A grocery store of their own
Good Harvest Market and Café owners want customers to relax, stay awhile

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

April 24, 2015

Ross Eaton puts items on the shelves at Good Harvest Market on Thursday. Workers were racing to get the store open on schedule.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA - Good Harvest Market co-owner Joe Nolan wants his new larger natural food store and café to be a place where people come and stay awhile - their third place.

Referring to the book “The Great Good Place” by Ray Oldenburg regarding community building, Nolan said the first place is home and the second place is work, while the third place should have food and drink, is highly accessible, involves regulars, is welcoming and comfortable and a place to find old and new friends.

“We want to make sure we’re that third place where people can come and sit awhile,” Nolan said.

The newly constructed Good Harvest Market and Café at 2205 Silvernail Road will open to customers Wednesday. A 20-percent-off sale at the Meadow Lane location starts Saturday.

With its upstairs lounge area, the Harvest Café has a variety of seating, food and beverage offerings. The lounge area has space for musicians to perform and students to work on projects. On the second floor is a balcony where herbs will be grown, Nolan said.

The outdoor patio at Good Harvest Market will feature a fire pit and views of the nature conservancy on the property.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

On the main level of the expanded café is a room that can be rented and which is filled with mismatched old chairs Nolan and his wife, Jody, have found. Like every area in Good Harvest Market’s new location, the café has grown. There is now a cold case for pizza and beers, in addition to a hot food bar, a new dessert case, store-made gelato, a salad case and beverages. 

In addition, the café will open one hour before the retail side and offer breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, Nolan said on Thursday while crews wrapped up their work inside and outside the 23,000-square-foot building. The Nolans also hired about two dozen new employees for the larger location.

One of the dairy areas in the new Good Harvest Market.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Wine and beer by the glass

Nolan said wine and beer will be sold by the glass with two beers on tap, an offering that required Waukesha to change an ordinance. He believes Good Harvest Market is the only grocery store in the state to sell wine by the glass.

Just down the road from its old location, Good Harvest Market will now be surrounded by a land conservancy and offer outdoor dining with a fire pit. In all, the Nolans purchased 23 acres of land, 17 of which are part of the land conservancy. The other six contain the grocery store and another lot that may eventually be developed.

A vintage counter is incorporated into the Good Harvest Market café counter.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

A natural feeling continues from outside to inside the food store. Upon entering, shoppers will first see a display of local products and then a produce department that is 60 percent larger than Good Harvest’s produce section in its approximate 12,000-square-feet location.

The bulk bins have tripled in number and a liquid bulk dispenser for such products as honey, maple syrup and olive oil has been added. Three kinds of Wisconsin coffees - Just Coffee from Madison and Colectivo and Anodyne from Milwaukee - will be sold. Nolan said buying in bulk makes it less expensive for people to eat organic.

Upstairs in the café is an area with comfortable chairs and couches described by co-owner Joe Nolan as a “third space” where people can gather outside of home or work.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

The seafood case has also tripled in size, Nolan said, which is an area that his natural foods store can compete with the larger stores in the area. All the seafood is sustainable. The meat, seafood and cold salad containers will have store-packaged items ready to grab-and-go or a person can ask an employee select a certain amount of a product.

Whether its meat, produce or other items, Nolan said Good Harvest Market strives to stock locally grown products.

The Good Harvest Market café features antique chairs.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

“The more local we can get, the better,” he said.

Next to the dairy cases are a specialty cheese and olive island and a larger wine section. All beer is now stored in coolers. One area that has not grown much is grocery because the bigger customer draw is for the natural and organic items and fresh products Good Harvest Market stocks, Nolan said.

Local artists painted vegetables and food items on the wall, while Jody Nolan, a ceramic artist, created tiles for the floral area and café.

“We want a sense of calmness. You can spend hours if you want,” Nolan said of the new store.

A grand opening celebration will be held May 13.


At a glance

What: Good Harvest Market and Café
Where: 2205 Silvernail Road, Waukesha
When: Opens to the public Wednesday.
Info: www.goodharvestmarket.com, 262-544-9380

Email: kmichalets@conleynet.com