Article from CBJ
Steven Prochaska, owner of the Sausage Foundry, has long seen a gap in the offerings at Cedar Rapids’ NewBo City Market.
Now, with the opening of Bohemian Grocer in a space adjacent to his current shop, he hopes to fill it, offering visitors a place to buy the locally-sourced produce, dairy and dry goods one would expect in a bustling marketplace.
“People really love local foods and no one else in the market was providing fresh produce and local dairy,” said Mr. Prochaska, who opened Bohemian Grocer with the help of a loan from the Eastern Iowa Council of Governments and Cedar Rapids Main Street. “People come to NewBo expecting what you would find at a farmers’ market, but there was nothing available consistently during market hours.”
Bohemian Grocer, which had a soft opening last month, will celebrate its grand opening this weekend offering produce from Jupiter Ridge and Bass farms, dairy from Kalona Supernatural, Dan & Debbie’s Creamery and Country View Dairy, and a slew of other local products from Urban Greens salad mixes and Old Capitol Tofu to 19 types of kimchi and sauerkraut from Agri-Cultured in Waukee. The shop will also feature Frontier Herbs and products, baking mixes from Wildwood Farms and four types of Bloody Mary mix from Iowa City-based Hair of the Dawg.
“I’m currently at 95 percent Iowa products,” Mr. Prochaska said, adding he hopes to bring that number up even higher in the weeks and months ahead. “I’ve been in business with the Sausage Foundry for three years and have always wanted to carry Iowa products. People really love local foods and there is no one else in the market bringing them all together.”
Mr. Prochaska said he hopes to prove his idea is viable and eventually open a stand-alone location elsewhere in the NewBo area.
“I could really expand into deli and beer and wine,” he said. “But that’s at least several years out and it all depends on how the NewBo area continues to develop.”
The first 50 customers at Bohemian Grocer’s grand opening this weekend will receive a custom reusable shopping bag. The shop is open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays.