Market 30 opens in Cudahy and owner Chris Koncki calls it an “indoor farmer’s market.”
Koncki, owner of Mama’s Boy Salsaopens the specialty grocer as a showcase for its specialty salsa and a space where other local culinary creators can market their wares.
Wisconsin is the 30th state to join the Union, and Koncki said his goal was to “commercialize Wisconsin,” leading to the name Market 30. All products sold must be manufactured in Badger condition.
The specialty grocery store will open at 11 a.m. on May 17 with a ribbon cutting by Mayor Tom Pavlic. Market 30 will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The building, 5820 S. Packard Ave., was Koncki’s uncle’s dentistry before he purchased it in October 2019 from his aunt. The biggest challenge was “figuring out the bones of the building” and finding all the leaks, Koncki said.
Help from friends and family
Koncki learned how to plug a rubber roof, learned about ventilation work, concrete and everything involved in restoring the building to usable condition – with the help of his father and some friends and neighbors.
“The challenge was really getting the building back to working order first,” he said, adding that he got rid of all the “dental stuff” inside.
A friend came over to “paint everything” to get the business started, not specifically talking about payment, Koncki said.
“He just did it, literally for free,” he said. “He spent weeks here.”
Once everything was out and the building was fixed, it was time to bring the product. With a passion for giving back and giving back to the community, Koncki contacted many local suppliers.
“(Mama’s Boy Salsa) wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have other vendors pushing us up,” Koncki said.
The list of vendors/products available on Market 30 includes:
- Smokin’ Ts
- Mandy’s Mood Foods
- Pop’s Kettle Corn
- soup market
- Carrie’s Crisps
- Lutz Bloody Mary Mix
- Fire pit barbecue
- ketchup please
- Milwaukee Microgreens
- Flour Girl & Flame
- Alpine Cheese
- It’s just nuts
- Peanut Butter Jelly Deli
- Restaurant Hernandez
- door peppers
- Angelique Bakery
- Artas’n Meats
Although not a salesman, Alexander Burbach, a board-certified chiropractor for three years, rents space in the building from Koncki. He opened his independent practice in January.
“I’m a one-man show, from the moment you walk in the door until you leave, you’re with me,” Burbach said.
Burbach’s services include digital x-rays, spine/extremity adjustments, electrical muscle stimulation, hot/cold therapy, stretching, therapeutic exercises and more.
Cudahy does not have a grocery store
While the building was family owned, Koncki said “don’t have groceries here was gigantic”, and he is happy to bring something to Cudahy. He said prices may be higher than what people see at big box stores and grocers, but the items are made by small, family-owned businesses, so the quality is there.
“Understand that they are healthier, better, and they are local people that we can support,” Koncki said.
Food prices are rising, in general, Koncki noted. Liimes’ price has tripled, while a supplier he works with noted that the price of things like asparagus has quadrupled recently. One of Market 30’s goals is to “avoid a lot of travel” and bring sellers to the area for the first time.
“It’s been really good to bring products from the greater Milwaukee area and bring them to Cudahy,” Koncki said.
Salsa made on site — and customers can watch
Koncki will produce his salsa at the back of the business with a viewing window on the sales floor that allows customers to watch.
“The salsa production in the back is a highlight of the store,” Koncki said.
A chalkboard wall is included for kids and a mirror in the corner helps parents keep an eye on their kids while they shop.
Koncki is also planning a “selfie wall” featuring Mama’s Boy Salsa and Market 30 logos.
Plus, an outdoor cooler is inside selling a rotation of tomatillos, jalapenos, and other ingredients for people to make their own salsa.
While serving as sales manager for US Cellular, Koncki carried a cooler and hand-delivered his mother’s homemade salsa to employees at various stores in the Mayfair Mall. This “old school hustle,” as he called it, has led to farmers markets, inclusion in a few storefronts, and now this new headquarters in Cudahy.