After three decades working in wholesale in the grocery industry, Robert Renfroe purchased his family's first grocery store in 1996. Run with his son Rob Renfroe, the family-owner grocer has expanded to four Alabama stores (a store in LaFayette, Alabama just opened) with a fifth location opening later this year in Phenix City, Alabama. The supermarkets are known for stocking items from Alabama, including produce and products like Alabama Sweet Tea company and Mama Mocha's Coffee products, and personal customer service (a manager greets shoppers and thanks them when they depart). Renfroe's Market also has an impressive craft beer collection. Renfroe's offers conveniences like Renfroe's To Go, in which shoppers order online and park in a designated parking spot to pick up their groceries.
Under the Albertsons Companies banner, Safeway operates in 16 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming) and Washington, D.C. Founded in 1913 in American Falls, Idaho, Safeway focuses on providing customers fresh products no matter how they shop - in stores, online for Drive Up & Go, home delivery via Safeway's own in-house drivers as well as Instacart in nearly 2,000 locations, or meal kits from Plated. Each store has in-house butchers who can offer specialized cuts of beef, and Safeway's cake decorators are specially trained to offer phenomenal cake designs. Extra perks include the Just for U loyalty program, which offers customers grocery and gas rewards.
Arizona: Sprouts Market
Back in 2002, Sprouts Market opened its first store in Chandler, Arizona in an effort to make natural, healthy foods affordable and available to everyone. Sprouts Market is famous for its wide selection of farm-fresh produce, which is priced significantly lower than at other grocers. The Butcher Shop at Sprouts features all-natural, always-fresh, never-frozen beef, chicken, pork and lamb. Sprouts' all-natural beef is restaurant-quality at a fraction of the price and is graded USDA Choice or better. Plus, every store has an in-house butcher who can assist guests with product selection, seasoning, cooking tips and custom cuts. Save more money with Double Ad Wednesday, where items from last week and next week overlap for double the products on sale. Guests can also find instant savings on healthy products using the Sprouts app, which offers exclusive mobile coupons.
Arkansas: Edwards Food Giant
Founded in 1959 in East Arkansas, the family-owned Edwards Food Giant has expanded with stores throughout the state Arkansas. Also known as "The Meat People," the meat department is exceptional, from the cuts and quality to pricing to customer service. In-house butchers cut meat daily and the supermarket makes its own sausage and bratwurst. Edwards Food Giant still has folks who bag and carry customers' groceries out to their cars. "Professional Shoppers" are available to shop for folks who prefer to buy their groceries online.
California: Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's has become a favorite grocer far beyond California. Back when Trader Joe's first opened, it sold every California wine there was; then and now, it's still a great place to buy California wine.
Trader Joe's has stores in 41 states and the District of Columbia and inspires customer loyalty largely by carefully curating Trader Joe's branded products. This helps keep prices down, as Trader Joe's doesn't offer special promotions, coupons, discounts or sales, though it does produce the Fearless Flyer, a catalogue, newsletter, and comic book with product information, eight times per year. Some products are bought in limited supply and sold only for a short time while others have a cult-like following and have become staples like the Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, frozen chicken tikka masala, Speculoos Cookie Butter, and Joe-Joe's Chocolate Vanilla Crème Cookies. The friendly "Crew" members who work in the stores are easy to spot thanks to their bright Hawaiian T-shirts worn to style store staff as "traders on the culinary seas." Owned by one branch of German supermarket giant Aldi, Trader Joe's is considered by some to be the absolute best place to buy certain grocery items.
Colorado: Whole Foods Market
Known for stocking thousands of organic products from local and global suppliers, Whole Foods Market only sells products that meet strict quality standards and prohibits more than 100 preservatives, flavors, colors and other ingredients commonly found in food. Whole Foods was founded in Texas in 1980 and now has stores in 42 states, but the chain is a perfect fit in crunchy Colorado. Whole Foods Market is the first National Certified Organic Grocer, which means that every one of its U.S. stores and distribution centers goes through the USDA-required steps and processes for organic certification to ensure the integrity of organic items. Whole Foods Market was the first supermarket to remove disposable plastic bags at checkout in 2008, and the company has a comprehensive food waste strategy to divert food from landfill. Continually innovating, the supermarket chain recently launched an online tool that allows customers to view in-store pricing, sales and product information and filter by various dietary preferences, including Whole Foods Diet, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, sugar conscious, keto-friendly, paleo-friendly, kosher, low sodium, low fat, gluten free, and Engine2.
