Jake had much of that done before he arrived. He has changed some displays and continued the process of “opening up” the aisles of the store as both he and Jake said they are strong proponents of a store’s “shopability.”
“Each owner has their own way of doing things and how you want things to look,” Jake said. “We’re pretty much done. We’ve got it where we want it.”
While change is difficult for some people, Jack and Jake said they hear compliments on the changes which have been made. “People love the openness of the store, the shopability of it. People love the deli and the produce.”
Tom Boldt had headed up the produce area for about the past year after the retirement of Cliff Diefenthaler. Jake said Blattner’s gives department managers freedom to run their own ship, and Boldt has done that with some minor shifting of produce locations in his department.
Summer is the busiest time for Blattner’s deli under the leadership of Bonnie Kautzer as customers stock up for picnics, tailgating, and other gatherings. Blattner’s gets a lot of quick-to-eat customers at its deli, filled daily with homemade favorites ranging from chicken to meatloaf to casseroles. The Bakery Department adjacent to the deli is filled with sweet treats, while Meat Manager Greg Kautzer’s department continues to offer a wide range of the freshest meat cuts available.
Jack encourages customers who do not see what they want to mention it to any Blattner’s employee as the Blattner family wants to stock what customers want. Having two stores helps make that more doable as volume buys are possible which might not be by a single store. As a recent example, Blattner’s is carrying lamb during the holidays. A New Holstein customer wanted some mint jelly to go with the lamb but could not find any in the store. Blattner’s happened to have some in Sheboygan Falls and Jake was on the way to New Holstein, and a short time later he was there with some mint jelly.
Blattner’s also joins the “Local Matters” sentiment of the New Holstein Area Chamber of Commerce. Jack and Jake pointed out that if they need a piece of hardware, they run down to New Holstein True Value, or if they want new carpeting in their front entryway they call Julia’s Furniture & Flooring. They encourage local people to do the same when it comes to purchasing their groceries.
The brothers said the trend in grocery stores these days is smaller, more convenient stores as time is of the essence. Blattner’s looks to provide big-city selection in a hometown store. “We do our best to offer the widest selection possible,” Jake said.
Blattner’s also does it best to continue to be a good community servant. A percentage of receipts put in a box near the store exit goes toward the many local organizations which have their names on the box. Blattner’s has also supported numerous other causes in New Holstein in their short time here.
Whether it is Jack/John or Jake or John or Jean, they encourage customers to come in and say “hi” and see what Blattner’s has to offer.