Neighbors support keeping Jenifer Street Market in current location

Jenifer Street Market’s current location is in question as Schoep’s Ice Cream is being sold.

The local grocery store rents space from Schoep’s, a business that filed for receivership, an alternative to bankruptcy.

There will be a new owner of the property in about a month, according to Jenifer Street Market owner Steve McKenzie.

“We are going to do everything we can to make sure we are there,” McKenzie said.

McKenzie said he will be making a proposal to the receiver to purchase the space he currently rents.

“We think we have a competitive bid going into this process,” McKenzie said. “We’re not going into it just guessing what a grocery store can pay.”

McKenzie said his backup plan is to work with the developer who purchases Schoeps or to relocate. He clarified that the store will not be closing before the end of the year.

“I still have a lease,” McKenzie said. “They’re going to have to honor it.”

McKenzie said time is of the essence right now during a Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara neighborhood meeting.

A crowded SASY meeting tonight. Most people are here to learn more about what is going to happen to Jenifer Street Market. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/iy5dFyrG47

— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) November 15, 2019

“What we are going to do in the next few weeks at store level and what you guys can do in the neighborhood can be very, very influential in determining what it will be,” McKenzie said.

However, McKenzie said he doesn’t know how the neighborhood can help the store at this point, other than showing support at the store.

“Wherever you shop, that is the greatest support you are giving to that business,” McKenzie said. “No matter what that business is, you are deciding every time you are a customer whether that place should stay open.”

Brad Hinkfuss, SASY Neighborhood Board president thinks the neighborhood can make a difference by contacting local government.

“It could be advantageous to draw a line and send a message to the city that this neighborhood places such a high value on this grocery store being there that we expect any future development must incorporate this as a necessary part,” Hinkfuss said.

Hinkfuss said Madison is open to local input and is committed to lobbying the city and future owners to ensure the grocery store stays.

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