Courtesy of Whole Foods
Connecticut: Stew Leonard's
Stew Leonard's has been dubbed the "Disneyland of Dairy Stores" by The New York Times - the chain is known as a fun place for families to shop because of the costumed characters, scheduled entertainment, petting zoo, and animatronics throughout the stores. (Oh, and did we mention the free small ice cream or small coffee when you spend $100 or more on a single transaction?). Founded in Norwalk in 1969, the chain now has six stores in Connecticut and New York, and the company has been on Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" list for 10 consecutive years. Unlike traditional grocery stores that sell an average of 45,000 items, each Stew Leonard's store carries only 3,200 items, chosen specifically for their freshness, quality and value. Some 80 percent of the products sold in the store are fresh - that is, brought in daily or prepared directly in the store.
Delaware: Harris Teeter
The best grocery store in Delaware is Harris Teeter. There are two locations in Delaware, both in the southeastern part of the state. Known for tidy stores and an extensive prepared foods section, Harris Teeter also contributes to local communities through donations to food banks, youth sports and schools and takes part in broader charity initiatives through parent company Kroger as well. Though Harris Teeter helped pioneer the plastic grocery bag in the 1980s, the chain and parent company have announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags and transition to reusable bags by 2025.
Country Gate Productions/Shutterstock.com
The famed Florida grocer, which topped The Daily Meal's ranking of the Best Supermarkets in America, is known to be a place "Where Shopping Is a Pleasure." The largest and fastest-growing employee-owned supermarket chain in the U.S., Publix was founded by George W. Jenkins in 1930 in Winter Haven, Florida. Now one of the 10 largest-volume supermarket chains in the country, Publix reported retail sales of $34.6 billion in 2017. The company has 1,211 stores in seven states, with the majority - 799 stores - in Florida. Jenkins mortgaged an orange grove for a down payment on the first Publix, and the proprietor's dream store was innovative, featuring many features never before seen in a grocery store - like air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, frozen food cases, piped-in music and in-store doughnut and flower shops. Commentators have heralded Publix as the best supermarket for many reasons, including Plato the Publixaurus (the supermarket's mascot), the free cookies given to children at the in-store Publix Bakery (just stop by and ask), its Public Aprons Cooking School, the "Publix Promise" of transparent pricing, and the legendary sub sandwiches from the Publix Deli - which fans may argue are better than many of the best sandwiches in every state.
Georgia: Dekalb Farmers Market
What started as a small produce market on Medlock Road in Decatur, Georgia is now a thriving market on Ponce De Leon Avenue. Founded by Robert Blazer in 1977, Dekalb Farmers Market is best known as an international market providing a wide variety of imported and domestic products from all over the world that are of highest quality possible at the lowest possible price. Dekalb Farmers Market works directly with growers and vendors worldwide, which eliminates the higher costs of distributors. The market also has its own farms in Mexico that grow a variety of produce including mangos, organic bananas, limes and papayas. There is an extensive food production department, where the store's own roasted and smoked meats and sausages are made in the store's smokehouse. The Bakery department has an oven room with 10 walk-in ovens where breads, cakes and pastries are made. Pastas and salads are also made in the market, which sells all its house-made products under the brand World Direct.
Dekalb Farmers Market
The only locally-owned grocery store with stores statewide in Hawaii (there are 33), Foodland is known (as its tagline "Food, Family, Friends & Aloha" suggests) for taking care of its customers like family and friends, and treating them with aloha. Founded by Maurice J. "Sully" Sullivan in Honolulu in 1948, Foodland has committed itself to the communities where its stores are located through programs like Give Aloha, Foodland's Annual Community Matching Gifts Program. The stores sell as many local products as possible, particularly in the produce department, they eagerly carry local specialties like Spam musubi, plate lunch and award-winning poke bowls. Foodland just launched Calabash: Meal Kits by Foodland, which are mix-and-match main dishes and sides that can be made at home in 30 minutes or less. Foodland is also known for its Maika'i (Hawaiian for "excellent") loyalty program, which offers instant savings on groceries and one point for every dollar spent. Points can be redeemed for free products, 5 percent off groceries, or travel miles on Hawaiian Airlines.
