Jim Miner Sr., who helped grow family-owned Miner’s Inc. from one store to 31, died Sunday after a long illness, according to a published report. He was 77.
“Everyone at Miner’s Inc. is deeply saddened by the death of Jim Sr.,” Roberts Halvorson, the company’s VP of operations at Miner’s, told the Duluth, Minn., News Tribune. “He was loved and respected by all those who knew and worked with him. Jim was an amazing entrepreneur and mentor.”
Although he remained Miner’s president until his death, Miner had in recent years left more of the day-to-day operations to the next generation, including his sons, VPs Mike and Jim Jr. Mike died of a heart attack in 2004 at age 46.
The business began in 1943 as a small Grand Rapids, Mich., tavern run by Miner’s parents, Anton and Ida. The couple started selling milk and bread when they saw a market for such items, and subsequently opened the family’s first grocery store along U.S. Highway 2.
Jim Miner Sr. operated a second family-owned store in Virginia for several years before relocating to Duluth, where the company had opened a third store in 1965. More stores followed, as did the Super One Foods banner, in 1977.
The Hermantown, Minn.-based company currently owns 25 Super One Foods, three U-Save and three Woodland Marketplace Foods grocery stores in four states, in addition to a wholesale operation in Duluth, and two liquor stores in Cloquet and Duluth. Employing more than 2,400 people, Miner’s is one of Minnesota's largest privately held supermarket operators.