The Early Days
As with many business success stories, Miner´s Incorporated started small. With the help of a $10,000 loan from the local bank, Tony and Ida built their first grocery store, Miner´s Market, on the west side of Grand Rapids. Despite competition from 17 other grocery stores, the offer of low prices and quality meats found at Miner´s Market did very well. Sons Jim, Jerry and John soon joined the family business, working in the store after school.
From the beginning, "high–tech" customer service was a top priority. Ida had a light switch installed near the cash register so when the store was busy she could switch on the back–door light of their family home to call other family members back to work. The family often ate in shifts to make sure help was always available. By 1954, the family had added on to the original store and changed the name to Piggly Wiggly.
Virginia, Minnesota was home to the second Piggly Wiggly in 1963. In 1965, the Miner family moved to Duluth and opened a third store in Duluth´s Woodland neighborhood. Shortly thereafter they made this location their headquarters because it was located close to Twin Ports Grocery, their major supplier.
Again, it was families just like yours that led to the success of these first stores and allowed even more growth. Six stores were open under the Piggly Wiggly banner by the year 1969. Each store was a progression of services, selection and technology with one common focus, you. Quality and low prices, those same principles that grew the business in the early 1960´s, continued into the early 1970´s.
Tony and Ida retired in 1975 and their son Jim became president of the company. Shortly after, Jim visited a new style grocery store in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that was meeting the economic needs of the times. Jim recognized this no–frills, warehouse style grocery store to be:
- the way of the future
- just what his customers wanted
- the answer to exceed customers expectations
He opened his first warehouse style store in 1976 in Cloquet, Minnesota. It was, for its time, a huge store with 17,000 square feet, high ceilings and warehouse style shelving. The store name was Piggly Wiggly Warehouse Market – but not for long.
Super One Foods is Born
Just as plans were under way for a new ground–up warehouse style store in Duluth, Minnesota, Jim learned he´d need a new name for his warehouse stores – the name Piggly Wiggly was to be kept for the conventional store format. As the story goes, Jim was kept awake at night trying to find just the right name for his vision…a super store. Then the name came to him Super One Foods.
The first Super One Foods sign was hung on the Cloquet store in April, 1977. That same year, Duluth customers experienced a brand new 30,000 square foot store that was built from the ground up to offer every day low price, no frills grocery shopping. This store was only the 13th in the nation to install a full scanning checkout system based on Universal Product Codes (UPC). The technology was so new, in fact, no standard database of items or prices were available. Instead, store employees hand entered each item into the system, but continued to price mark every item to build customers´ confidence in the new technology.
Customers understood the concept of no bagging and large quantity wholesale purchasing to mean lower operational costs with savings being passed on to them. Customers responded by making Super One Foods the success it is today.
Welcome to Super One
With its fourth generation of family now working in the business, the Miner´s family is committed more than ever to meet the needs of your family. Super One Foods is still focused on saving you money every time you shop but, we have also heard customer´s requests for more services. So, in many locations you´ll now find in–store bakeries, deli departments, floral and other amenities that add to your shopping experience.
We invite you to get to know us through our website and more importantly, we invite you to visit one of our store locations.