Louisville Magazine

AUG 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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keeplouisvilleweird.com 18 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.18 LIBA Partner Pages valumarket.com Variety is indeed the spice of life, and no one knows that better than James Neumann. "We are true neighborhood markets," says Neuman, vice president of ValuMarket. "We are true students of our communities. And we try to source things as locally as we can." Take for example ValuMarket's location in Iroquois Manor shopping center where more than half of the customers are international, hailing from places like Cuba, Bosnia, Vietnam and Muslim regions of Africa. "We have a mosque next door, and we've really had to learn a lot about food at that location," Neumann says. "We sell halal meats, which are Muslim meats that are the equivalent of Jewish kosher. Twenty years ago, we thought we could sell Ortega taco shells and that was all. Boy did we have a lot to learn about our Cuban and Hipsanic customers." While big chain grocery stores have small sections discreetly labeled "international," ValuMarket's four locations around Louisville drill down deeply into surrounding neighborhoods' tastes when deciding how to stock their shelves. "At our Iroquois location, we have a Lebanese- owned Mediterranean restaurant, a Cuban bakery and an African coffee shop close by," Neumann says. "We have to be relevant." Switch lenses. At ValuMarket's Highlands location in Mid-City Mall on trendy Bardstown Road, the store sells sushi, quinoa, a vast array of organic produce and dozens of brands of craft beer. A conversation with James Neumann, vice president of ValuMarket By Rachel Reynolds "We sell more beer than frozen foods at that location," Neumann says. "Our customers there include not only vegetarians but also people who like to cook. They shop three times a week for fresh produce." At ValuMarket's Mount Washington location, customers tend to have rural generational ties along with others who are more suburban. It also trends a little higher with senior citizens because the store is smaller and easier to navigate. ValuMarket's Outer Loop location in the Highview area tends to have a similar customer base, but more Hispanic customers. "It's interesting to see the migration patterns of our customers and therefore the migration patterns in Louisville," Neumann says. "Immigrants first rent apartments, then buy small houses and then move on to larger homes." Neumann, who is originally from Wisconsin and owns the grocery chain with his brother Greg, acknowledges that ValuMarket has some "incredibly strong" competition from Kroger, Meijer, Aldi, Trader Joe's and even dollar stores. "Kroger is the largest grocery chain in the nation," Neumann says. "And the German company Aldi is the most aggressive pricer. The companies we are competing with now have just enormous pockets. And they're good at what they do." So keep it local, Louisville. And mix it up. Looking for an authentic experience outside your comfort zone? Check out a ValuMarket in a different location from where you live.

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