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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

PETE'S FRUIT MARKET needs Input from Citizenry

Howdy Everybody!

August 31, 2016

Pete's Fruit Market co-hosted an employment event on August 30, 2016. It was held at the YWCA (King Drive) - for their store that is scheduled to open this year on the corner of North Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive - the location of historic Beechie Brooks Plaza. 

Pete's Fruit Market is scheduled to open later this year on the corner of North Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. 

Economic Development 
The owner of the 13,000 square foot development is a wholly owned entity of Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation/MEDC.  They are the underwriters of the $3 million Plus investment for the development.

Kalan Haywood of Vangard Group has been hired to manage the development of the site.  The general contractor is JCP Construction.

The Lessor is Theodore Tsitiridis.  He is the owner of Pete's Fruit Market, 1400 S. Union Street, Milwaukee, WI  53204.  He is the son of the original Pete's - presently retired in Florida.

Tsitiridis is scheduled to open his second location at the lucrative site of the long-awaited customer base on the corner of Dr. Martin L. King Drive and North Avenue. The demolition permits have been pulled and the portion of the building for demolition is on the way.

The development is being introduced with anchor tenant Pete's Market as a lessor.  Those of us interested in private and full investment, as well as historic presence of the total 13,000 square feet property, need to discuss "build-outs" of the development with the office of Vangard property and "build-outs" with Theodore Tsitiridis - Pete's Market.  They are two separate entities that will contribute to the final urban lifestyle design and implementation of this cornerstone Bronzeville development.  This should be an impressive and MODERN grocery.

This is a HUB development. This is a center place for the Core Constituents and for visitors.  Therefore, cultural foods, a full-scale hot and cold deli with other specialties unique to Pete's brand and unique to African Americans foods and spices should be in the foreground of this NEW grocery.

The ongoing EXCITEMENT should be discussions regarding the layout and types of products/produce, vendors, and "parking".  

Pete's on the south side is tied to El Centro and UW-Extension.  Given their missions and visions, are they being factored in the production of produce, sharing garden produce and the labor on King Drive?  Will Pete's Market partner with a north side gardener like Dawn to Dusk Forever Garden Group?

The NEW Pete's Market is scheduled to open later this year.  The time for coordination is now.

Bronzeville/Harambee Neighborhood
The NEW market will be located in District 6 - Bronzeville/Harambee NEIGHBORHOOD.  It will be a grocery food market that will service a diverse population in the 6th District that has a PREdominate African American base with Latino, Caucasian, American Indian, middle Easterner and Asian citizenry throughout.  It will also draw nearby neighborhoods on a daily basis given its location.

It is an area with a significant senior population just a stone-throw at Lapham Park and the historic Beechie Brooks Home-ownership complex. It borders Riverwest and WAICO NEIGHBORHOODS. It is located in the King Business Improvement District.  

This market will be located at the MAJOR intersection - "The Window to Bronzeville" - of two well-known thoroughfares - North Avenue and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive.  It makes the statement as the first grocery in the area that will have the fingerprint of Bronzeville.  One that creates historic and authenticity with the fingerprint of the African American majority population.

"The People must have a huge say-so to complement and commit to seeing that the $3 million dollars PLUS coming from the city coffers via MEDC/Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation as well as other add-on co-partner efforts through Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee/RACM is forthcoming in "capacity-building investment" along King drive, North avenue, Center street, Burleigh street, Fond du Lac avenue and Green Bay avenue.   It is necessary because it has taken so long to get the development of Bronzeville started.

Therefore, it is imperative that meetings are held before groundbreaking, during construction and quarterly after Opening for support, oversight and 'measured growth' supported by the citizenry/customer that live-in and  those who live out of the Harambee area.

Speaking of labor
What are the departments of Pete's Market?  Is there an In-house Human Resource officer?

Is Pete's handling the employment or is it done through an agency?  Is the employment temporary or permanent?  And, if through an agency, the agency needs to be vetted by sharing the name.

Will there be a NEW team or is the management team ready-made and brought from the south side?

What's the dress code - training - wages - benefits?

Recent markets, Metro Mart - on Oakland in Shorewood - opened on February 16, 2016, and Fresh Thyme - 470 E. Pleasant opened June 8, 2016, have a theme for attracting customers.  Their appeal is to the customer base in and around the store area.  They are also mindful of today's trends in healthy food groups, savings, and the customer having an "experience" while visiting their store. That includes modernized SPACE use, technology, variety, orderly products and customer care is a long-suit in being competitive. Today's freshness and one-stop shopping is a plus.  Bakery, wine and liquor department.  Outside patio sitting should be encouraged with an area designated.

