Brennan’s Market going out of business, after 75 years

Brookfield store slated to become office space

Brennan's Market will close its five locations Sept. 30.

Last updated on May 15th, 2019 at 04:56 pm

Brennan’s Market, which started as a road-side fruit stand in Monroe 75 years ago and has grown to five retail locations, will close all of its stores on Sept. 30.

The company announced the closing on its Facebook page Wednesday.

Brennan’s Market will close its five locations Sept. 30. This is the company’s Oconomowoc store.

“We’ve had a loyal base of customers, but our per month visits continued to shrink,” said Wayne Glowac, company spokesman. “There is great competition out there and a lot of other options. I think the farm to table concept is more farm to table restaurant. A lot of us have less time to dedicate our diets to making good, fresh food at home, like we should be doing.”

Brennan’s has locations in the Town of Brookfield, Oconomowoc, Monroe and two in Madison. Brennan’s also owns a cheese warehouse and packaging facility in New Glarus, which is also closing.

Brennan’s has 150 full and part-time employees who will lose their jobs, Glowac said. The stores will remain fully staffed and stocked until Sept. 30.

Frank Brennan began his business in 1942, building personal relationships with fruit and vegetable growers and cheese producers. In 1967, Brennan’s Market expanded into Madison and in 1988 into Brookfield and Oconomowoc. In 2009, Frank’s son, Skip, took over management of the business.

Brennan’s saw a significant decline in sales during the recession beginning in 2008 and never rebounded, even as the economy began to improve, Glowac said.

Brennan’s owns its five buildings and attempts to sell to another grocery store chain were unsuccessful. The company is now selling each building individually.

Glowac said the properties will probably not remain retail facilities. The Brookfield location already is under contract to be sold to an undisclosed buyer who is planning to convert the building to office space, according to representatives from the town.

Milwaukee-based Stephen Perry Smith architects will be at tonight’s Architectural Control Board meeting in the town of Brookfield to present plans on behalf of the buyer who wants to modify the building for two undisclosed office tenants, said Gary Lake, the town’s development services administrator.

Plans call for adding windows, filling in Brennan’s loading dock, adding landscaping, an outdoor employee breakroom and an eight-car covered parking area, Lake said.

Brennan’s greenhouse would become part of the office space, according to the plans, Lake said.

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