T.A. Solberg Co. Inc./Trig’s

“Trig’s is considered more of a collection than a chain,” the company says. “Each store is designed to uniquely serve its community in a very personal and committed way, taking on the personality of its region. But most importantly, Trig’s goal is to make sure you get the best service no matter what.”

The company was established in 1971 when Trygve (Trig) and Tula Solberg opened a small store in Land O’Lakes, Wis. Since then, the business expanded and T.A. Solberg now operates Trig’s stores in the northern Wisconsin communities of Rhinelander, Minocqua, Eagle River, Wausau, Stevens Point, Weston, Manitowish Waters and Tomahawk. The company also owns and operates Trig’s Village Market in Manitowish Waters; Tula’s Café in Minocqua and Rhinelander; several fuel and convenience stores in northern and central Wisconsin; Trig’s central bakery and trucking facility; Trig’s recycling center; the Tasmania Northwoods Resort; and the Twice is Nice consignment store in Rhinelander.

“Trig’s will be the No. 1 service-oriented retailer in the markets we serve,” the company says in its mission statement. “We will go out of our way to serve our customers better than any other retailer in the community. Together, our team strives to exceed customer expectations through: highly trained associates who are eager to provide immediate attention; an unmatched selection of the highest-quality, freshest foods at fair and competitive prices; and an enjoyable shopping experience in a spotless store environment.”

A One-Stop Shop

With its grocery store, Trig’s aims to be a complete one-stop shop with an extensive deli, service meat counter, the Cellar 70 wine and spirits department, and a full-service Healthmart pharmacy at every location. Additionally, Trig’s strives to make life easier for its customers by offering amenities such as free Wi-Fi, as well as a diverse range of services, including:

* Trig’s Shell – The company’s gas stations are located at many of its grocery stores, and most of the gas stations also have convenience stores. Through its Pump Perks program, customers can earn a one-cent discount off their fuel purchases for every $10 they spend in Trig’s stores.  

* Wisconsin Department of Transportation – Trig’s is a Wisconsin DMV authorized service center where customers can renew their license plate registrations. Customers simply need to bring their renewal notice to a Trig’s service desk and pay the fee. 

* Trig’s Floral & Home – With a passion for flowers, associates demonstrate their years of experience with fresh flowers and arrangements, healthy plants, balloons, cards, home décor and more. Customers can order flowers in the stores or online, and Floral & Home is happy to work with Trig’s deli, bakery, meat department and Cellar 70 to help customers create memorable occasions. 

Trig’s Cellar 70 department is known as the place to pick up a six pack of beer for a fishing trip, or to get wine and spirits for an event. Each Cellar 70 has thousands of varieties of wine in stock and a staff of aficionados who can provide advice in selecting wine to pair with dinner or accompany an event. 

“Cellar 70 got its name from our first location in Minocqua on Highway 70,” Trig’s says. “Originally a small section within the store, Cellar 70 became an entire department dedicated to wines, craft beers and spirits. The popularity of Cellar 70 has led to expanded selections at all Trig’s stores. The Cellar 70 experience is a relaxing, pleasant interlude in a beautiful environment of arched cedar ceilings and subtle lighting.”

The company stresses that in addition to being a one-stop shop, Trig’s is dedicated to offering a high level of service. It succeeds in this effort by hiring friendly members of its communities. “At Trig’s, customer service is our top priority,” the company says. “As a result, we fill our company with friendly, highly motivated and responsible associates dedicated and empowered to meet the needs of our customers. 

“Trig’s applies the same kind of service to our associates as we do our customers,” the company adds. “All our associates receive competitive wages, paid training and career advancement opportunities, and an associate discount.”

Diverse Operations

For all its offerings and services, Trig’s is well known in the Northwoods. But T.A. Solberg also serves its Wisconsin communities with related operations. One of which is Trig’s Village Market, located in Manitowish Waters. The goal with Village Market is to be a family supermarket that combines the best of freshness and quality with the traditional values and unparalleled service of a neighborhood grocer. 

Village Market says its six passions are:

* Being in the hospitality business;

* Respecting traditional values;

* Fresh, high-quality products remain at the center of its business;

* Wanting guests to shop there; 

* Making friendly, personal, top-notch service a priority; and 

* Maintaining roots in the community. 

“The name Village Market was an easy one to adopt,” the company says. “It invokes images of old agricultural societies that collectively yield fresh produce, meat and dairy products for the community. Teams of people work together to make sure everyone in the village is taken care of. 

“At the heart of every village is a market – the pulse of society,” the company adds. “The shopkeeper greets you with a warm smile and is always sure to ask how your family is doing. The meat cutter knows exactly how you want your steaks cut. The baker offers fresh breads and sweets for you to bring home. Fruits and vegetables seem like they came from the garden; the milk straight from the farm. While strolling through the market, you run into friends, family and co-workers and catch up on the latest events. At Village Market, we live and breathe these traditional values every single day.”

The company also has expanded with Trig’s Smokehouse. Known as a “creator of the authentic Northwood’s smoked meats experience,” the Smokehouse was established in 1990 in a little room in the meat department of the Trig’s store in Rhinelander. The operation focused on quality and serving customers with the best, and by 2010, the Smokehouse Fresh Bratwurst was named the World’s Best Bratwurst and Fan Favorite at the World’s Best Brat Competition in Watertown, Wis. In the same year, Trig’s brats were named Grand Champion by the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors. 

Demand for the brats and smoked meats soon outpaced supply, so Trig’s opened the 29,000-square-foot Smokehouse in Rhinelander in 2012. By 2014, the Smokehouse became federally licensed and has a FDA inspector at its facility daily. That same year, the Smokehouse’s manager Jamie Cline completed his Master Meat Crafter certification to underscore the brand’s dedication to quality. 

“Don’t let our quaint Northwood’s Wisconsin atmosphere fool you,” the Smokehouse says. “The award-winning Trig’s Smokehouse creates nearly 100 varieties of the freshest smoked sausages, hams, bacons, beef sticks and award-winning brats all year round, right here in Rhinelander, Wis. We teamed up with a Wisconsin spice company to put our expertise together to create our mouthwatering secret recipes of all our Smokehouse masterpieces.”

The Smokehouse notes its vision is to become the preferred national brand of smoked meats. “Our mission is to make quality products without compromise that delight our customers and help us grow into a national brand that creates local jobs back home and across the United States,” it says.