- Martin's Super Markets worked with popular Michigan brewery Greenbush to open a location next to one of its grocery stores in South Bend, Indiana, according to the South Bend Tribune. The collaboration coincides with a multimillion-dollar renovation of the Martin's location, which includes a market-style produce department, expanded liquor selection and a grilling service in the meat department.
- The Greenbush brewery will feature 14 signature brews as well as rotating guest taps and cider. Its mug club allows up to 250 guests to have a custom mug made by a local potter to be used at the brewery.
- Greenbush, based in Sawyer, Michigan, determined many of its customers were coming from South Bend, which led to its agreement to partner with Martin’s for its second location.
According to local reports, Martin's initially considered building a restaurant in the vacant space next to the store. But the company decided instead to encourage Greenbush, which has a loyal following in the South Bend area, to claim the space.
"At the end of the day, we’re really good at selling groceries and doing food service at the deli," Amy McClellan, senior vice president of Martin’s Super Markets and division vice president of retail at SpartanNash, told MiBiz.
Although the businesses have separate entrances — a requirement under Indiana state law — a glass wall allows Martin's patrons to peek in at the brewery. The spirit of collaboration extends to each businesses' assortment. Greenbush has no kitchen space in the new location, so will carry prepared offerings from Martin's Side Door deli area, the brewery's co-owner, Scott Sullivan, told MiBiz. Martin's will carry Greenbush's branded products, like barbecue sauce, in its store.
Greenbush patrons will be able to look in at a transformed Martin's location. There's the company's Smokehouse Signature BBQ and Crushed Tomato Artisan Pizza stations inside its deli department. Martin's has also added more prepared food items, introduced a produce butcher and unveiled a remodeled Starbucks.
Grocers and restaurants have been partnering at an increasing rate as both cope with competition and shifting consumer demands. Craft beer has proven to be a way to win diners over, with the number of brewpubs more than doubling between 2012 and 2018, according to the Brewers Association.
Whole Foods is considered one of the pioneers of in-store bars featuring beer and wine, most recently adding a rooftop bar at its flagship Atlanta location. Other retailers banking on booze include Albertsons, which features full-service bars serving cocktails, local beer and wine at two flagship stores in the Boise, Idaho, area. Kroger's Kitchen 1883 restaurants feature hand-crafted cocktails.