Kwik Trip Sets Up New Test Kitchen to Explore Take-Home Meals

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LA CROSSE, Wis. — Kwik Trip plans to open a test kitchen to develop new foodservice products in Onalaska, Wis.

The city has issued permits for electrical and plumbing work at 910 Second Ave. N., formerly home to the Two Beagles Brewpub, reported the La Crosse Tribune.

The convenience retailer is leasing the site, not purchasing it, according to company spokesman John McHugh. It will not be open to the public.

"Until we expand our commissary we are going to use this smaller facility as a test kitchen," McHugh said

Kwik Trip expects to at least double the size of its current 60,000-square-foot commissary, which is located in north La Crosse and makes sandwiches, pizzas, salads and other fresh food items. The start of construction is approximately a year away and will likely take 12 to 16 months to complete.

The chain is currently experimenting with fried chicken at several stores, as well as side dishes like beans, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese.

"If that takes off, we're hoping that would evolve into take-home meals," said Carl Rick, leadership development specialist for Kwik Trip.

If such meals are successful, Kwik Trip will need extra commissary space for larger scale production. In the meantime, the test kitchen will be used to test how the company can create additional food offerings associated with its fried chicken program.

La Crosse-based Kwik Trip operates more than 560 convenience stores in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.