There are now 400 Albertsons locations in 14 states but the chain's home is in Idaho, where it was founded in 1939 in Boise. Albertsons offer fresh products in stores and online with convenient options like Drive Up & Go, home delivery, and meal kits from Plated. The chain has its own private labels, including Own Brands, with 11,000 products including more than 1,000 new items introduced in the last three quarters; Open Nature, a line of natural products free from antibiotics and MSG; and Signature Reserve, which highlights 31 super-premium seasonal and everyday products. Albertsons also gives back to the community. In 2017 alone, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, Albertsons Companies gave nearly $300 million in food and financial support to charities that address disabilities, hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, and veterans outreach.
More than 40 million customers shop at Aldi each month. Founded by the Albrecht family in 1961, the German grocer operates more than 1,800 U.S. stores in 35 states including Illinois (the first store opened in Iowa in 1976). The first discounter in the world, the no-frills supermarket - there are only four or five aisles stocked with the essentials - sells frequently purchased grocery and household items from small kitchen appliances to outdoor furniture and gardening tools, primarily under its exclusive brands. About 90 percent of the products in each store are Aldi's brand, which are taste-tested in the Aldi Test Kitchen to ensure quality competitive with national brands. These products are backed by the supermarket's Twice as Nice Guarantee, which includes replacing the product and offering a full refund. ALDI also partners with local growers and farmers to offer fresh produce, including organic fruits and vegetables, and USDA meats.
Indiana: Saraga International Grocery
This globe-trotting grocer stocks the staples, including meat, fish, poultry, and produce along with an extraordinary collection of American, Chinese, European, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Middle Eastern, South American and South Asian products and housewares. Founded by two brothers who began selling products out of their truck in Florida, Kentucky, West Virginia, and beyond in 1992, Saraga International Grocery in an international market like no other. Saraga means "living" in Korean, and it's a 62,000-square-foot paradise in Indianapolis, Indiana for food lovers.
The employees at Hy-Vee act like they own the place because they - literally - do. Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg opened a small store in Beaconsfield, Iowa, in 1930 and in 1938 incorporated 15 Iowa and Missouri stores as Hyde & Vredenburg, Inc., forming the foundation for Hy-Vee. Since the chain's founding, stores have operated autonomously, choosing their own inventories, prices, and advertising. Hy-Vee's slogan, "A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle," is evident in each of the employee-owned stores in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Kansas: Cosentino's Market
This Kansas company began in 1948 when the family patriarch, Dante Cosentino Sr., an Italian artisan immigrant, providentially found himself purchasing a small fruit stand for his children to operate. From then to now, the company has grown to manage 30 warehouse grocery stores in the Kansas City area, proudly led by the second and third generation. local, family-owned operation customizes its stores to fit the community and customers. As the grocery store industry is changing, Cosentino's Market is focusing more on fresh prepared foods and on expanding its healthy and convenient prepared food selection and the "Market Meals" meal kit program. Cosentino's Market also offers online shopping and grocery delivery. Blue Valley location features a juice bar with chef-created juices and smoothies, a gourmet popcorn confectionary and gelato, a cheese island with 100 different varieties, and a Starbucks in addition to Cosentino's Meat & Seafood, Produce, Deli, and Bakery departments.
Kentucky: Good Foods Co-op
Good Foods Co-op is the only community-owned and cooperatively-owned grocery store and cafe in Kentucky. Shoppers love Good Foods Co-op because the grocer works with local farmers and producers to offer more Kentucky foods and products than any other store and local ingredients are used in the dishes made for its popular hot bar, salad bar, cafe and bakery. Founded in 1972 in Lexington, the store has aisles stocked with organic, hormone-free, sustainable foods as well as specialty foods that cater to gluten-free, vegan and other diets. Owned by over 8,000 people in the community, shoppers don't need to be part of the co-op to shop; however, the co-op's owners get access to special sales and events. The co-op is also active in the community and offers a popular "round up" program where shoppers can round up their purchases to the next dollar, with the extra change going to a different local nonprofit each month. This has resulted in shoppers raising more than $40,000 in donations to community organizations each year, on top of thousands of outright donations from the co-op itself.
