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 the winners from six regions, as well as the Annual People’s Choice Award recipient. He noted the vital food security role local grocers have played during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now, more than ever, the value of local grocers to their communities is clear for all to see,” Petersen said. “An important part of that is the crucial role they play in promoting nutritious, locally grown products.”
For the first time, awards will be given to a grocer in each region of the state, as well as to a Beer, Wine, & Spirits category winner. The retailers in their respective regions will received a commemorative plaque and exclusive rights to use the “Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year 2020” logo in their ads and displays. They included:
- Northwest: Hugo’s, Thief River Falls
- Northeast: Chris’ Food Center, Sandstone
- Twin Cities: Mackenthun’s, Waconia
- Southeast: Nilssen’s Hub Food Center, Zumbrota
- Southwest: Superfair Foods, St. James
- West Central: Coborn’s, Little Falls
- Beer, Wine, & Spirits: On The Rocks – Knowlan’s Festival Foods, Hugo
Festival Foods, Hugo received the Minnesota Grown People’s Choice Award for best display, as determined by an online voting contest and review by contest judges.
“Grocers provide essential support to the communities they serve and are proud to support our local partners – farm to fork,” said Minnesota Grocers Association President Jamie Pfuhl. “The Minnesota Grown program showcases and celebrates these partnerships while bringing wonderful 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.
Grocery stores around the state planning to showcase this year's harvest will soon be able to find information on the 2021 Retailer of the Year contest. Information about how to participate will be updated when available on the Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year webpage.
Larry Schumacher, MDA Communications