If you’ve driven through Lac du Flambeau lately, you likely noticed the beginning ground breaking stages of a new retail center to replace the current home of LDF Country Market.
This ground breaking new expansion is a historic event for Tribal Members and for the region. Building a new retail center in Lac du Flambeau is another investment in the future of Wisconsin’s north woods by our Tribe.
For those who may not know our culture, we believe in making decisions based on how those decisions may impact our Members seven generations from today. With that in mind, we see this new expansion and retail center as a way to create jobs and provide a local shopping experience for all who live, work and play in Lac du Flambeau.
The mission of the LDF Business Development Corporation centers squarely on diversifying revenue sources outside of gaming and creating jobs and economic self-determination for the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The benefits of these efforts, however, reverberate beyond Tribal Members. The new retail development contributes to advancing our mission and the region for the future generations.
LDF Construction, a BDC business unit, is working with Tri-North Builders, where applicable, to build the brand new retail structure to house all of our retail offers: grocery, gas, smoke shop, deli, and convenience. Integrating our construction firm and its employees into the creation of our new retail center also serves the mission of job creation and self-sustainable economic futures for Members and employees alike. Across all our BDC business units, nearly half of employees are non-Tribal.
The new retail center grand opening is scheduled for June 2020, if everything goes to plan. The new all-in-one facility will provide enhanced bakery with larger meat and produce selections. The deli presentation will provide larger selections of healthy snacks, homemade and healthy meal options, and room for customers to enjoy a quick lunch by having access to seating. In addition to an improved shopping experience, shoppers should also enjoy expanded hours. We hope to maintain longer hours for the convenience side of the facility but also to extend the grocery store hours too.
As you drive by the LDF Country Market, you will see the new building footprint starting to take shape. It will be located behind the existing store location. Once complete the old store will be torn down after 20-plus years of service to Lac du Flambeau to make room for the new facility. Expanded parking and new gas station fueling lanes will accommodate the high demand often experienced. The new facility is but one area of the overall retail site plan. Other opportunities are envisioned for future growth and expansion.
Randy Soulier is COO of LDF Business Development Corporation (LDFBDC.com). His 20+ years of business experience includes leadership roles in operations and marketing. He holds degrees in Marketing and Integrative Leadership with emphasis in Human Development. Randy also serves as President of LDF Construction and is a board member for the Vilas Country Economic Development Corporation and the North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, Inc. # # #