myself originally went to work there was due to their great benefits, which no longer exist. And how clean was the store when you went in there? Prices? Yeah, I thought so. . . that's why you used it as a 'convenience store' because it IS. After being treated so badly by an employer I was loyal to for so many years, I will REJOICE upon hearing that they have closed their doors.

rgoppelt
rgoppelt

I went to their grand opening. They have a great cheese selection. I hope their sale on salmon continues. The east side needs more upscale stores. The more competition in grocery stores will help keep prices down on certain items. The savings in gas will also help.

KayeMaye

As a 5 year resident of Grandview Commons, I am against this store opening. It surely will increase traffic more than what we already see and I do not see the need for it. We have several grocery stores on the East Side. We have a Woodmans, Pick n' Save, another Woodmans in Sun Prairie that is only a 10 minute drive, Costco, Super Wal Mart and a Sentry which is also on Cottage Grove Rd and will be closing in 4-6 weeks due to the Metro Mart opening. This is horrible news. While I did not grocery shop at Sentry, there were times where I picked up very small items if I didn't feel like going to Woodmans. However, Sentry got most of its traffic from older adults who lives in the apartments directly behind the store and trust me when I say, it's a large amount. I believe there may be a few apartments in the area that are for Senior Citizens. Now that Sentry is gone, I am not sure what options they have. It's depressing to see small grocery stores close while big corps open in their place.

The East side DID NOT need another grocery store. Communities like Allied Dr, many parts of the North side and party of the South Sides does need grocery stores so why aren't companies flocking to open shop there? These are food desserts.

This is all about money. Gandview Commons is middle-middle class neighborhood with an even wealthier neighbor across the way being Richmond Hills where the media income I am willing to bet is no less than $70K for a typical family. This is a great family oriented neighborhood that is constantly losing it's natural beauty to more stores, restaurants and apartments openings. Yes, I realize that this does add convenience and value to the neighborhood but I also think this will be the beginning of this part of town become too populated. Not only that, but we have a farmers market that is located a few yards away from Metro Mart. I am sure because of this opening, I am curious to see if vendors will see a decrease in traffic.

Please mark me down as a very unhappy resident with this grocery store opening and will not step foot inside. Plus, I hate Roundy's which is another story for another day.

Madison1218

Wow. That's a lot of anger over a store that sells food. I'm sure the new store will do fine without you 'ever stepping foot' in there.
But you're really wrong about Sentry. They're not going out of business over this new store. They're going out of business because of people like you. You said that you only used the Sentry as a 'convenience store', saving your big grocery buying trips for other stores. And you're not alone. A lot of people treated Sentry that same way. And THAT is why they are closing, not the fact that a new store is opening miles down the street. If you really valued that Sentry, you should have spent all of your grocery money there.

happydays

If you don't shop at a store regularly - how can you complain about it going out of business? We don't do "big" shopping trips - so we have a tendency to shop where it is most convenient, on the way home from work. Since we like our food fresh - we only pick up what we need for a day or two. I guess living in NY has had a lasting impression on a person. So smaller stores are great for some people. But if you want to keep them open - you have to shop there. As for why they don't go into Allied Dr and etc - would you invest your hard earned money to open a business in a place that has drive by shootings, robberies and etc Hell - even Walgreens has to have a guard in there store

WTF

As a lifelong vegetarian, if Roundy's does implement this idea in their current Copps locations, I suppose at least I won't have to feel bad for abandoning Copps and shopping at the Hy-Vee across the street....

metal

why does the article state "metro market opens BUT more on the way".????why doesn't it say AND more on the way.? The "but" implies something negative about the store being built in the first place...

dhannes
dhannes

I live in the neighborhood and went there this morning. Much nicer than Pick 'n' Save and Copps, and comparable to the new Hy-Vee on McKee Road. I think that the majority of the households within a 10 mile radius will choose Metro Market for a large portion of their produce and meats, as well as liquor and packaged goods. Metro Market has a greater selection than Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Brennan's. If prices remain competitive, this store will be a great addition to the east side of Madison.

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