Good Foods Co-op
Founded in Houma, Louisiana, in 1960, family-run Rouses' aisles are stocked with local, seasonal, and premium produce, including nearly 100 organic fruits and vegetables, along with hot and delicious prepared foods like barbecue, pizzas, or burritos (depending on the location). Don't miss the Cajun specialties like andouille, boudin, smoked sausage, and tasso ham made with Rouse Family Recipes and local seafood like Louisiana crawfish Rouses sells more local seafood than any grocer on the Gulf Coast - if it's grown, caught, raised or made on the Gulf Coast, you'll find it at Rouses. Most of the stores have seafood boiling rooms. During Mardi Gras season, Rouses bakes and sells more than 500,000 king cakes, and other don't miss NOLA sweets include New Orleans-style doberge cakes, tarte-a-la-bouille pies, and creamy Gentilly cakes. And Rouses is not just decadent meats and sweets - the chain's registered dietitian has handpicked more than 500 "Eat Right"-labeled grocery items that have lower sodium and saturated fat, with healthier fats, more fiber and less sugar. Rouses offers same-day grocery delivery and curbside pickup at most stores. In addition to giving back to the community, Rouses' publishes its own bi-monthly food and culture magazine.
What started in 1883 with Arthur Hannaford selling fresh produce from a one-horse cart in Portland, Maine, has transformed into 181 Hannaford stores in five states (Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont). Hannaford partners with more than 800 local companies and farmers to stock 6,000-plus products in its stores. In 2006, Hannaford launched the Guiding Stars program, a science-based store navigation system that rates the nutritional quality of every food in the store and makes it easy for shoppers to find foods with more nutrition. Ever innovating, Hannaford was the first grocery store in the U.S. to receive LEED Platinum certification for its newly opened, environmentally friendly store in August, Maine, in 2009, and it was the first major supermarket in the U.S. to document that all seafood products sold in every department were sustainably harvested in 2012. Since its partnership began with United Way in 1929, Hannaford has continued to give back to its communities. Hannaford has donated more than 23 million pounds of food to local food pantries and regional food banks; has helped raise more than $1.5 million in financial contributions; and has raised more than $600,000 annually for local schools.
Scott Nash started MOM's as a home delivery business out of his mom's garage in Beltsville, Maryland, in 1987 at the age of 22 with an initial investment of $100. MOM's seeks to protect and restore the environment and prides itself on placing environmental action and stewardship at the center of its decision-making process, affecting everything from what the grocer sells to whom the grocer hires. MOM's is known for stocking an impressive collection of organic products. MOM's roasts its own organic coffee in house, carries sustainable insect proteins, sells Backyard Beekeeping products to support pollinators, offers only sustainably-sourced seafood, and sells a variety of GOTS-certified clothing. MOM's has a list of banned ingredients, which the grocer uses to screen out products with questionable chemicals or additives. Recently, MOM's started baking its own organic bread in-house using natural starters. Each of its stores offers a comprehensive recycling center that collects items like cork, batteries, shoes, compost, food squeeze pouches, cardboard, bar wrappers, cell phones, snack bags, glasses, plastic, Brita filters, drink pouches, and health and beauty packaging. Additionally, the grocer offers seasonal collection drives like its spring Denim Drive and Holiday Lights Drive. MOM's annually donates more than $500,000 to organizations that share the grocer's worldview. They are equally generous with employees, offering fun enrichment opportunities and benefits for staff, including field trips, book sessions, contributions towards the purchase of electronic or hybrid vehicles, and 401(k) plans with socially-responsible options.
Massachusetts: Market Basket
Immigrants Athanasios and Efrosine Demoulas opened a small neighborhood store in 1917 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and the company has expanded to 79 stores (49 in Massachusetts, one in Maine, 29 in New Hampshire) that each carry 50,000 items. The family-owned grocer believes shopping should not be complex; their store layouts are friendly to navigate. Market Basket is one of a few grocers in the U.S. to carry certified Angus beef, and it is known for having some of the best prices in America. Shoppers don't need frequent shopper cards to get the best value, and there is no zone pricing (price points are consistent throughout the chain). Market Basket doesn't split price either. If an item is on sale as two for a particular amount but a customer wants to buy just one, the sale price prevails. Whether buying in bulk or buying for one, everyone gets to share in the special price. The full-service stores do not have self-service checkouts: a cashier rings orders, and there is a person to sack your groceries. Stores in the chain prepare sushi onsite and have in-house butchers, fresh fruit cutting rooms, exceptional seafood departments and in-store dining and heat-and-serve takeaway meals.
Founded in 1934 in Greenville, Michigan, Meijer has 241 stories in five states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Meijer created the "supercenter" concept and is known for its fresh produce, broad selection and pharmacies that offer select free prescriptions. Freshness, friendly service, and stores open 24 hours a day round out Meijer's offerings.
