Minnesota grocers recognized for promoting locally grown products and farms took home the Retailer of the Year award from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Grown program, in conjunction with the Minnesota Grocers Association.
Commissioner Thom Petersen announced winners from six regions, as well as the annual People’s Choice Award recipient, at a Minnesota Grocers Association’s webinar held this month.
“We recognize the vital food security role local grocers have played during the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways that grocery employees have really come through for their communities,” Petersen said. “Even without COVID-19, local grocers play a crucial role in promoting fresh, nutritious, Minnesota Grown foods.”
The retailers in their respective regions will receive a commemorative plaque and exclusive rights to use the “Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year 2021” logo in their ads and displays. They included:
- Chris’ Food Center, Sandstone – Northeast
- Central Market, Detroit Lakes – Northwest
- Lunds & Byerlys, St. Cloud – West Central
- Jim’s Market, Canby – Southwest
- Fiesta Foods, Lake City – Southeast
- Kowalski’s Market, Oak Park Heights – Twin Cities
Cub Foods of Burnsville received the Minnesota Grown People’s Choice Award for best display, as determined by an online social media voting contest.
“Grocers are essential to the communities they serve and are proud to support our local partners – farm to fork,” said Minnesota Grocers Association President Jamie Pfuhl. “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.”
Judges’ scores were based on several factors – including the number of Minnesota Grown products and the number of Minnesota Grown farmers that the grocer carried. Judges also looked at how the grocer used ads, displays, social media, and other events to promote Minnesota Grown items to customers.
The Minnesota Grown Program is a statewide partnership between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota producers of specialty crops and livestock. It was created over 30 years ago by specialty crop growers to differentiate their produce from produce grown thousands of miles away.
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications