Good Harvest Market

LOCATION: 1850 Meadow Lane, Pewaukee, WI  53072
Natural/organic foods, holistic health and beauty products and organic café.
PROJECTED 2008 REVENUE: $5 million
LEADERSHIP TEAM: Joe and Jody Nolan, co-owners; Ron Sjoquist, general manager

TARGET CLIENTELE: People of all ages, incomes and net worths who want to eat healthy foods.

BUSINESS ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIPS: Waukesha Chamber of Commerce; and INFRA (Independent Natural Food Retailers Association).

WHAT HAS FUELED YOUR COMPANY’S GROWTH? Word-of-mouth from our existing customers, as well as a trend across both Wisconsin and the U.S. of healthier eating.  Our customers know that we have very strict guidelines for what products we make available for sale.  No trans-fats, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, MSG, added sodium nitrates or bleach in any of our products.  This makes their job much easier — reading labels becomes less of a chore!  And the vast majority of our products are either certified organic or locally grown/produced.  We try to be as healthy and sustainably minded as we can be, and our customers are happy we are.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO YOUR COMPANY’S GROWTH?  Two things: 1. Building a natural food store of our size in a "new" market (one which didn’t have any large natural food store before) has taken time.  2. The high cost of traditional advertising, especially for a young company with limited resources.

DO YOU PLAN ANY CHANGES IN YOUR COMPANY IN THE UPCOMING MONTHS? Due to our continued growth, we are adding additional shelving space and refrigeration for our grocery department and our produce department. While this will reduce open floor space slightly, our customers will have many additional choices in those departments.

WHO ARE THE BUSINESS PEOPLE, LOCALLY OR NATIONALLY, WHOM YOU ADMIRE? AND WHAT TRAITS DO THOSE PEOPLE EXHIBIT THAT MAKE YOU ADMIRE THEM?  While I don’t have specific names, I admire companies which place the welfare of their customers, their employees and their communities before profit.  As a 23 year employee of Robert W. Baird & Co. (I am a financial advisor), I have been part of a firm who does just that, as can be seen from our 5 straight years as a top 100 place to work in America (Fortune Magazine).  In addition to offering a very generous benefit package to our employees, we have a quarterly bonus program for every single employee.  As long as we showed an improvement in our bottom line (even if it meant a smaller loss than previous quarter) every employee recieved a bonus.  It’s important to us that our employees feel that they have a stake in the company, and eventually the plan will be to establish a ESOP (Employee Stock Option Plan) which will allow employees to own a peice of Good Harvest Market.  Corporate stewardship is also important, and we have donated a portion of our sales to local causes and organizations, even during our first few unprofitable years. A list of recent donations can be found on our website.  Doing what’s right for customers, employees and our community are Good Harvest Markets’ top priorities.  While this may have increased our losses in the earlier years, it’s the right thing to do, and in the end Good Harvest Market will be stronger because of that.

WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK FOR THE BUSINESS CONDITIONS OF YOUR INDUSTRY OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS? While higher food prices have certainly affected organic/natural foods and higher gas prices have caused individuals to cut back on travel and entertainment, it appears that consumers continue to place more emphasis on their health.  So while they may be eating out less or spending less when they do eat out less, and may be travelling less, they are willing to spend more on their groceries if it means they can improve their health.  While it’s uncertain if we have hit and bounced off of a high price for oil, even if we get stability through year end we don’t see this trend changing.


Congratulations from these stategic partners:



John J. Best & Company, Inc., 262-544-2000 

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