Who doesn't love a Target run? Since the first Target store opened in 1962 in Roseville, Minnesota, the department store retailer has focused its efforts on one-stop shopping. The second largest general retailer in the U.S., the chain also sells groceries at its SuperTarget stores, which debuted in 1995. SuperTarget went organic in 2006, carrying more than 600 organic products on average in each store, and fresh food options were added in 2009. Its private labels include Archer Farms, Market Pantry, and Simply Balanced, food products free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and 105 common food additive ingredients. Target has been a leading innovator in both retail and grocery practices, introducing the planogram (a diagram that indicates in-store product placement) and redesigned its shopping carts with recycled plastic more than a decade ago.
Mississippi: McDade's Market
Family-owned since 1996, McDade's Market is a neighborhood grocery store in Jackson, Mississippi. Known for its quality USDA meat, a deli with sliced-to-order meats and hot lunch food bar, a produce section stocked with local produce like sweet potatoes and blueberries, and a great craft and draft beer selection.
Beth G./ Yelp
Dierbergs' roots date to 1854, when a small mercantile exchange opened in West St. Louis County. The company has been operating continuously since and was purchased by the Dierberg family in 1914. The company now operates 24 supermarkets in the St. Louis metropolitan area, and one additional store at Osage Beach, in Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks region. The company operates under the leadership of Bob Dierberg, chairman and third-generation owner, and Bob's children, Greg Dierberg, president and CEO, and Laura Dierberg Padousis, vice president and secretary. Dierbergs is widely recognized for its exceptional service, high quality perishable departments, extraordinary variety, and the Midwest's largest selection of fresh-prepared foods. In 1978, Dierbergs became the first supermarket in the country to offer an in-store cooking school. Today, the company operates five schools and has been recognized in the industry for its consumer education programs.
Montana: Good Food Store
Originally named Mr. Natural's Good Food Store, the Good Food Store opened in 1971 and has grown into the largest natural foods store in Montana. Its current location is the store's seventh different home in Missoula. Good Food Store is famous for its support of local food producers and selection of quality organic and natural products. The Good Food Store's Bulk Foods department is one of the largest in the country, and its deli is busy from dawn to dark, serving hot breakfast, pastries and treats from its in-house bakers, Fire Deck pizza and sandwiches, noodle and rice wok bowls, and fresh juices and smoothies. Customers can bring their reusable containers, which the grocer sanitizes and then makes available in both its Bulk Foods department and Deli, saving hundreds of pounds of packaging and to-go containers from ending up in a landfill. Good Food Store recently opened NEST, a unique gift, kitchen and home store within the Good Food Store, and plans are in the works for a new cooking school. Despite pleas from customers from across the region and country, the Good Food Store has resisted the call to open additional stores and just keeps making its single, independent store better and better.
Good Food Store
Nebraska: Open Harvest Co-op
One of a handful of cooperatively-owned grocery stores in Nebraska and a member of the National Co+op Grocers, Open Harvest Co-op Grocery was founded in 1975 in Lincoln. Owned by its shoppers for more than 44 years, the grocer is famous for its wide selection of local and organic products, made-from-scratch deli and bakery items, and exemplary customer service. The store's made-to-order burritos are extremely popular with the local lunch crowd (anyone can shop at Open Harvest Co-op). More than 29 percent of the co-op's sales come from local farmers, artisans, and food producers. Open Harvest Co-op supports the community through special events, donations and community partnerships with other businesses and nonprofits.
Nevada: WinCo Foods
WinCo Foods began in 1967 as a discount grocer called Waremart in Boise, Idaho; the company's employees banded together to buy a controlling share of the company in 1985, and changed the name to WinCo in 1999. Those five letters correspond with the five states in which the chain originally operated - the N being Nevada - and the four current Nevada locations are the best grocery stores in the Silver State. The company keeps costs down with some unconventional moves: They don't take credit cards (debit cards are accepted), and customers bag their own groceries. WinCo also has its own warehouse, distribution and transportation system, which allows the company to deal directly with suppliers and vendors and eliminate costs in the middle. The supermarket is famous for its bulk foods section - customers can get anything they want in any amount, from a single bay leaf to 100 pounds of flour - and WinCo's candy selection is legendary and arguably the best on this list. The produce is also exemplary, in part because the current CEO, a 34-year veteran of the company who started pushing carts when he was a teen, spent many years as a produce manager in the stores. Don't forget to toss some salt and vinegar wings in your cart - you'll thank us and the fine folks at WinCo!
