With places like Eataly and FoodParc opening in New York, it's only time before gourmet groceries start popping up around Chicago. Cleetus Friedman opened City Provision's Deli last month and now Inovasi's John Des Rosiers is getting a jump on the suburbs with Wisma.
Meaning "home" in Indonesian (Inovasi means "innovation," so des Rosiers stuck with that vibe), Wisma will provide busy people with healthy food options. "The food that we eat in our homes, that we don't take the time to cook ourselves, just isn't good enough," des Rosiers said. "The idea behind Wisma is to change all that. We will use fresh, sustainable, local ingredients. Everything is made fresh, including ice cream, dressings, etc. It's to fill your fridge with good food. [Wisma] fills in all different kinds of gaps." Des Rosiers is aiming for a mid-December opening.
All the prepared food made at Wisma will be fresh, but packaged to take home. They won't, however, offer fresh meat or fish for you to prepare yourself—at least not yet. The idea is to take the burden off people so they can simply sit down, relax, eat and enjoy. You can pick up everything from pastas, sandwiches and salads to charcuterie, antipasti, marinades and desserts. Wisma will also offer 25 bottles of beer and wine, all under $20, from around the globe. And if you're unsure if you'll like a certain wine, they'll open it for you to taste. How very Trader Joe's.
Wisma will eventually allow people to pre-order and pay through their website and mobile apps so all you have to do is pop in, grab and go. The first location will be 1,100 square feet and will open next to Inovasi in Lake Bluff, Ill. Hoping to become a chain, the plan is to open locations in Lake Forest and either Libertyville or Highland Park (or both) within the first 14 months. Des Rosiers's goal is to then open three to six stores a year after that and eventually get on track to do 10 a year to eventually have 20-25 in the Chicago area with stores opening in the city within three years.
And following with the sustainable trend, all the containers used on site will be recyclable, reusable and microwave- and freezer-safe. The store itself will be constructed of all reclaimed materials, even the cooking equipment, and the seating area will be mismatched pieces found in various places. Just like your home.
· Wisma's Official Site [still under construction]