Marketplace Food & Drug at Westridge Center in Bemidji, Minn., recently celebrated its grand reopening, symbolizing a new direction for the family-owned company.
“We’re absolutely committed to providing the best grocery shopping experience not just in Bemidji, but anywhere,” Mike McNiel, store manager, said.
Keith Johanneson, president and CEO of Johanneson’s Inc., the store’s parent company, said it was a “proud day” for him, and he invited shoppers to offer their ideas for the store.
“My parents started this business in 1956, and while we’ve always been about the customer experience, this ups the ante dramatically,” Johanneson said. “We’ve designed every aspect with the customer in mind, to give them exactly what they want in a grocery store—from the layout, selection and quality to the environmentally friendly features, convenience and competitive prices. We’re committed to getting better every day. If you have an idea on how we can make your grocery shopping experience even better, we want to know. And we’ll do our best to make it happen.”
With slightly fewer square feet, the newly remodeled store is more intimate and smarter as well. The deli counter is now near the entrance to help lunchtime shoppers get in and out quickly. For those with more time, Caribou Coffee is available in the café area that features a fireplace.
The remodeled store also offers a large variety of produce with limited amounts of each on display so that shelves can be constantly restocked for freshness; a full-service meat and seafood counter; and an expansive natural foods section.
Video display boards in each department feature daily and weekly specials and the wide aisles are clearly labeled to help guide shoppers around the store.
Energy-efficient features include LED lighting throughout the store as well as new doors and lids on most of the freezer cases.
A gas station featuring Shell fuel is on the east side of the grocery store, with all convenience items positioned near the gas station entrance, but also with full access to the entire selection of groceries.
Marketplace Food & Drug made another change as well. It no longer includes a weekly insert in the local papers.
“We’re encouraging people to sign up for the MP Insider (mpinsider.com),” McNiel said. “People will not only receive an email every Saturday with the following week’s ad, but they’ll also be entered to win a gift card.”
A gift card winner will be drawn each week and weekly winners will be entered in a bigger drawing to win a Smart car. The Smart car will be awarded during a live drawing at the store on Dec. 21.
Thelma and John Johanneson founded Marketplace Food & Drug in Bemidji in 1956 as John’s Super Value. Today, the store is part of a family of grocery and convenience stores owned by Johanneson’s Inc., with Thelma and John’s sons Keith as CEO and president and Richard serving as VP.
In the feature photo at top: Mike McNiel, Rich Johanneson, Keith Johanneson, Maria Johanneson and John Meyers.