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A List Food Market

Marketing minded entrepreneur Jena Mielke saw a disconnect between the traditional grocery store model and modern lifestyle. Drawing on her childhood, her life as a busy mother of three and her passion for empowering others to manage life with the goal of truly enjoying life’s gifts, the idea for A-List Food Market was born.


A-List Food Market Story with Founder, Jena Mielke

The new way to shop for groceries

Times are changing. So why should grocery shopping stay the same?

Marketing minded entrepreneur Jena Mielke saw a disconnect between the traditional grocery store model and modern lifestyle. Drawing on her childhood, her life as a busy mother of three and her passion for empowering others to manage life with the goal of truly enjoying life’s gifts, the idea for A-List Food Market was born.


As a child, Jena’s grandfather used to frequent the Eggery: a shack-like drive-up convenience store. She vividly recalls the attendant stepping out from the sliding patio door to take notes of the request, going back inside and reemerging to load his milk, bread, eggs, and maybe a few other unhealthy provisions into the trunk. Fast forward to 2007: two children, car seats with thousands of buckles, a husband working full time plus completing his Ph.D. and a grocery trip to conquer. Longing for such a place as the Eggery and following the birth of a third child, Jena was finally ready to bring this vision to fruition. Last December, she made a phone call that sparked it all.

She started by seeking insight. She has been speaking with nearly a dozen experienced professionals that have guided her on everything she finds important in starting her business: legal counsel, food distribution experts, a grocery retail designer, commercial brokers and more. She has nearly assembled the sum of all these resources and is set to open the first A-List Food Market location in Pewaukee on June 16, 2016.

Unlike most other industries, the grocery industry has not evolved to accommodate the modern lifestyle. Having identified a need for an alternative to the traditional grocery shopping process, Jena has created a solution that will make customers wonder why they were slaves to the traditional supermarket, wasting valuable time and money on a weekly basis.

Let’s think about the traditional supermarket. The average customer enters the grocery store either unprepared or dreading this monotonous, reoccurring experience. Customers know their basic needs but often lack focus and direction, thus leading to wasted time and money. Even with a well thought-out list they are still left to their own devices to navigate, often crisscrossing the store with old, bad knees or young children in tow to gather ingredients or items that are often obscurely categorized. However, the true goal of entering a grocery store should be to make informed choices while fulfilling families’ dietary needs and stay within a budget, not a place where you spend time hunting for and gathering various items. Even more so, the traditional supermarket does little to facilitate the meal planning process.

Well, by no means will this be just another grocery store. A-List Food Market is the innovative grocery shopping solution to simplify and connect your modern lifestyle so you may focus on your traditional family values. It is both an innovative online grocery store and a physical store experience where one can find all of the ingredients for a given recipe all in one location. It mitigates the supermarket dash the customer has become accustomed to but no longer has time for.

Jena wants customers to get the satisfaction of providing their families with home cooked meals without having all the hassle. A-List Food Market is a custom grocer that will sell groceries merchandised by recipe ingredients and pre-selected meal bundles while also providing the freedom of selecting individual items with online ordering for in-store and curb-side pick-up.

Some of its features? A multi-sensory shopping experience featuring groceries merchandised by recipe, tasting areas, specialty groceries, wine as well as more common, daily used items. A “coffee shop feel” with a juice bar and mini iPads to complete in-store ordering. Customers can select recipes and have the ingredients automatically added to their virtual cart and prepared for pickup, with the option to deselect the items they may not need.

It doesn’t stop there. A-List shoppers will also have the option of scheduling the recipe in a meal planning calendar. They can receive the recipe via email along with reminders of when they scheduled the recipes or instead choose to receive a copy of the recipe at pick-up

Jena has brought together a group of culinary and dietary experts to help compile a list of recipes that will be offered next summer and fall. The hope to breathe new life into the weekly meal plans of families and professionals alike. A-List Food Market will provide familiar recipes with a slight twist for customers who don’t care for a culinary challenge, as well as recipes that will offer something new and different, which so many households are looking for.

Jena still knows there is work to be done. Some of the next steps include plugging in the final startup costs and finishing the pro forma figures for the financing committee. Once that process is complete, a web developer will get to work on building a website.

A-List’s marketing vision will begin to roll out in late April, planting the seed in customers’ minds how, why and what A-List Food Market really is. Construction at the store site will begin in March. The to-do list goes on, but Jena has kept it organized. She if fully aware that this, just like any entrepreneurial endeavor, is a learning process. As questions arise, it is vital to continue to look for the right next step. For Jena,creating this business is never a question of whether or not it is possible. Rather, it is about whether or not you choose to do what it takes to make it possible.

To owner Jena Mielke, truly the most important thing about A-List Food Market is the charitable component. She is finalizing the exact details, but envisions when a customer buys a meal, A-List Food Market will give a meal to a child in need. The foundation of what continues to motivate Jena to turn her business idea into a reality is not only to provide a valuable service for customers, but also give to those in need.

A-List Food Market. Enlist in their help and you’ll never be unprepared for dinner

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