In Memoriam: Eunice Manz

Eunice Manz, a local authority on gourmet foods, died on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the age of 94.

Eunice and her husband Lawrence owned Manz’s Specialty Foods, the first shop in the Country Walk development in Sister Bay, for almost 20 years, where their love of gourmet foods and zest for life was on display for the loyal customers who soon became friends.

“None of the products in there were featured unless Eunice had personally approved of them and knew about the background of the product and had tasted it and compared it to others,” said Richard Wegner. “Every product in there was best of class.”

Photo by Dan Eggert.

Eunice and Lawrence sold the business in 2003, and soon began helping Pam and Richard Wegner with their gourmet food shop in Liberty Square. They helped the Wegners decide what to put on the shelves and soon began working behind the counter.

Wegner said he was often struck by the number of people who would drop by the store to interact with the couple, who treated the Manzes like beloved old friends.

“Eunice was an interesting personality and she knew her stuff,” Wegner said. “People felt well taken care of, they learned something, they got the product they wanted or she’d find out where they could get it and let them know.”

Eunice’s enthusiasm for gourmet food stemmed from her love of life.

“She had an absolute passion for having fun, for good living, and she had a very positive attitude about everything,” Wegner said. “She and Larry were on the go, they were having a good time. She had this incredibly powerful spirit for the love of life, the determination to go out and have as good a time as she possibly could, and by gosh she succeeded.”

Manz began her long career in food in 1970, when she began managing a store in Whitefish Bay. Then, in 1977 she and her husband Lawrence moved to Cincinnati and opened Mallers Cheese Shop, which became a successful business. The couple sold the cheese shop in 1982 and moved to a house they designed and built themselves in Egg Harbor. They soon opened Manz’s Specialty Foods, which they sold in 2003, when they began helping the Wegners at Liberty Square.

The couple continued working until two years ago, when they were well into their 90s. They worked at the store and volunteered delivering Meals on Wheels at Scandia Village.

Eunice is survived by Lawrence, her husband of 38 years, her children Steve and Susie, her grandchildren Benjamin, Maxwell and Katie, and her great-grandchildren Ari, Mara and Sophie.