New Hampshire: Harvest Market
Local grocer Harvest Market has a trio of stores in New Hampshire. Whether customers shop in-store in Bedford, Hollis, and Wolfeboro or order online, Harvest Market is the go-to neighborhood grocer for natural, organic, specialty, and gluten-free products. The popular Harvest @ Home meal kits offer a variety of weekly options for families of two and four.
New Jersey: Fairway Market
Dubbed "New York's favorite grocery store," Fairway Market claims it is "Like No Other Market." Since its establishment in 1933 in the greater New York City metropolitan area (there are 15 stores in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York), Fairway Market is known for stocking an extensive selection of fresh, natural and organic products, prepared foods and hard-to-find specialty and gourmet offerings, along with a full assortment of conventional groceries. Fairway Market's most popular items include fresh baked breads, hand-sliced smoked salmon, and made-to-order chopped salads.
Karrie D. / Yelp
New Mexico: La Montañita Co-op
Since 1976, La Montañita Co-op has been known for its abundance of fresh, local produce and food. Shoppers do not have to be members of the co-op to shop at the five New Mexico stores plus the GRABnGO on the University of New Mexico campus. Thousands of local families have purchased co-op memberships, which are $15 per year and $200 for life, at New Mexico's largest community-owned natural foods market. Children shopping with adults get a free piece of hand-held fruit - sweet!
New York: Wegmans
Founded in 1916 in Rochester, Wegmans has 98 stores in six states (Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) with its first store in North Carolina and its first store in New York City opening later this year. Wegmans is credited with being a great place to shop - delivery powered by Instacart, curbside pickup at select locations, the Wegmans app, digital coupons, and online catering and cake orders help! - and it's also known as a great place to work, having been named one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" by Fortune magazine for 21 consecutive years. Wegmans also serves restaurant-quality prepared foods and other products that help with easy meals like oven-safe packaging, cold pressed juices, fresh-cut fruit and veggies, including veggie noodles and cauliflower rice. The supermarket maintains it own cheese cave designed to mimic those of Europe and also operates an organic farm and orchard in Canandaigua, New York, where different organic and season-extending growing techniques are tested; results from the farm are shared with Wegmans' partner growers.
North Carolina: The Fresh Market
The Fresh Market was founded in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1982 and now has 161 European market-style stores in 22 states. The chain was designed to bring back the Old World charm of local markets and is staffed by a friendly and knowledgeable staff. The Fresh Market's merchants stock a carefully curated selection of delicious and innovative foods, seeking out items that make everyday eating extraordinary - from small-batch, artisanal pastas to unique baking ingredients and crackers for entertaining. The selection of USDA Prime beef is noteworthy as are its private label products -from pasta and sauce to olive oil, chips and salsa - many of which are exclusive to The Fresh Market; each item comes with a 100 percent satisfaction and delight guarantee. Bonus: Every child gets a free banana or clementine from the produce department.
The Fresh Market
North Dakota: Hornbacher's
Since Ted Hornbacher opened his eponymous grocery store Ted's SUPERVALU in 1951, the Hornbacher name has been synonymous with superb supermarket shopping in North Dakota. Hornbacher's departments are stocked with well-priced, quality goods, and the store offers a variety of ways for shoppers to save, including coupons, promos and sweepstakes, gas rewards, and the Healthy Savings Program (eligible UnitedHealthcare plan participants can save on 200-plus brands).
The Kroger Co. operates 2,800 retail food stores from coast to coast and is America's largest grocery retailer with retail stores in 35 states and Washington, D.C. Founded in 1883 by Barney H. Kroger in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kroger's stocks exceptional private-label goods, including Simple Truth (natural and organic goods), Kroger ("where awesome meets affordable"), and Private Selection ("a collection of culinary creations designed to elevate every occasion"). More than 400 of the chain's locations include Murray's Cheese, the country's oldest cheese shop.
Oklahoma: Crest Fresh Market
Crest Fresh Market founder Nick Harroz learned from his father to "stack it high and sell it cheap." Opened in 1929 and today with 8 Oklahoma locations, Cress Fresh Market continues to offer "Rock Bottom Prices" across all departments, and private label Cress Brands, family packs, and coupons enhance savings.
Oregon: New Seasons Market
With 21 stores in California, Oregon, and Washington, New Seasons Market is a progressive West Coast neighborhood grocer known for quality local products and fun weekend tastings from the best producers in Oregon, Washington, and California. Founded in Portland in 2000. New Seasons Market stands out not only for its fresh, quality food and products, but also for its knowledgeable, friendly staff who are passionate about helping customers discover new makers and flavors. As the world's first B Corp grocery store, the company places as much value on taking care of its staff, its community and the environment as it does on growing and operating its business, supporting staff, vendors and customers, and committing 10 percent of its after-tax profits back to the communities it serves.
