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7 Minnesota Grocers Named Retailer Of Year Recipients

Minnesota Grocers Association MGA foundation scholarships

Seven grocers who promote locally grown and produced products have been named a 2024 Retailer of the Year by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Grown program, in partnership with the Minnesota Grocers Association. 

This year’s winners include: 

  • Northwest: Hugo’s Family Marketplace, East Grand Forks;
  • Northeast: Chris’ Food Center, Sandstone;
  • West Central: Elden’s Fresh Foods, Alexandria;
  • Southeast: Nilssen’s Foods, Zumbrota;
  • Southwest: Mackenthun’s Fine Foods, Waconia;
  • Twin Cities: Kowalski’s Market, Grand Avenue; and
  • People’s Choice: Festival Foods, Hugo.

“We commend these seven grocers for their creative efforts to promote fresh, local foods from Minnesota Grown members,” said Thom Petersen, MDA commissioner. “When consumers have the chance to eat more foods grown and produced by their neighbors, it benefits Minnesota’s farmers, grocers and communities.” 

MDA and MGA staff will be presenting the awards in-person at an MGA event in the spring of 2024 and will be conducting a “Retailer of the Year” tour to visit each of the winning stores. The retailers in their respective regions will receive a commemorative plaque, exclusive rights to use the “Minnesota Grown Retailer of  the Year 2024” logo in their ads and displays, as well as recognition amongst retailers and consumers that they are champions of all things local. 

Judging was based on several factors, including the number of Minnesota Grown products and the number of farmers and producers that the grocer carried. Judges also looked at how the grocer used ads, displays, social media and other events to promote these items. 

“Grocers are the foundation of the communities they serve and are incredibly proud of our innovative local partnerships from farm to fork,” said Jamie Pfuhl, MGA president.

“The success of the Minnesota Grown program is driven by the exceptional efforts of all in the food industry. We are proud to play a role in this collective effort that showcases and celebrates innovative partnerships and brings wonderful local products to our customers.” 

The 2025 contest will run from Aug. 1-Sept. 30. Information on how to participate is available on the Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year website.

About the Minnesota Grown Program

The Minnesota Grown Program is a statewide partnership between the MDA and Minnesota producers of specialty crops and livestock. It was created more than 30 years ago to differentiate local produce from that grown thousands of miles away.

About the Minnesota Grocers Association

The Minnesota Grocers Association (MGA) is the only state trade association that represents the food industry of Minnesota. It is a legacy organization, having served the industry for more than 125 years. The association has more than 300 retail, manufacturer and wholesale members that support nearly 1,300 locations statewide, and its member companies employ more than 150,000 union and non-union members.

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About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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