After 84 years of activity, the butcher’s shop in Knoche is for sale | food drink


The historic West Side butcher shop and grocery store Knoche’s Food Center hit the market on Friday after 84 years in business. Co-owner Steve Knoche, whose grandparents opened the shop in 1938, said he and his wife Stephanie Knoche had previously worked to sell the business before putting it up for public sale.

“We’ve been on sale for a while, but on a confidential basis,” Steve Knoche said by phone Tuesday between screenings. “Now that we’ve put it online, everyone wants to buy it.” He said they would show the business to three other potential buyers on Tuesday evening.

Knoche’s father and uncles took over the shop from their parents. Steve and Stéphanie Knoche, the third generation, took over as sole owners nearly 25 years ago.

“It’s time for me to retire,” said Steve Knoche, 55, after he started stocking the store’s shelves. Still, he says, “it’s kind of hard to get rid of it.”

He hopes to find an owner who will take over the store’s retail operations and its thriving wholesale business. According to the owners, Knoche’s sells meat to about 65 local restaurants and bars, many of which “proudly” put the company’s name on their menus.

“We’re just trying to see who’s going to fit in well so we can keep the Knoche name. … We’re pretty well known in the Madison area for having the best meat market in town, so we’re trying to maintain that.

According to an online listing, the asking price of $450,000 includes the 5,700-square-foot 1922 building at 5372 Old Middleton Road, as well as the business name, inventory, customer lists, equipment and vehicles. The sale also includes “the option to take over” the company’s various alcohol, food, tobacco and meat sales licenses.

“Awards to give new owners the opportunity to succeed,” the listing reads. “Continue the legacy or build your own.”

The company and its neighbors have faced road construction challenges since April, with construction on Old Middleton Road expected to continue into the fall. The owners told the Wisconsin State Journal in July that the construction could be responsible for a drop in retail sales at the store, but the business was doing well thanks to its booming wholesale business. They said they were so busy with bulk orders that they had to turn away potential new wholesale customers.






Hoping to keep Knoche’s name alive, the owners of the West Side Butcher Shop that supplies meat to about 65 Madison-area bars and restaurants put it up for sale on Friday.




Confirmed rumors

The sale had been rumored for weeks but the owners had remained silent until Monday, when Stephanie Knoche announced “the end of an era” in a post on her personal Facebook page.

“It is with extremely heavy hearts that Steve and I have decided to put Knoche’s up for sale,” she wrote. “We are extremely proud of our small store, our reputation for quality meats and the wholesale business we have built, selling meat to approximately 65 bars and restaurants in and around Madison.

“Our greatest hope is to find a new owner who will continue with the quality and service we provide. We feel we have a responsibility to do our best to make this happen. The loyalty our retail and wholesale customers have shown us over the years is not something we take lightly.

She thanked the company’s employees, whom she called “small in numbers” but “great in dedication”, for “staying with us through this transition not knowing what the end will be like.”

“Owning a small business is a lot of work,” she writes. “It certainly hasn’t always been easy (meaningful things rarely are), but it has ALWAYS been worth it.”

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