New Seasons Market
In 1923, David Javitch opened a two-man butcher shop focused on offering the best products at the fairest prices in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Nearly 100 years later, Giant remains connected to its fresh purveyor roots, bringing shoppers the best local products including farm-fresh favorites, PA Preferred items, and the chain's own Nature's Promise products. Customers can shop at Giant's 170 neighborhood stores, online or at a convenient pickup location. Through strategic partnerships with local food banks, children's hospitals and schools, Giant has donated back to the community more than $100 million over the last five years, including more than $22 million in 2018. In January, the chain opened its first Giant Heirloom Market in Philadelphia's Graduate Hospital neighborhood, which boasts an on-site produce chef to encourage exploration and to cut fresh vegetables and fruit on demand. The chain also has a team of nutritionists who provide one-on-one nutrition consultations to customers, and it is introducing "Marty," a new robotic assistant at all of its stores who moves around the store unassisted to identify hazards, such as liquid, powder and bulk food-items spills and provide reporting that enables quick corrective action.
Rhode Island: Dave's Fresh Marketplace
David A. Cesario started operating a fruit truck in Warwick, Rhode Island, in 1969, and the business has since grown to become the largest independent grocer in the state, maintaining a loyal following for decades. Shoppers at Dave's Fresh Marketplace are provided with free cups of coffee while they shop - just like at the old-time mom-and-pop neighborhood grocers. The small-format grocery stores include exceptional prepared foods with full service kitchens in each location that produce ready-made meals and salads and stock the hot bars, cold bars and soup stations.
Dave's Fresh Marketplace
South Carolina: Bi-Lo
A subsidiary of Southeastern Grocers, Bi-Lo was founded by Frank Outlaw in 1961. The regional grocer has stores in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In addition to exceptional service and groceries, Bi-Lo has a number of private labels, including Essentials, Prestige, SE Grocers, and the new Naturally Better, an organic line that is free from 104 artificial ingredients. In addition to bakery, deli, and frozen food departments, Bi-Lo has in-store pharmacies and also sells lottery tickets, offers money transfers, sells gift cards, and has an expansive floral section.
South Dakota: Sunshine Foods
For everyday essentials or exotic foods from around the world, Sunshine Foods is a neighborhood grocer beloved by locals since 1931. Each locally owned store in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota gives back to its community, who can shop for groceries, produce, meats from the butcher shop, sweet treats from the bakery and favorites from the deli. In addition to food shopping, shoppers can check other errands off their list, as each store has a dry cleaner and DVD rental.
Tennessee: The Turnip Truck
Since 2001, The Turnip Truck has been selling local whole foods in Nashville. Founded by John Dyke, who was raised on his family's farm in Greeneville, Tennessee, The Turnip Truck is the only locally owned natural food grocer in Nashville. The aisles of its two stores are stocked with products from local farmers and producers. Each store boasts a juice bar, salad bar and a hot bar that serves weekday breakfast, lunch, and dinner and weekend brunch, including paleo, low-carb, vegan, and vegetarian options. A deli and bakery round out the offerings.
Proudly serving Texas since 1905, H-E-B consistently scores well on lists of the best employers in the country and inspires such loyalty from customers that one Houston-area mother-to-be even staged her maternity photo shoot in an H-E-B store. From party trays to cakes to wine, H-E-B has locals covered with curbside and home delivery, and the H-E-B Plus! locations also offer household goods like coolers, smokers and party supplies. There are 400 stores in Texas and Mexico with $25 billion in annual sales.
At Harmons, the motto "Your Food Is Our Passion" is evident. Founded as a fruit stand by Jake and Irene Harmon in 1932 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Harmons has 19 supermarkets throughout the Beehive State. Harmons offers fresh, local foods prepared in-store by chefs, artisans and experts and stocks more than 2,300 "Local to Utah" products. From fresh-made chef specialties and artisan bread bakers (Harmons is the only Utah grocer that bakes bread daily) and internationally-certified cheesemongers to award-winning floral designers, on-staff chalk artists, and chef-led cooking classes and wine and cheese workshops, a shopping experience at Harmons is exceptional. Harmons has gifted more than $2 million and countless hours for local charities and nonprofit organizations.
