A new organic takeout food store will be coming to Libertyville on March 1. Wisma No. 2 is the brainchild of John des Rosiers, executive chef and proprietor of Inovasi, which was named Chicago Magazine’s Best New Restaurants 2010.
It was only ten weeks ago that des Rosiers introduced Wisma in Lake Bluff. Wisma, which means home in Indonesia, will feature a line of fully prepared, upscale – yet affordable – meals designed for busy lifestyles. The meals will be made fresh every day and the store will also offer a variety of beers and more than 20 different bottles of wine, each for under $20.
The chef is confident that the store can change how people eat at home, and encourage people to eat healthier when dining out. If you don’t believe it, he wants to prove it.
”[Since] a lot of people don’t want to buy a big bottle of wine if they have never tried it before, we will have bottles open every day so you can try it before buying the bottle. This guarantees you will like it,” des Rosiers said.
Des Rosiers, a chef with more than 18-years of experience, wants customers to savor the surroundings as much as they do the food and drinks — that’s why only 15 percent of the floor space at Lake Bluff’s Wisma is dedicated to retail and the rest is devoted to atmosphere.
Libertyville’s store will have the same trademarked green Wisma color, signature plump buoyant lights and recycled containers that can go from microwave to freezer. The store will give a $5 credit to customers who return 10 food containers.
The new location, however, will be 45 percent bigger than the Lake Bluff location and 92 percent of the décor will be made from reclaimed items.
“We want people to have an emotional attachment to the store, to be greeted by friendly welcoming people, in a comfortable atmosphere, where customers know they can kick back,” des Rosiers said.
Des Rosiers also followed the reclaiming theme when he was scouting for a location in Libertyville. He selected the old hotel on 528 N. Milwaukee Ave., next to , because “in Libertyville we looked for a place that had history, a space that we could reclaim.”
Libertyville was also the top of his list because research showed there are more kids in households and more dual-income families.
“We also share a lot of customers with Libertyville anyway and it is geographically and logistically close, making it easy to manage,” des Rosiers said.
During a recent open house event at Lake Bluff’s Wisma, customer Amy Keller praised the store for its accessible pricing.
“The cheese is delicious and the meals are very affordable,” Keller said.
The most popular dishes at Lake Bluff’s Wisma — lamb stew and chicken lasagna —will also be available at the Libertyville location, as well as recently added gluten-free pasta dishes.
“We will be expanding the menu 25 percent before the food choices become the same at both locations,” des Rosiers said.
For more, watch the video of des Rosiers discussing his vision for Wisma.