Family Fresh Market in Farmington closing Dec. 20

Family Fresh Market - the only grocery store in Farmington - will close its doors Dec. 20.

The grocery market is located in the heart of downtown at 115 Elm St., inside a shopping center that houses many small businesses, a restaurant and soon the new U.S. Post Office storefront.  

The store pharmacy closed Nov. 19.

Store employees were made aware of the store closing Thursday, Nov. 14. 

“SpartanNash and our Family Fresh Market stores have proudly served the Farmington community for many years. Recently, we made the difficult decision not to renew our lease and we have announced to our associates that we will be closing the Family Fresh Market," said Meredith Gremel, vice president of corporate affairs and communications with SpartanNash. 

"Our final day of operation is scheduled for late December. This closure is a business decision based on our continuous evaluation of our retail footprint and what is best for our more than 155 corporate-owned stores, our associates and the communities we serve," Gremel said in a statement.

“While it is never an easy decision to close a store, this is not a reflection on our dedicated associates or their commitment to serving our customers," she added.

Gremel said the company is working with its 50 full- and part-time associates to offer them employment in surrounding stores in nearby communities. 

The Family Fresh Market location in Hudson, Wis., closed its doors on Nov. 16. SpartanNash would not comment on how many Minnesota grocery store locations will close.

The Farmington community voiced sadness and frustration on social media when news broke of its closing since the store and pharmacy employs local residents and serves as a full grocery offering fresh produce and meat.

Many residents rely on this grocery store, including seniors who live a few minutes away and others who do not have access to a car and can walk to the store. Family Fresh Market has offered special prices for seniors each Wednesday.

Family Fresh Market is owned by SpartanNash, a Fortune 400 company whose core businesses include distributing grocery products. SpartanNash serves customers in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Bahrain, Djibouti and Egypt. SpartanNash operates 158 supermarkets, primarily under the banners of Family Fare, Martin’s Super Markets, D&W Fresh Market, VG’s Grocery, Dan’s Supermarket and Family Fresh Market. 

An Aug. 12 SpartanNash press release announced a leadership transition when Chairman and Former CEO Dennis Eidson was appointed interim president and chief executive officer. This leadership change took place after Dave Staples resigned. Eidson announced a decision to exit the Fresh Kitchen Operations in August. 

"The Board remains confident in the Company's strategic direction and its ability to generate top line growth; however, execution has fallen short of our expectations and we believe that now is the time for a leadership change," said Douglas Hacker, lead independent director of the board.

Nash Finch started as a family-owned business in 1885 when brothers Fred, Edgar and Willis Nash opened a small candy and tobacco store in Devils Lake, North Dakota. The first non-family employee, Harry B. Finch, joined the Nash Brothers as a 14-year old stock boy in 1889 and worked his way up in the organization. In subsequent years the company became known as the Nash Finch Company with Harry Finch as the company president.

In recent years, Hy-Vee and Aldi grocery chains announced plans to build new stores in Farmington and purchased land within the Vermillion River Crossings commercial development located off Highway 50, a few miles west from Family Fresh.

Leadership in Farmington confirms staff engages in continued communications with both grocery chain giants and plans are still in the works with no dates to share with the public. City staff touches base on a regular basis with the Iowa-based Hy-Vee company and the German-based Aldi corporation.

A couple years ago, Aldi showed off building plans during a Farmington Planning Commission meeting and reported it had intentions of building and opening a new store by Thanksgiving 2018. No groundbreaking has taken place yet.  

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