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Cub Foods' Early Days in Fridley Recalled

As Cub's parent company struggles and its building in Fridley undergoes remodeling, ABC Newspapers recalls a simpler time.

Cub Foods' roots in Fridley is the subject of a history column at ABCNewspapers.com by Maria King, who volunteers at the Anoka County Historical Society and recalls:

I remember going with my parents to a warehouse in Fridley, right off University Avenue and Osborne Road.

It was very different from today’s Cub.

Shopping carts were the flat bed trolleys usually common in lumberyards and home improvement stores.

Lighting and heating were minimal.

Each shopper, upon entering, took a black crayon in order to mark the prices on the items he/she wanted to purchase.

There was a price for a case lot and a different price for individual cans.

Cans and dry food, like flour and oatmeal, were all that was available; no fresh produce, no frozen foods, and no dairy, at least at first.

Ugly metal warehouse shelves were stacked high with cardboard shipping boxes of foodstuffs.

The shoppers had to unpack the boxes, mark the prices, and carry out their groceries themselves.

CUB was an acronym for Consumers United for Buying and the whole point was to buy in quantity and share.

Savings were further increased because the no-frills warehouse and the do-it-yourself marking minimized the need for employees.

The store's discount approach helped revolutionize grocery retailing in the Midwest, according to King, citing her own memory, Wikipedia and Cub Foods' website.

Read Maria King's full article at ABCNewspapers.com.

King's recollections come at a time of turbulence for the grocery store chain's parent company, SuperValu, .

In Fridley, a long-planned remodeling and reconstruction project is underway at the retail complex that houses the local Cub Foods—with its in-store and the municipal liquor store being rebuilt.

Chris David July 29, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Of course the Cub store on 57th hasn't been a Cub all that long...it used to be a Holiday Plus store. I don't know much else about that location, although obviously there used to be a customer entrance on the Main Street side of the building, though it has since been abandoned. The area is ripe for redevelopment, and if they can get more people in the area, maybe they will be able to lease the former PetSmart spot which has been vacant next to Home Depot for probably five years now.
cathy August 23, 2012 at 04:50 PM
The PetSmart is now becoming a Goodwill store.

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