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/ Business of the Month / Charlie's Market
Business of the Month:
March Business of the Month
4251 County Rd B
Land O' Lakes, WI 54540
Phone: (715) 547-4251
Charlie's Market Named Business of the Month by Vilas Economic Development Corporation
Walking into Charlie’s Market in Land O’ Lakes, customers are welcomed into a store that elevates the grocery shopping experience, increases the economic vitality of the community, and meets local needs.
Thriving in its nearly first three years, owner Kevin Konnow, who also owns Brews Pub, understands there is opportunity for a return on investment well beyond just purely financial.
“The simple fact is that we haven’t had a grocery store in Land O’ Lakes for about five years,” said Kevin. “We thought, how great would it be to have a grocery store back in town for the locals and vacationers. It’s keeping people in the area so they don’t have to travel a long distance to get their groceries, and then also stop to dine or shop in another community. They can enjoy all that we have to offer right here in Land O’ Lakes.”
The market, named after Kevin’s nephew, Charlie, had its grand opening on June 18, 2019, after a year and a half of planning. While starting with five employees, the store now has eight employees, five full-time and three students who work part-time after school. Kevin expressed his gratefulness to investors Margaret Baack and Mike McAdams, and attributes the store’s success to his brother, Dan and sister, Amy.
“When we started the project, we brought in an economic analyst who did a six-year plan with the projected growth,” said Kevin. “We’re already at the six-year projected number, seeing a 20 percent up-tick in our numbers from January 1, 2020 to January 1st of this year.”
According to Kevin, they didn’t want to build just any ordinary grocery store. “We didn’t want it to be just four walls and roof,” said Kevin. “We had the store professionally designed, asked for input from the community, and wanted to offer competitive pricing and a good selection. We put a good product out there, and if a customer wants a certain brand and we don’t have it, we’ll see if we can find it for them. It’s having the pulse of the community, knowing what works and what they need.” The store also offers local and regional products including bakery from Eagle Baking and wild rice from Michigan.
A native of Milwaukee, Kevin’s family has been a fabric of the Land O’ Lakes community for generations.
“My grandfather, Tim Juday, was born in Rhinelander,” said Kevin. “He lived in Land O’ Lakes in grade school and eventually maintained the family house on Anderson Lake. Our family would come here to visit and vacation when I was growing up.”
Having lived in Land O’ Lakes for the past 21 years, Kevin can’t say enough about his beloved community.
“I raised my son here,” said Kevin. “It’s an amazing place to live. The peacefulness, friendliness, everybody looks out for each other. It’s the same way that I was raised – to treat others as you would like to be treated. You give back when you can.”
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Among being a stellar lodge, restaurant, and destination of choice for tourists and area residents, we congratulate Debby and Dan Johns and all of their staff for their generosity and commitment to Vilas County to ensure our history and culture live on for future generations.
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In 2016, April graduated from a business startup course, now called Nicolet Entrepreneur Training (NET) program, offered through a partnership with the VCEDC and Nicolet College. "With ongoing support from the VCEDC, including rental space within the Eagle River Business Incubator, I was able to develop and implement my business plan, founding Starlight in 2016," said April.
We can email you a PDF highlighting many of the wonderful aspects of our area.