2020 Outstanding Independents: Faster, Fresher and More Localized
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01/30/2020

2020 Outstanding Independents: Faster, Fresher and More Localized

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
Gina Acosta profile picture
2020 Outstanding Independents: Faster, Fresher and More Localized

In 1971, Trig and Tula Solberg opened a small grocery store in Land O’Lakes, Wis. Today, in an era in which big-box supermarkets and small-box discounters dominate the landscape, and consumers can order groceries online and have them delivered to their doors by these and other retailers in under 30 minutes, this independent grocer, Trig’s, has grown into a small chain of eight stores.

How? 

“At Trig’s, we’re obsessed with fresh,” says Kindl Furtak, director of marketing for T.A. Solberg Co. Inc. “In a highly competitive market, our guests expect superior quality, consistency and selection. We work hard to ‘wow’ our guests, especially in our fresh departments.”

Trig’s is one of 18 winners of Progressive Grocer’s 2020 Outstanding Independent Awards. Most U.S. consumers buy their groceries at larger food retailers and grocery chains. Each February, however, PG honors small independents such as Trig’s, which is thriving by offering the “anti-supermarket”experience that many consumers increasingly are looking for today.

This new breed of consumer, especially those of the younger generations, wants stores that are faster in offering things such as hot — and frequently vegan or organic — grab-and-go meals. They want stores with fresher, higher-quality produce, meat and plant-based food offerings. And they want stores that are more “local,” that serve as meeting places in their communities where one can find products and service that are personalized right down to the ZIP code. All of these features provide these Outstanding Independents with a level of innovative differentiation not found at most supermarkets or online grocers.

In fact, as you’ll see from this year’s Outstanding Independent Award honorees, some of the deepest transformation in the grocery industry is happening at the independent level, in both cities and small towns, where innovative indie food retailers are leveraging the grocery aisle to serve a wider range of consumers, from the socially conscious to those living in underserved economic communities.

Of course, the qualities of being nimble, adaptable and personalized can all be leveraged in any size grocer to generate sales growth. But these Outstanding Independents are hitting the mark by staying ahead of consumer trends, and their momentum shows no sign of stopping.

Congratulations to an inspiring group of Outstanding Independents! Read more about each one: 

    Single store

    Oneota Community Food Co-op

    Decorah, Iowa

    MULTISTORE

    Woodlands Market 

    Kentfield, Calif.

    BAKERY

    Trig’s 

    Minocqua, Wis.

    CULINARY 

    Glorioso’s Italian Market

    Milwaukee

    DELI/PREPARED FOODS 

    Palmer’s Market 

    Darien, Conn.

    ETHNIC 

    Compare Foods 

    Charlotte, N.C.

    EXPERIENCE 

    Barons Market 

    Poway, Calif.

    Eddie’s of Roland Park 

    Baltimore

    FOOD SECURITY

    Baldwin Market 

    Baldwin, Fla.

    Local Market 

    Chicago

    Local

    Roots Market 

    Clarksville, Md.

    Walla Walla’s Harvest Foods 

    Walla Walla, Wash. 

    MEAT / SEAFOOD 

    Grand & Essex Market

    Bergenfield, N.J.

    PRODUCE 

    Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace

    Farmingdale, N.Y.

    Health & Wellness

    Pilgrim's Market

    Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

    SOCIAL PURPOSE 

    Charley Family Shop’n Save

    Greensburg, Pa.

    Oliver’s Market

    Santa Rosa, Calif.

    SUSTAINABILITY 

    PCC Community Markets

    Seattle