A local businessman has continued his goal of following family tradition by opening another grocery and convenience store with his family name.
Brian Pierce’s family has operated stores in Baraboo since 1924. For the last two years, he has solely operated an east-side store that spans roughly 30,000 square feet, after co-operating it for roughly three decades. When two buildings became available for sale in West Baraboo, Pierce said he knew he could buy the properties and expand.
“There was an opportunity on this side of town,” Pierce said. “I’m glad to bring Pierce’s back to the west side and continue my uncle Don’s tradition.”
The former Shoe Box building at 527 Linn St. and Fratelli’s Family Italian Restaurant at 506 W. Pine St. were that chance. Pierce said he purchased the two buildings, both of which sit in the same block, in the final days of December. Work on cleaning them out began in January, he added.
“It was a complete gut,” Pierce said. “We started over.”
The restaurant building, which was smaller at about 3,700 square feet, was torn down. The market is housed within the former shoe store, which was built in 1990, according to Sauk County property records.
At less than 9,000 square feet, Pierce’s West Express has a substantially smaller footprint than the east-side store, but Pierce said it provides everything customers want.
“It’s everything you need for the ride home,” he said. “You, literally, can cover supper. And it’s got the second-best liquor selection in town.”
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The store’s official first day was Aug. 26, but it was a soft, silent opening rather than an attention-seeking announcement. Once workers are trained and shelves fully stocked, Pierce plans to host a grand opening in October.
“You don’t find your problems until you open,” he said, noting that workers need to be trained and new technology requires some time to learn. “All of that stuff just takes a little bit of time to work out.”
The west-side store has about 15 employees. Four were workers at the original location who transferred over.
Cindy Reetz, who has worked for Pierce’s Express Market for more than a year, said she has talked with curious customers as they trickle in, asking questions and taking a look at the new space.
“We’ve had a lot of good compliments,” Reetz said, echoing Pierce’s assertion that all public comment so far have been positive.
Similar to the east-side location, the market also has gas pumps with a rewards card. At the original location, the gasoline tanks are emblazoned with the green “BP” logo. On the west side, it’s “Amoco.” The reason for this is simple, Pierce said. BP owns the Amoco name after a merger roughly two decades ago.
In 2017, the company announced the name would once again appear at certain gas stations and has been reappearing since. Pierce said the rewards cards for shoppers will work at either location.