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Brats to buns to bibs in new one-stop sausage market

The Johnsonville Marketplace – a retail store showcasing the company’s products, people and history – opens in timing with Johnsonville’s 75th anniversary.

The destination shopping experience is the only place that sells all 70+ Johnsonville U.S. retail products. Johnsonville Marketplace, located across the street from corporate headquarters in rural Sheboygan Falls,  is now open daily to the public and Johnsonville Members (employees).

From sausage to swag, the 3,200 square-foot store features a variety of unique Johnsonville-made and company-branded products from brats to buns and beanies to bibs.

Being the number-one national sausage brand in America, sausage is prominently displayed on “The Sausage Wall.” The dozens of sausage varieties and other signature meat products are displayed in the expansive refrigerated and freezer sections.

The selections include Italian sausage, smoke-cooked links, breakfast sausage, summer sausage, meatballs, brats and much more.

While not an ‘outlet’ store, all Johnsonville products are priced comparatively to the products its retail customers sell.

What makes this company retail store unique is that all the SKUs the company makes in the U.S. are featured here, including several other regional, spiced and smoked sausage products often not sold by Midwest retailers.

“We are thrilled that visitors will be able to see the wide range of sausage we make, many of which may not be available to them in their local stores,” said Shelly Stayer, Johnsonville owner and company board chair.

The grocery sections of the Johnsonville Marketplace also feature an array of limited release Johnsonville food and beverages including items such as Johnsonville Mustard, bratwurst buns and specialty beer, along with Johnsonville Foodservice products typically sold only in vending machines, gas stations and C-stores. Alongside all of these Johnsonville products, the Johnsonville Marketplace also features:

• Johnsonville Merchandise – perfect for gifts and souvenirs, unique Johnsonville-branded merchandise from drink koozies to baby onesies is incorporated throughout the retail space.

Other featured branded products include grilling and kitchen tools like the Johnsonville Sizzling Sausage Grills and different grilling accessories.

• The Johnsonville T-Shirt Deli – a deli-case style display of company branded T-shirts with clever sayings and slogans collected from Johnsonville Members over the years. “The T-shirt Deli is a Marketplace favorite of shoppers and Members alike,” said Brittany Scalia, Johnsonville associate brand manager.

“Each shirt dawns a witty one-liner or slogan that was submitted by our Members. This ‘butcher counter’ of T-shirts truly honors the spirit, creativity, dedication, and passion of our Members.”

• Johnsonville-themed Gift Baskets – the Johnsonville Marketplace team has curated themed gift baskets including food and merchandise for gifting or quick shopping.

• Outdoor Grilling Station – set to open in Spring 2021, the paved patio outfitted with grills, will host charity brat frys, cooking demonstrations and special events.

• Several other Wisconsin-based foods – Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe Kringle; cheeses from brands such as Sartori and Vern’s; root beer and craft beers from Potosi; Palermo’s frozen pizzas; and Baron’s Gelato to name a few.

Throughout the market, the company’s Members, history and family are celebrated. Store elements, historical photos, video, and retail products pay tribute to the long-spanning history as a family-owned and operated business that grew from a butcher shop to the international sausage brand it is today.

“Most of all, we want our Members and visitors to see that the Marketplace reflects the joy and pride we all take in everything we do at Johnsonville in our never-ending journey to become the best company in the world that just happens to make sausage,” said Ralph C. Stayer, second-generation owner.

Originally set to open in Spring 2020 but delayed due to challenges due to the pandemic, the Johnsonville Marketplace opens in timing with the company’s 75th anniversary month.

The brand-new Johnsonville “History of Johnsonville and the Stayer Family Behind It” ($89) commemorates the 75-year milestone and is exclusively available for purchase at the Johnsonville Marketplace.

The 462-page hard cover book recounts the company’s history, products, advertising, family and community involvement dating back to 1945.

Paying tribute to memorable Johnsonville family members, Johnsonville partnered with Potosi Brewing Company of Potosi, Wis., on two collaborative craft beers. New-to-the-market Johnsonville Beer Mert 44 Amber Lager and Grumpy Grandpa Czech Pilsner are brewed and canned specifically for the company and are only available for purchase at Johnsonville Marketplace. Mert 44 was created in memory of Jamie Mertens (a Stayer family member) with all proceeds supporting Club 44 Foundation, Inc., a SE Wisconsin nonprofit created to give back to youth sports. Grumpy Grandpa honors Johnsonville Founder Ralph F. Stayer’s strict standards for both food and drink.

“Ralph F. Stayer had an acute sense of taste and high standards which is the reason for our high-quality, tasty sausage products. This carefully crafted beer pairs well with an array of Johnsonville Sausage and products. Some would argue it tastes great with all products!” said Scalia.

The exterior of the Johnsonville Marketplace mimics the modern architectural style of the corporate headquarters across the road on County Road J. High ceilings, large windows and skylights afford a bright shopping experience. The five-acre property on which the Marketplace is built was formerly farmland.

The building was designed by Abacus Architects of Sheboygan and constructed by C.D. Smith of Fond du Lac. The destination is landmarked by the massive, bright red BRAT art piece – designed by iconic artist Robert Indiana that was installed in 2018.

The Johnsonville Marketplace, which opened for Member-only shopping in September, is now open to the public and company Members.

Store hours are from 10am-5pm weekdays (except for Thursdays, when open from 6am-4pm), and from 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

In the interest of Member and public safety, shoppers are required to wear facemasks and follow social distancing at all times. Hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes are available.

“The Johnsonville Marketplace is a retail store and brand experience in one,” said Scalia. “The response from our Members has been fantastic and with great anticipation and excitement we open the store to the community and general public.”

Johnsonville Marketplace is open seven days a week and is located at N6877 Rio Road in Sheboygan Falls, Wis. For additional information, visit http://www.johnsonvillemarketplace.com.

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