John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
In the morning we had the opening of the South Shore Farmers Market at South Shore Park, located at 2900 S. Shore Drive, in Milwaukee, Wi. 53207. Mayor Tom Barrett was there with many local politicians and presented proclamations honoring the tenth year of the farmers market. We had mandolin players providing us with music. There was a large cake made by Dolly Merten, owner of Wild Flower Bakeries. After the proclamations were handed out, everybody was invited to get a piece of wonderful freshly baked cake. While the mandolins played on, many people sat down and listened to this wonderful music. There was a large crowd as usual, but everything was calm as always. The over 40 vendors, minus many farmers who had crop damage due to our great floods the other day, were there to greet us. There were 3 bakeries open for business there. Many plants and flowers were available to customers. There were 2 coffee vendors. Several vendors had fresh food and drinks (not alcoholic ones) to offer. Homemade brats and egg sandwiches on the grill were available. St. Ann's Intergenerational Center had homemade pies and jellies to offer. With no rain in sight, it was a wonderful day at the farmers market. Every Saturday from 8 AM to 12 Noon except for when the South Shore Frolics are there from July 11 - 13, the farmers market is open to the public.
At Groppi's Food Market, 1441 E. Russell Ave., we had a landmark ceremony from the Bay View Historical Society to honor both the Groppi Family and the Nehring Family. Many politicians were there to give their proclamations to the Nehrings and the Groppis to honor them for their fine tradition of homelike service to the public since 1913, when Giocondo and Georgina Groppi opened their food market. The Groppi's had 12 children, 2 of whom died as small children. One family member became famous as a civil rights leader in the 1960's and 1970's. This was Father Jim Groppi. All of the children worked in the store at one time or another. When Mario Groppi passed away, the work of keeping the food market open became too much for Tom and Louis Groppi. They closed for a short time and sold it to John and Anne Nehring, who also own one Sendick's Store and V. Richards Store. They agreed to keep the Groppi tradition of a homelike atmosphere alive and active and purchased the recipes for the fine Italian Sausages that the Groppi Family made throughout the years since 1913. The store was old fashioned, but you always felt like you were at home when the clerks spoke to you. Candy by the scoop and rabbit food was available at one time. Louis used to work with pigeons during World War II with the U.S. Army and continued to keep them above the store until after they sold to the Nehring Family. When you came into the store, you were frequently greeted by your first name if they knew it. It was always a pleasure to shop at Groppi's Food Market. It now is still a pleasure to shop there since many of the old traditions are still seen there. I wish that I could honor Tom and Louis Groppi and their families for all of the hard work that they did over the years without complaint. I also wish to honor the Nehring family for keeping a good Bay View tradition alive and active into the future.
I would like to thank every body who helped to make these two events a great day.