Home » Dick’s Fresh Market Celebrates New Store Opening In Menomonie, Wisconsin
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Dick’s Fresh Market Celebrates New Store Opening In Menomonie, Wisconsin

From left, three Menomonie Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors; Josh Gage, assistant store director; Chris Campbell, store director; K.T. Tlougan, marketing director; Dick Rinehart, founder and namesake; Chris Rinehart; Doug Rinehart, president and owner; Wisconsin Grocers Association President and CEO Brandon Scholz; Wisconsin State Rep. Adam Jarchow; two Menomonie chamber ambassadors.

Last updated on August 30th, 2022 at 02:55 pm

by Terrie Ellerbee/associate editor

Doug Rinehart, president and CEO of Dick’s Fresh Market, saw opportunity when the fourth generation of the family running a store on 9th Street in Menomonie, Wisconsin, decided to leave the grocery business. The store was founded 155 years ago, during the Civil War, and the same family had operated it all that time.ME - GO - 12sfw

Since taking over the store last October, Dick’s Fresh Market added new cases, more fresh offerings and a Caribou Coffee franchise, and set a higher bar for cleanliness and customer service. In short, the culture that has brought the independent grocery company success since its founding 35 years ago transformed the Menomonie location.

“We turned everything up—the service and the quality,” Rinehart told The Shelby Report. “My mission statement for our stores is ‘Dick’s Fresh Market will be clean, neat, fresh and friendly from 6 in the morning until 10 at night. We will be ready for our customers when they come in the door, and our quality will be superior to our competition’s.’ We set our standards extremely high.”

The community has shown its appreciation. Sales are up 25 percent at the Menomonie store since Rinehart’s company took over Oct. 1.

Dick’s Fresh Market now operates four grocery stores, with Osceola, Amery and River Falls locations rounding out the roster. At about 53,000 s.f., the Menomonie store that was brought into the fold is twice the size of the other three.

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A Caribou Coffee franchise opened May 1. From left, Bob, Justin and Michelle.

Inside, the same warm colors and bright lighting welcome shoppers to the new Dick’s Fresh Market location as in the other three. There are more natural products and a bigger fresh produce section. Soon, all of the stores will have brick exteriors like the new store and the company’s River Falls location. Dick’s Fresh Market retained all the employees who were working at the Menomonie store and added another 25 jobs.

“Our customers and our communities are No. 1, and we just live and breathe that every day,” Rinehart said. “We have a 10-foot rule. You greet everybody coming in, regardless whether they look like they can’t find something or not, you say ‘good morning,’ ‘good afternoon,’ ‘how are you today,’ ‘can I help you find something?’ And if it’s Christmas or Easter or Thanksgiving, it’s wishing them a happy holiday, thanking them when they leave and looking forward to seeing them when they come back. People love to be appreciated, and that goes with employees as well. It’s about being appreciated when either working for you or shopping with you.”

The support from the community, local businesses and customers has been humbling, Rinehart said. At a local chamber of commerce golf outing in May, each of the holes had a representative from a different business.

“At all 18 holes, I was so blown away by everybody thanking us so much for coming there to Menomonie and transforming that store into something really special,” he said. “Thanking me. And when I meet them, I’m thanking them for the wonderful words and their support.

“We are very, very happy and proud to be in Menomonie, Wisconsin,” he added. “We just want to continue to give them what they deserve, and that’s a great, beautifully run, full-service, friendly, clean grocery store. I believe it’s going to be a great ride.”

ME - VIP1sfwRinehart also purchased the strip mall where the store is located and renamed it HomeTown Plaza. It is situated in the center of town and surrounded by the local campus of the University of Wisconsin-Stout. The mall was half empty when Rinehart bought it, and now it’s about 95 percent full. New homes are going up in the area, as well.

“We’re just very excited and looking forward to the future, spending time with the community and growing,” he added.

Rinehart has held the president and CEO titles for about five years now. Family-run Dick’s Fresh Market was started 35 years ago when its namesake, Rinehart’s father, Dick, and his mother, Carol, bought into a store in 1982. They turned the company over to their children after 31 years.

“My dad was basically a meat director by trade, a butcher then meat director, so he’d worked for independent chains and then got an opportunity for a grocery store in River Falls. He took that leap, and then I decided to go leap with him and help him grow the business,” Rinehart said. “They call me ‘generation and a half’ because I started with dad.”

So, will a second/third generation take over the family business?

It’s a question that’s been put to Doug Rinehart by one of his sons, a business and finance major who queried him about the fate of the independent grocer.

“Christopher asked me the other day, ‘Do you think we’ll be viable for another 30, 40 years, Dad? And I said, ‘if we can continue to do a good job and take care of our customers and the communities we’re in, absolutely we’re viable.’ We’re working hard,” Rinehart said.

Progress definitely didn’t stop in Menomonie for this entrepreneurial family. The grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Menomonie store took place on a Monday. The next day, Rinehart was in Osceola for a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark the beginning of work on a 10,000-s.f. expansion for that store.

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