No one has ever been able to label Inovasi’s Executive Chef John des Rosiers as a man with small ideas. Though his restaurant is located in the far northern suburb of Lake Bluff, he’s been able to land some great reviews and attract a lot of attention with his blog. We kind of figured he’d use his notoriety to make a move downtown (or open a food truck), but it looks like he has far different plans. He just announced that he’ll be taking the Charlie Trotter route and open a food store called Wisma. The name means “home” in Indonesian, and according to the press release it will be “stocked with sustainable, fresh and locally sourced foods.” The first one will open in December right next to Inovasi. But unlike Trotter's to Go in Lincoln Park, des Rosiers has already drawn up plans to expand throughout the whole Chicago region.
He claims that he wants to “change the way we all eat at home," and hopes to do that by offering a collection of ready-to-serve meals including “soups, sandwiches, ice creams, pastas, sauces, charcuterie, salads and more.” There will even be a collection of wines, all for $19 or less.
The press release also notes that the Lake Bluff location will be the “home base for what des Rosiers envisions will become a line of stores.” According to Eater, the second location should open in Libertyville or Highland Park within 14 months. Then he’ll continue open three to six new outlets in the suburbs every year, with a potential goal of 20 to 25 total. Some of those will even be in the city limits.
It’s an epic plan. We can’t wait to see how the first store turns out.