We trace our grocery store roots all the way back to 1926.
After immigrating to Milwaukee from Sant’Elia, Sicily, the Balistreri family began peddling quality fruits and vegetables by horse-drawn wagon. This began on the northeast side of Milwaukee, and eventually led to the opening of produce markets on Oakland and Downer avenues. In 1949, Grandpa Tom Balistreri — simply and affectionately known at Sendik’s as Mr. B — opened a third Sendik’s fruit and vegetable market on the corner of Silver Spring and Lake drives in the heart of Whitefish Bay. The store became known for honesty and integrity in treating customers and suppliers with courtesy and respect. The business flourished.
Before long, Tom was joined in the business by his two sons, Ted and Tom Jr. In the early 1970s, the brothers took over the operation, and in 1975, the store expanded to include groceries, meat, deli, dairy, bakery, and wine and spirits. During this time of growth, the store’s reputation for quality products and customer service grew, drawing customers from all over Milwaukee and surrounding communities. In 2001, the third generation of family owners began building on the strong, 75-year history Sendik’s had established in the community as the trusted, local grocer.
What does “sendik” mean?
The name Sendik’s is derived from a simple misunderstanding. As new immigrants to America, the family needed to acquire many household items. While attempting to purchase a stove, Great Grandpa Balistreri overcame the language barrier and asked the clerk to “send it” to him. To the salesman, it sounded like Great Grandpa was saying “Sendik,” which is the name that was written on the order. When the stove arrived, the delivery person asked some neighbors where he could find “Mr. Sendik.” They pointed him in Great Grandpa’s direction because they knew he was expecting a stove. Great Grandpa became known as Mr. Sendik, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Sendik’s on the Eastside
January 1, 1926
After years as selling produce from a wagon, our first store opens on Milwaukee’s east side.
Sendik’s Whitefish Bay
July 19, 1949
Our flagship store in Whitefish Bay has been proudly serving the community since 1949.
March 23, 2004
Second to join the Sendik’s family was our Wauwatosa store.
April 28, 2004
Our Mequon location closely followed our Wauwatosa store with an opening date of April 28, 2004.
October 1, 2005
Sendik’s Grafton was the 4th store to open its doors to the community.
Sendik’s Elm Grove
September 5, 2007
Two years later, our 5th location, Sendik’s Elm Grove, was established.
October 31, 2007
Sendik’s in Franklin was the first Sendik’s Food Market serving the Milwaukee southside community in October 31, 2007.
May 15, 2008
Our Greenfield store was the second Sendik’s Food Market to serve Milwaukee’s southside.
September 4, 2008
Sendik’s in Germantown was our eighth store to open it’s doors to the area on September 4, 2008.
Sendik’s New Berlin
October 14, 2010
We met our New Berlin neighbors on October 14, 2010.
Sendik’s West Bend
November 9, 2011
Our West Bend location, the furthest from all of it’s siblings, was established on November 9, 2011.
Sendik’s Bayside Fresh2GO
August 13, 2013
Our very first Sendik’s Fresh2GO convenient store opened on August 13, 2013 in Bayside, focusing on fast, fresh, grab-on-the-go quality products.
May 15, 2014
The 12th Sendik’s Food Market officially opened in May 15, 2014.
Sendik’s Greendale Fresh2GO
March 14, 2017
Our second Fresh2GO location opened on March 14, 2017.
Sendik’s Brookfield – The Corners
April 23, 2017
Our location in The Corners of Brookfield opened on April 23, 2017.
Sendik’s Waukesha – Meadowbrook
June 24, 2017
We met our Waukesha neighbors on June 24, 2017.
Sendik’s Hales Corners Fresh2GO
July 7, 2017
Sendik’s Hales Corners Fresh2GO opened on July 7, 2017!
Sendik’s Marquette Fresh2GO
August 21, 2017
Sendik’s Marquette Fresh2GO opens on Marquette University’s campus!
June 11, 2019
Sendik’s at The Corners of Brookfield and Hales Corners Fresh2GO undergo remodels.
October 19, 2022
Sendik’s Oconomowoc is the newest addition to the Sendik’s family!