Tim Metcalfe, president and co-owner of Metcalfe’s Market

Tim Metcalfe

President and co-owner
Metcalfe’s Market
6700 W. State St.
Wauwatosa, WI 53219
and another store in Madison.
Industry: Retail (grocery)
Number of employees: 390
Family: “Two daughters and my fiancée, Julie.”

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?

“I would say it was creating the Metcalfe’s Economic Relief Plan, an advertising campaign that promoted double coupons on Wednesday and Saturday. This was a creative and successful way to increase sales in a difficult economic climate.”

What’s new at your company?

“We recently rebranded our company to Metcalfe’s Market (formerly Metcalfe’s Sentry) to better align with our unique store environments and product offerings. We also recently hired our new CFO (chief food officer) and executive chef, Leah Caplan, who will add a great wealth of knowledge and creativity to our fresh food offerings.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“Metcalfe’s always reinvests back into the company and by extension into the community. For the next year, we are going to look at remodeling the kitchens and also look at increasing offerings in the perishable departments.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“I think the main challenges for us and for many will be labor costs, maintaining margins in a different economic climate as well as continuing to differentiate ourselves from the competition to maintain our market share.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“I think the hottest trend right now in the industry is buying local. But other noteworthy trends would be ‘going green,’ restaurant quality food and community involvement.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“Eat or be eaten. In our business you really only have two choices. You can go after your competition or you can let them come after you. Either way, you can eat or be eaten. There is no in-between.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“My father, Tom Metcalfe. He was always an innovator in the industry and always ahead of the curve.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“I’m not sure if this qualifies as advice, but I would say the rule of thirds. Take one-third of your profits and reinvest them into your business, take one-third and put it into a rainy day fund and take one-third to reinvest in your staff, management and your efforts. When you follow this rule, you will be able to maintain your competitive advantage and be prepared for the unexpected.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?

“I was in my boss’s office with one of my peers and my boss was upset with the performance of my peer and asked him, “What do you think I should do?’ My peer said, ‘Fire Tim. Make an example out of him to me.'”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I like spending time with my fiancée, enjoying different restaurants and boating.”

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