Shaw's is one of the oldest continuously-operated supermarkets in the U.S. with its roots dating to 1860 when George C. Shaw opened his first store in Portland, Maine. Today there are 149 Shaw's and sister Star Market stores in New England, including 19 in Vermont, employing approximately 19,000 employees. Shaw's supports hundreds of local programs throughout New England, including Vermont Food Bank, Hunger Free Vermont, and Vermont Children's Trust Foundation. Customers can save on groceries with just for U deals and rewards.
The German supermarket Lidl is famous for its high-quality fresh produce and meat, in-store bakery, and low prices. The German supermarket is famous for its high-quality fresh produce and meat, in-store bakery, and low prices. (One 2018 academic study even identified a "Lidl Effect" - the result of which grocery retailers located near Lidl stores significantly lowered their own prices.) Wine and flowers are also standout staples at Lidl; Lidl is the only grocer in the U.S. with a dedicated Master of Wine, who is responsible for hand-selecting every bottle on store shelves, and Lidl has a 7 Day Freshness Guarantee on fresh cut roses. The family-owned chain didn't open its first U.S. stores until 2017, but there are 23 Virginia locations and it is rapidly expanding up and down the East Coast.
The first Costco opened in Seattle, Washington in 1983 and the chain has since spread throughout the United States, and it now boasts nearly 100 million members. Not only does Costco provide a wide selection of meat, produce, and groceries in bulk in its palatial warehouse stores, it also offers alcohol as well as consumer goods and exclusive member services like a travel agency and gas stations. Costco's business model is designed to provide value, offering national and regional brands priced below traditional wholesale or retail outlets to members, who pay a $60 annual membership fee. Costco also sells its private label, Kirkland Signature, which includes juices, cookies, coffee, housewares, luggage, clothing, and of course their famous and wildly popular $4.99 rotisserie chicken, of which they sell 60 million annually.
Washington, D.C.: Glen's Garden Market
Glen's Garden Market opened on Earth Day in 2013 in Washington, D.C. Known for its high sourcing standards, quality food, and for making every business decision with the environment in mind, Glen's Garden Market is committed to making climate change progress by serving "Good Food from Close By," which means that all of the grocer's partners treat their land, their animals, and their ingredients with respect. In addition to being an all-local grocery store, a farm-to-table deli, and a craft beer bar, the market is an active community center, hosting a monthly wine club and monthly cheese club, seasonal events, holiday wine tastings, and welcome parties for new vendors. Since it can be challenging to compost in Washington, D.C., Glen's Garden Market has created a program that allows its customers to simply drop off their compost at its store. What's more: Glen's Garden Market has helped grow other small businesses along with its own. To date, Glen's Garden Market has launched more than 80 local food businesses (50 owned by women), giving dozens of small-batch producers their very first chance to sell their products on its shelves.
Glen's Garden Market
West Virginia: Capitol Market
Occupying a repurposed rail depot on Smith Street in West Virginia's capital, Charleston, Capitol Market was established in 1997 and has since grown from a farmers market to a giant retail hub offering meats, fish, dairy, produce, coffee, wine, beer and retail in a variety of walkable indoor and outdoor spaces. The market features a wide selection of West Virginia-made products as well as charming eateries like the casual Italian Soho's and Mea Cuppa Coffeebar. The market is also a community hub that hosts events and gatherings as well as seasonal traditions like pumpkin picking and a Christmas tree market.
Wisconsin: Woodman's Market
What started as a produce stand at the corner of Milton Avenue and Sherman Avenue in Janesville, Wisconsin, has expanded to more than a dozen stores in Illinois and Wisconsin. Founded by John Daniel Woodman in 1919, the employee-owned Woodman's Market solely sells groceries with a focus on savings, selection and service.
Wyoming: King Soopers
Part of the Kroger Company, which owns a number of the chains on this list, King Soopers operates stores in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Its vision is "to serve America through food inspiration and uplift." Carrying more than 1 million unique products from 30,000 suppliers and manufacturers. King Soopers makes shopping convenient with services like King Soopers Delivery, which offers delivery from nearly 152 store locations, King Soopers Pickup, which offers curbside pickup from more than 90 store locations, and King Soopers Ship, a new ship-to-home service that includes more than 50,000 items. Like the rest of the Kroger organization, King Soopers is working to end hunger in its communities and eliminate waste in the company by 2025 via the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative, which includes phasing out single-use plastic bags and transitioning to reusable bags by 2025. Now that you've found the best grocery store in your state, see our tips on how to save money at the supermarket.
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