Shelly Wierzchowski at the
counter in the new Sloppy Joe’s Five & Dime.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
WAUKESHA - Things are starting to get a little more
sloppy around the Five Points in downtown Waukesha.
In a good way,
Wierzchowski already owns and operates Sloppy Joe’s - a 1950’s
throwback soda fountain at Main Street and Broadway downtown -
which she bought from her parents, Joe and Lori Lester, last
year. But she didn’t feel the idea was quite complete yet.
That’s why she
rented the space next door and opened up a new expansion -
Sloppy Joe’s Five & Dime.
used to take me to the candy shops and five and dimes,” she
said. “My mom kind of started this trend when she used to take
us to the soda fountains. So she sort of got that end of it, but
I didn’t feel it was complete so I wanted to finish that.”
It only took
about two and a half weeks for Wierzchowski and her crew to
clean out the former Fox River Mart site and turn it into her
own unique creation.
She said the
new location is not so much a new store, but more of an
expansion of the original Sloppy Joe’s. The interior decor
retains the original store’s vintage feel and employees still
wear the iconic paper hat and bow tie uniform which has become
synonymous with classic soda fountains.
features typical general store items like bread, milk, eggs and
cleaning supplies - things people downtown may need but don’t
have convenient access to. But Wierzchowski wanted to put an
emphasis on one item in particular: Candy.
features an assortment of sweets, ranging from current staples
to vintage throwbacks like wax sicks, wafer satellites, candy
buttons and jawbreakers.
“It is an
easy, cheap way for the parents to treat their kids,”
Wierzchowski said. “I have seen tons of parents come in and
spend less than $2 and get a bag of candy.”
She added that
the store is aimed at giving families - teens and children
especially - a fun place to go downtown.
Sloppy Joe’s Soda Fountain, which closes down during the winter,
Wierzchowski said the Five & Dime will stay open year round. She
said she plans on making nachos and some other warmer items from
the soda fountain available to customers during the winter
months, adding that the two locations could one day be connected
through a walkway stretching between them.
The Five &
Dime opened two weeks ago in time to catch a Friday Night Live
and let the downtown crowd know what was going on with the new
location. The store is open from 9 a.m. to about 6 p.m. from
Tuesday to Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.
“It has been
good, it has been encouraging,” Wierzchowski said, describing
the store’s first couple weeks. “Most of the people coming in
are just taking a peek to see what’s going on. I’ve had real
friendly vibes from everybody. The kids are loving the candy