The Family-Owned Difference

Sami Christiansen, Social Media Manager

Family Owned Makes a World Of Difference

Gooseberries Fresh Food Market is small-town and family owned and operated, which sets them apart from corporate competitors.

The owners of Gooseberries Fresh Food Market in Burlington, Wisconsin attribute their 100 year success to their history of being family owned and operated.

Gooseberries got its start as, Spiegelhoffs’, the name of the family who began and still runs the store today. Today, owner’s Dave and Kathy Spiegelhoff, along with their son Mike, have continued on their family’s tradition of serving the Burlington community.

Store Manager and 48 year employee, Tom Wiemer, says that Gooseberries success is largely attributed to the fact that they are able to get to know their customers on a personal level in order to meet their individual needs. Weimer said, “Our goal is to satisfy our customers and if they are looking for a product they can’t get somewhere else there is a good chance that we can get it for them.”

Gooseberries has also adopted a number of unique traditions over the years that corporate stores would never be able to compete with. One example is the Michigan blueberry sale in July, where an employee drives up to a farm in Michigan and brings back a truckload of farm fresh blueberries that generally sell out within a week or two, as customers wait in line outside the doors when they arrive.

Weimer started the blueberry event when he met a farmer, in true small town fashion, who sold to another local business, the Burlington Garden Center. “My sister knew the lady who wrote out the checks to the guy in Michigan, so I called him up,and we have done business now for ten years,” Weimer said. “Corporate stores would never start a program like that.”

Another thing that sets Gooseberries apart from corporate competition is its drive-up Friday fish fry. Each week Gooseberries offers three pieces of baked, hand-breaded or parmesan crusted cod along with a choice of potato, plus coleslaw, a piece of rye bread, tartar sauce and a cookie delivered to customers through a drive-up window.

Being family owned and operated also allows the employees to form close personal relationships with the store owners. “Dave the owner is quite possibly one of the nicest people I have ever met,” Front end manager, Megan Wawrzyniak said. “It is really nice just to be in a small independent store.”

Courtesy of Sami Christiansen, view the original story here.