Experience Downtown Blog

More than a Market: a downtown grocery store manager helps MKE a difference

May 15, 2020 /   Anthony Metro Market

The Heroes Project salutes those who MKE a difference. To engage with our community virtually, we've documented the stories of downtown's frontline heroes who ultimately inspired our next mural project. The mural, titled "The Hero in You," by Milwaukee artist Ken Brown will transform MacArthur Square this June. For more details, visit www.milwaukeedowntown.com/art. Photography for Milwaukee Downtown by Andrew Feller. 

No matter what changes are thrown his way, Metro Market Store Director Anthony Kuchinsky keeps customer and employee safety a top priority. Like many other business leaders, Anthony quickly adapted his store to the reality of COVID-19, identifying the crucial role that his grocery store plays in the community. For Anthony, this meant new safety measures and good communication with the store's team.

Metro Market - located on Van Buren & Juneau - is heavily used by downtown's residents and workforce. Needing to safely satisfy his community's need for groceries, Anthony changed how the store operated.

"We are doing everything we can to keep our team here safe while ensuring the store is refilled and ready for our customers each day," explains Anthony.

Now, all employees wear masks and gloves, and work stations are frequently sanitized. Metro Market also limits the number of customers allowed in the store at one time.

Anthony's respect for strong communication is what has helped him maintain crucial connections with his suppliers. These connections ensure Metro Market has products available for customers who need them.

The risks of public-facing professions aren't unfamiliar territory for Anthony, whose wife is also on the frontlines working in healthcare. Even though this means added cleaning and laundry for the couple, Anthony and his wife do what they can to help others.

Taking social distancing seriously, Anthony and his wife remain home until duty calls - whether to work or on a walk with their dog. For better or worse, the couple accepts how their dinner and concert date nights are temporarily on hold. But together, Anthony and his wife find ways to persevere.

Going forward, Anthony knows these collective efforts will not be forgotten. With admiration, Anthony speaks of his team: "The thing I will remember most is how the store team rose to the occasion. Their sense of pride in taking care of the community is evident; I can see it in our store and in how they tackle their job, embracing every change."

Anthony's respect for his team stems from the impact they have on the Milwaukee community. He emphasizes that everyone at Metro Market knows the importance of grocery stores to a community's vitality. Anthony leads from the belief that his team's contributions bring normalcy back into people's lives. This inspiration keeps the store running, and the positive recognition Metro Market receives is a well-earned benefit for a team of heroes at work.

 About the author: Claire Barten is Milwaukee Downtown's Special Events & Marketing Intern, spreading Milwaukee Downtown's community ideals through social media and other engaging platforms.

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