Idled after Baensch Food Products Co. began entirely using co-packers for its herring products, the company’s 9,650 square-foot building at 1025 E. Locust St. in Riverwest, has been listed for sale.
Baensch bought the building in 1946 from Cudahy Brothers, who had built it in 1914 as a meat storage facility on land purchased that year from Schlitz Brewing Co.
Schlitz purchased the site in 1891.
The property has been owned since 1999 by Kim Wall, who owns Baensch Food Products Co.
“This facility has been a loyal and beloved part of our company’s food packing operation,” says Wall. “Now it’s time to pass it along to someone or group who will take good care of it.”
The building has been listed with agent Bill Langhoff at Colliers,
“This redevelopment or adaptive re-use is a one-of-a-kind opportunity in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood,” he said.
Although the company’s packaging operation moved to a partner facility in Minnesota last year – the product has been co-packed with partners since 2004 – the Baensch corporate headquarters will remain in Milwaukee County.
An auction of equipment still inside the building is underway online.
“Ma Baensch Marinated Herring has been a long-time staple on tables throughout Wisconsin and the Midwest, delighting our loyal customers for decades,” said Wall.
“This transition has been seamless for our customers. The same delicious herring that they have come to expect is still being offered in the same packaging, using the same recipes and herring, at our same grocery partners’ locations.”
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.