The Story Behind Beer and Wine

Maple City Market is pleased to announce that Beer & Wine is now available for sale at the store, a milestone in the Co-op’s 49-year history!

The beer display went up last week, and we’re planning to build our wine display just in time for Mother’s Day this weekend. We’re excited about the new addition and confident that those customers who are looking for beer & wine will find a small, well-curated, reasonably-priced, and easy-to-shop selection to compliment your meals. 

The Co-op’s Board and Management had for a long time been in discussion about the Co-op potentially purchasing a permit if it were to become available. Beer & Wine permits for grocery stores are very difficult to obtain, especially for small independent stores. The state limits the number of permits available in any given jurisdiction, and when permits become available they are sold at a state auction. A permit became available in 2017, but with little cash in the bank we were not successful. At the end of 2023, the state released several new grocery permits across the state, including in Goshen, and this time around we successfully secured a permit. 

All that said, we are very aware that not all of our customers embrace the Co-op selling beer & wine. In 2015, the co-op conducted a member survey to gauge the opinion of our members about selling alcohol. The results indicated that roughly half our customers were in favor, roughly half were indifferent (i.e. not opposed), and that a very small percentage were opposed. The survey reinforced for us that we should include beer & wine in our future plans so that we can better satisfy our members. But we also hope that any members who may be opposed will still feel comfortable and welcomed while shopping at the Co-op. 

We like to think of Beer & Wine as a compliment to the food we sell. In terms of Beer, our aim is to curate a dynamic set, largely sourced from local & regional breweries. In fact, the Co-op’s beer selection has more local suppliers than any other category in the entire store, with Goshen Brewing Company being our closest vendor at only four blocks away! Currently we carry beers from breweries in Chicago, Muenster, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Indianapolis and more. We recently added Harry Stuff brewing from Wawaka, Indiana, and are looking to add even more local beers to the set. 

Our wines (while not locally sourced) will feature several producers who employ organic and/or biodynamic growing practices. We’re especially focusing our selection on wines from Spain, Portugal, and Italy, as well as other wine producing regions, such as California, Oregon, and New Zealand. We won’t have any local or regional wines to start, but we will be looking to add some Indiana and/or Michigan wines soon. When you shop for wine at MCM, you will not find the same familiar brands found in nearby larger stores. But we’re very confident that our wines will exceed the quality found elsewhere, at reasonable prices, and we encourage you to be adventurous and give them a try!

We’ve regularly heard from many of our customers that they would like to see Beer & Wine on our shelves. We hope you will appreciate not having to go elsewhere to make these purchases, and of course we will very much appreciate your beer and wine dollars being spent here at our locally-owned Co-op. We believe that in the long-term, beer & wine will help attract customers and better position our Co-op for future growth. Your feedback of all forms is welcomed as we start down this new journey in Maple City Market’s grocery adventure. 

Bon Appetit & Cheers!

The Story Behind Beer and Wine
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