[Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the Vilas County Economic Development Corporation e-newsletter. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were only recently able to receive the recognition plaque. The LDF Country Market team is proud to serve the community, keeping supplies flowing during the pandemic. Thank you to everyone who has come together to make this possible.]

Congratulations to the new $3.3 million Country Market in Lac du Flambeau (LdF) for being selected as the VCEDC July Business of the Month. According to Melissa Doud, LDF Business Development Corp. Interim COO, the Country Market which opened in June, has enhanced the entire shopping experience.

“The community is in awe at the new modern market and retail center,” said Doud. The expanded grocery store, gas station, and smoke shop are now being combined into one building. Doud noted that the gas station will be completed in the coming months.

“Once inside the doors you are guided into the beautiful produce section, and then the pathway takes you into the meat section where we now offer a larger selection of items. There is also a new robust coffee bar, a nice seating area to sit and enjoy your deli selection, and there are native crafts sold by local artists including beaded jewelry and Pendleton clothing.”

Doud added that the Country Market will benefit the entire region, not just the Lac du Flambeau tribe. “It is definitely a destination for a wonderful shopping experience.”

Prior to the new market there were two different retail operations selling the same thing, “and so we thought we could put the gas station, country market and smoke shop under one roof,” Doud said.

According to Emerson Coy, LdF Director of Planning and Development, the Tribal Council took the utmost safety precautions during construction. “The Tribal Council met often via Zoom and our emergency plan for an incident command center was set into place for the safety of the entire community,” said Coy. “Administration, Tribal Officers, Incident Command, Planning & Grants Team, and the LdF UW-Extension met to plan, secure funding, and develop new policies. It was a team effort.”  Due to Covid-19 masks are required for both staff and customers.

Doud affirmed that the reaction from the community has only been positive.

“The community members have expressed how proud they are. And the staff are really proud, we have true champions that work here,” said Doud.