We have Galst Food opened on July 10, 2016, the closed Lena's Foods Capitol site.  Just as with Pete's, they are expected to have a human resource and community relations arm to follow up inquiries and speak to questions for clarity.

Just as the southside Pete's Fruit Market has a Latino flavor, it is important that the King/North site share and show the African American culture and flavors.   

L:  Metro Mart - Shorewood, Left Top:  Pete's Signage,
Left Middle:  Photo of a Fresh Thyme, and Left Bottom:  Photo of Galst - North Avenue
Milwaukee Smart Grocery Network - MPA LLC is a newly formed organization for the purpose of linking those who bring food to the table as grocers.  We promote health, healthy foods and safety prevention/intervention. It starts with creating a relationship with the grocery stores, garden markets, distributors, customers and the USDA through the Public Relations office.

The creation of full-fledged grocers in the area is a focus-priority for stability in the neighborhoods.

"We have areas of the city that have been branded 'food-deserts'.  We have a monopoly-oligopoly distribution and oversight of food allowance and distribution for the city of Milwaukee and county of Milwaukee.  MSGN will work to empower Milwaukeeans so that 'pantries', Hunger Task Force, Food Share, Feeding America and the CCC Food Pantry are able to specialize in strengthening the household with training and resources for less and less dependence but on Wellness.  To have the food in-the-home rather than Hunger Task Force being the "poverty payee" for the city.

MSGN sees the King Business Improvement DistrictUEDA/Urban Economic Development Association and Westcare WI, Inc., three organizations with outside and inside representation for the area being as full-fledged partners receiving funding on behalf of the area's quality of life and economic development be part of a Master Plan for GROWTH in the preparation and gathering of foods for healthy families.

Therefore, King BID, UEDA and Westcare have a fiduciary responsibility to the neighborhood at-large and to help Theodore Tsitiridis - Pete's Market, the developer and construction company lay a business ethos foundation that will define progress, state of the art technology, fresh food groups (meats, fish, poultry, green vegetables, bakery, etc.), and aspiration of hope for the commercial and residential stakeholders.  

MPA LLC - Milwaukee Smart Grocery Network is in the process of documentation and growth of Milwaukee from food deserts and calling for those who provide groceries, gardening of food and distribution of food to Milwaukeeans in a growth network.  We especially look at the creation of economic development, quality of life and creating authenticity and historic presence that is missing.

Conflict of Interest  
This should be a TRUST relationship between Theodore Tsitiridis, customers, vendors, businesses and organizations to create the fingerprint in and out of the area.  He should have an open-door policy unrestricted by the developer, others working with the developer, Alderwoman Milele Coggs or any organization within the Bronzeville or Harambee area.

Too often city hall has had a heavy hand, pulling strings that are seen as acts of cronyism, delays, barriers, obstruction, and conflict of interest.  

"Monopoly-oligopoly powers tied to the development and controlled by Rocky Marcoux, Martha Brown, RACM, and DCD committees or an extension of the Department of City Development is a NO-NO", said Mary Glass, Chair/CEO, MPA LLC.  

"The office of Alderwoman Milele Coggs, District 6, is a government partner at the city level to the Bronzeville and District 6 population/area. Her role and responsibility are to help ensure that government policies do NOT provide cronyism by individuals, organizations and the city government - especially city government - do not operate with a behind the scenes agenda of politics and divisiveness. This creates barriers of entry and blocks NEEDED business development in Bronzeville and the city of Milwaukee".

"There have been clear signs of divisiveness and failure to communicate from with the office of Alderwoman Milele Coggs and the office of Kaylan Haywood.  This is unacceptable and is being seen by MPA LLC, many in the neighborhood and interest base as business as usual policies that must be brought to the foreground and removed.  This will cause Pete's Market to NOT get the kind of "launch" and "TRUST" it or the People deserve", said Glass.

MPA LLC invites both Theodore Tsitiridis and Gurden Singh to the table of Milwaukee Smart Grocery Network.  We have had difficulty making contact and getting information from Theodore Tsitiridis, Pete's Market and owner of Galst, Gurden Singh - failure to communicate, failure to meet and the appearance of divisiveness.

We know with an identity and brand of TRUST going forward  - evidenced by open communication, full-scale hiring from the People that buy from them, a professional dress code, training in customer service and  a growth plan, GURDEN SINGH/Galst and Theodore Tsitiridis/Pete's can be major food markets that are well-respected in the African American neighborhood.  They are already known for specializing in products sought by African Americans, their prime customer.

Singh like Tsitiridis need to create RAPPORT to ground their brands.  They already have many of the starter food groups.

More to come.

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