Page 4 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- February 2018
P. 4

Super One Makes Major Changes
Kingsford Ace Hardware Expands
By Betsy Bloom for UPBT
KINGSFORD — Kingsford Ace Hardware was feeling a little cramped for space.
The store at 555 S. Carpenter Ave. has added a number of new merchandise lines in the roughly two decades it’s been at that location, to expand what it can offer to customers in the region.
It helped them weather even the lean economic times of the late 2000s, store owner Michael Bruns said.
“Overall, demand has been there for more products, more lines,” Bruns said. “The community has supported us very well. So we, in turn, want to have more available for them.”
But each addition, such as Big Green Egg ceramic cookers or Traeger grills, meant finding room inside the store or resorting to putting merchandise outside, which was less than ideal.
The business had “outgrown our space,” Bruns admitted.
So the store last summer tacked on another 20,000 square feet to create an indoor showroom for
its John Deere products, such as lawn tractors and Gator utility vehicles. Two back bays allow for tractor repairs to be done on site as well, Bruns said.
It also freed up more shelf space for plumbing, electrical, tools, paint, lawn and garden and other product lines, Bruns said.
The addition represents about a $1 million investment, including expanded inventory and new staff, Bruns said.
While the addition does not include the NAPA Auto Parts store at the same site — and run by Mike Bruns' brother, Shawn — it should open up some space in that business as well, Mike Bruns said.
The two stores combined employ about 35 to 40 people, he said.
This is the first expansion the Bruns family has done since opening at the site Jan. 1, 1996, Bruns said. His parents, Jerry and Gale Bruns, started the business and still are involved, as is Mike Bruns' wife, Christine.
Betsy Bloom can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 40, or
Kingsford Ace Hardware store owner Michael Bruns stands in the recently expanded 20,000- square-foot indoor showroom used to display John Deere products such as lawn tractors and Gator utility vehicles. (Theresa Proudfit/Daily News photo)
By Theresa Proudfit for UPBT
IRON MOUNTAIN — Super One Foods
has made a multi-million-dollar investment to its location at 1118 Stephenson Ave. in the Mid- town Mall.
The grocery store, owned by Miner's Inc. of Hermantown, Minn., over the past year upgrad- ed what it had to offer at its longtime Iron Mountain site to increase its produce selection, expand the meat department and provide more at the salad bar and deli area.
"People have really loved the salad bar — being able to come in and select what they want in a salad and take it with them. It's been a big hit with our customers, along with the selection of produce they now have to choose from. They also love being able to get in and out of the store more efficiently with the way things are set up," store manager Jon Revier said.
The other major change is a new liquor area that more than doubled the space for such prod- ucts, so the store can provide a wider assortment of beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages.
"For example, we went from 12 beer doors to 42 beer doors with the renovation. And that includes having more craft beers, which are very popular," Revier said.
The recent work was the third major upgrade at the Iron Mountain store. In 1990, 23,500 square feet was added to accommodate a larger bakery and deli departments as well as expand the meat, produce and frozen foods areas. That brought the store's overall size to 50,000 square feet.
Another 5,000 square feet was added in 2001 to double the size of both the meat and produce departments, along with a new entrance and improved lighting, floors and decor.
"The most recent project didn't change the overall size of the store, but we did reconfigure how things were laid out, making improvements within the current footprint," Revier said. "The
main focus was to expand the perishable depart- ments in the store."
Customers have been impressed with the improvements since the renovations were com- pleted, including the expanded liquor area, he said.
"It's been compared to a mini-Woodman's, which many people have shopped at due to the selection of beers and liquor they find there," Revier said, referring to a grocery chain in Wis- consin. "They are now finding many of these same products here at our store in Iron Moun- tain."
Local contractors MJ Electric in Iron Moun- tain and Universal Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. in Kingsford contributed to the expansion.
The store's owner, Miner's Inc., started its family operation in 1946 and bought the Iron Mountain store in 1989. Miner's operates 29 locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula in Michigan under the names of Super One Foods, U-Save Foods, Country Market and Marketplace Foods.
Previously operating as a Red Owl Store and a Glen's Market at this site, founders Tony and Ida Miner retired in 1975 and Jim Miner took over as president. He changed the format from conventional to a price-impact and warehouse- style store.
The name change to Super One Foods fol- lowed. By 1977, Super One Foods was a bare- bones grocery store with no bagging. But by 2001, the stores expanded their service to including bagging, along with full service bak- ery, deli and meat departments.
Super One Foods employs 95 people in the Iron Mountain area.
Theresa Proudfit can be reached at 906-774- 2272, ext. 45, or tproudfit@ironmountaindai-

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