Pine River Family Market among Minnesota Retailers of the Year

Store was one of six grocers chosen in the state


Six Minnesota grocers — including Pine River Family Market — who promote locally grown and produced products were named a 2023 Retailer of the Year by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Grown program, in partnership with the Minnesota Grocers Association.

Family Market was the winner in the west central division.

Other winners are:

  • Northwest: Lueken’s Village Foods, Bemidji.
  • Northeast: Chris’ Food Center, Sandstone.
  • Southwest: Mackenthun’s Fine Foods, Waconia.
  • Twin Cities: Kowalski’s, White Bear Lake.
  • People’s Choice: Knowlan’s Supermarket, Maplewood.

“We thank these grocers and their employees for their leadership in highlighting locally grown foods for their customers,” MDA Commissioner Thom Petersen said in a news release. “Minnesota-grown products are essential in providing fresh and nutritious foods to communities across the state.”

MDA and MGA staff will present the awards in person at an MGA event this spring and will conduct a Retailer of the Year tour to visit each winning store.


The retailers in their respective regions will receive a commemorative plaque, exclusive rights to use the “Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year 2023” logo in their ads and displays, as well as recognition among retailers and consumers that they are champions of all things local.

Judging was based on several factors, including the number of Minnesota Grown products and the number of Minnesota Grown farmers and producers that the grocer carried. Judges also looked at how the grocer used ads, displays, social media and other events to promote Minnesota Grown items to customers.

“Grocers are the foundation of the communities they serve and are incredibly proud of our innovative local partnerships from farm to fork,” MGA President Jamie Pfuhl said in the release. “The success of the Minnesota Grown program is driven by the exceptional efforts of all in the food industry. We are proud to play a role in this collective effort that showcases and celebrates innovative partnerships and brings wonderful local products to our customers.”

The 2023-2024 contest runs Aug. 1, 2023-Sept. 30, 2023. Information about how to participate is available on the Minnesota Grown Retailer of the Year webpage.

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