Minnesota grocers who promoted locally grown products and farms exceptionally well received the Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year award from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Grown program, in conjunction with the Minnesota Grocers Association.
Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen announced winners from four regions, as well as the annual People’s Choice Award recipient, at the Minnesota Grocers Association’s annual Industry Connects Lunch in Bloomington.
“As local grocers, you play a crucial role in promoting locally grown products,” Petersen said. “These grocers help support the work of several hundred farmer-members of Minnesota Grown.”
The retailers in their respective regions received a commemorative plaque and exclusive rights to use the “Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year 2019” logo in their ads and displays. They included:
- Chris’ Food Center, Sandstone – Northeast
- Lunds & Byerlys, St. Cloud – West Central
- Hy-Vee, Rochester – Southeast
- Mackenthun’s Fine Foods, Waconia and Kowalski’s Market, White Bear Lake (tie) – Twin Cities
Festival Foods, Andover received the Minnesota Grown People’s Choice Award for best display, as determined by an online voting contest and review by contest judges.
“Grocers around the state are tied to their communities and committed to supporting local,” said Minnesota Grocers Association President Jamie Pfuhl. “We’re thrilled to work with the Minnesota Grown program to celebrate and promote the farmers who are an essential part of our communities.”
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.
Larry Schumacher. MDA Communications