By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Aug 24, 2005 at 5:35 AM

{image1}On a busy Monday morning, Lisa Malmarowski, Outpost Natural Foods' director of development, gave OMC a "hard hat" tour of the currently under-construction co-op that will open in mid-September inside the old Kohl's at 2826 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

"We're in a high dust-level phase around here," says Malmarowski.

The Bay View Outpost has slightly fewer square feet than the Riverwest and Wauwatosa locations, but will feature much the same products and services: natural and organic food, beer and wine, trendy-to-unique gifts and a full deli, complete with nitrate-free sliced meats.

However, it will also include a short-order restaurant, wireless café, educational space, commissary and a branch of the Brewery Credit Union. (A planned movie theater has been scrapped due to talk of re-opening the Avalon, up the street.)

"It has been really fun working with the Brewery Credit Union and to see cooperation among the two cooperatives," says Malmarowski.

{image2}Unlike the other locations, the new Outpost will sell a few "regular" products -- like Cheerios and other non-organic boxed items -- due to neighborhood peoples' requests for such wares.

The educational space will feature workshops, cooking classes and will be available for group rental.

Although wet paint signs appear sporadially, there isn't a "wet paint smell" anywhere on site. Like the products they have sold for more than three decades, the Outpost went the natural route when restoring the building, including low-VOC paint and a floor made from recycled tires and tennis shoes.

The flooring, however, was installed later than originally planned and pushed the opening date back a week or so. (Stay tuned to OMC for the exact opening date.)

With Trader Joe's and Whole Foods heading for Milwaukee, is Outpost nervous about the competition? Yes and no. Malmarowski says they recently lowered the prices of hundreds of Outpost items, but are not certain they will continue to do so since the "numbers" aren't in yet.

{image3}"We're ready (for Trader Joe's and Whole Foods)," she says. "We knew it was coming and there's enough business to go around."

Malmarowski says the most important aspect of the new Outpost is the role it will play in the Bay View community. The Kohl's space was vacant for a long time before they moved in, so the natural food store is not only rejuvenating a dead retail space but also bringing life to the less-developed south end of the neighborhood.

"We did the same thing in Riverwest 35 years ago. We made a commitment to the neighborhood, and we stayed there," she says.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.