Last updated on August 19th, 2019 at 04:45 pm
Johnsonville LLC is planning to build a new Johnsonville Marketplace retail store across the street from its headquarters in rural Sheboygan County.
The new store would be built at the southeastern corner of Highway J and Rio Road, according to documents submitted to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The site is just south of the company’s town of Sheboygan Falls main office, located at N6928 Johnsonville Way.
Stephanie Dlugopolski, a spokeswoman for Johnsonville, said in an email that the building would be 3,500 square feet. The project is expected to break ground in early September and open in spring 2020, the year that marks the company’s 75th anniversary.
Johnsonville Marketplace will sell all 70-plus types of sausages the company makes, some of which might not be found at other local retailers. Dlugopolski said there will be no discount pricing at the store, since Johnsonville is not looking to compete with its retail customers. Other than food products, the store will sell Johnsonville-branded swag, cooking and grilling merchandise, and will include an area that tells the company’s history.
Dlugopolski said the company is looking to build a retail store for two main reasons: To expand upon an existing store for employees, or “members,” at the company’s headquarters and to offer a place that celebrates the company’s history and its products.
“We’ve always had a ‘member store’ in the back of our campus, but we’ve grown as a company and now have more members (about 1,700 working here in Sheboygan), so we need to think of a space to better serve them,” she wrote. “Secondly, we wanted a place that celebrates our family-owned company’s history and provides a place to experience sausage, grilling, and good times with family and friends.”
Before the store’s official opening next year, there will be a soft opening for Johnsonville members only. The company is still not sure how many people will work at the store, but it will begin looking for a full-time store manager this week, she said.
Documents filed with the DNR indicate the proposed development area totals 5 acres. The site, formerly used as farmland, will include the retail store as well as an expanded parking lot to be used for larger events. Dlugopolski said the company will make that space available for organizations or groups to host brat fry fundraisers. Other event possibilities are still being discussed.
Johnsonville opened its first retail store, known as Johnsonville Sausage Marketplace, in late 2014 in Naples, Florida. It sold more than 70 varieties of the company’s sausage products, mustard, apparel and more. However, the store closed its doors in January 2018, according to local media reports.
Site photos show the building would be constructed near a large BRAT sculpture. That assemblage was installed last September. The bright red letters represents pop artist Robert Indiana’s last work of art, and closely resembles other well-known works such as the LOVE and HOPE sculptures.