Wife of Haggen Founder Dies

Dorothy Haggen, who launched the company that eventually became what today is the 33-store independent grocery chain Haggen Inc., with her late husband Ben, died Sunday at home, at age 99.

Haggen had continued with her philanthropic activities despite a stroke 14 years ago that left her partly crippled, according to a report in the Seattle Times. Among these were her twice-weekly candy sales at the Barkley Village Haggen store, to benefit St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Besides St. Paul's, Dorothy Haggen also worked at the old St. Luke's Hospital gift shop selling products that she and other volunteers had made for fundraising.

The Haggen family business started in 1933, during the depths of the Great Depression, when Ben Haggen and his partner Doug Clark pooled their savings of $1,000 to stock the shelves of their first store.

In 1941, Haggen became the first store in the Northwest to offer a self-service meat counter. In 1951, Haggen again led the way by introducing an in-store scratch bakery. Haggen was the first grocery store in the U.S. with an in-store Starbucks Coffee shop (1989), and an FTD Floral shop (1979).

Today, the company is owned by Ben and Dorothy's sons, Don and Rick.
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