NEW: Duluth and Superior, 1925/30 to present

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Groceteria
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NEW: Duluth and Superior, 1925/30 to present

Post by Groceteria » 21 Nov 2021 23:17

Not a lot of national (or even regional) chain activity here, probably because of remoteness, but lots of local chains, co-ops, and the like.

Duluth MN (1930-2021): https://www.groceteria.com/place/us-minnesota/duluth/

Superior WI (1925-2021): https://www.groceteria.com/place/us-wisconsin/superior/

rich
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Re: NEW: Duluth and Superior, 1925/30 to present

Post by rich » 21 Nov 2021 23:51

I'm afraid you have Kroger and Safeway and the street names don't line up with the map.

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Re: NEW: Duluth and Superior, 1925/30 to present

Post by Andrew T. » 27 Nov 2021 16:04

Ah, the link and embed have been fixed now!

Duluth is just down the lakeshore from where I live, and it's been on the "short list" of cities I'd like to research for quite awhile. Unfortunately since the international border has been closed or restricted due to COVID for the last two years, it might as well be on the other side of the world. I haven't had the practical chance to visit since 2019, so I'm thrilled that David had the chance to go there of his own avail.

There are several locations in Duluth that I had been very curious about. What secrets does this new research reveal?

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15 S 13th Ave E: One of the all-out most bizarre store buildings I've seen, spanning two storeys with different tenants on both! I now know that this store opened by 1955, and was a National from the outset. National seems to have lasted here to the point when Loblaws divested its Minnesota division in 1982/83 (it appears the stores were never rebranded under the Applebaums name, unlike in the Twin Cities), and the store spent the next four decades doing business under the Jubilee Foods/IGA and Super One names.

Jubilee Foods is a name that also showed up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and this article says the brand was "licensed by Gateway" (i.e., the buyer of Loblaws' Minnesota division).

Super One Foods first appeared in Duluth by 1980, and today it's the prevailing chain in northern Minnesota. The Jubilee stores in Duluth were ultimately sold and converted to Super One as well; this article says this happened in 2006.

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2224 W Superior St: I knew beforehand that this building was a former National: The pylon all but gives it away. It also opened by 1960: No surprise there. But the research did reveal one surprise: This location ceased being a National (and ceased being a supermarket) by 1965! Who knows what the reason for this store's short life may have been?

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5600 Grand Ave: Still murky. A Gershgol Economy Market opened at 5536 Grand Ave by 1950, and this location later became a Red Owl store that lasted into the late 1970s. It's possible that the address shifted, and this is the same store...but without seeing an old plat map, it would be impossible to know for sure.

Are there other must-see stores in Duluth? Well...there isn't much.

There's a former '50s Piggly Wiggly at 2818 Piedmont Ave that has a small, outward-canted pylon.

The Cub Foods on Central Entrance might be worth a photo for its weird early-1990s exterior.

610 E 4th St is another '50s National location, and the building on the site has a snazzy canted pylon jutting out of it. Trouble is, the building looks like a modern caricature of a 1950s store. I suspect it was rebuilt.

220 N 6th Ave E is a late-1970s National now housing a medical facility. It's been renovated to oblivion.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

rich
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Re: NEW: Duluth and Superior, 1925/30 to present

Post by rich » 28 Nov 2021 10:56

National had a division in Duluth with stores as far east as Marquette, MI, so there should be an old distribution center somewhere which probably stuck around until the late 60s/early 70s. Even after being consolidated with Minneapolis, it ranged as far as Iron Mountain. Minneapolis was one of their oldest markets outside of Chicago, which would explain why they got to Duluth and stayed there for such a long time. Duluth is one of those places that seems outsized for its population---being a port probably accounts for this. It also seems to have held on to a certain amount of wealth, with some very nice older neighborhoods near Lake Superior.

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