‘It’s going to be missed’: Imminent closing of Moorhead Family Fare grocery store a bombshell for shoppers
MOORHEAD – Edie Kritzberger and Bill Livingood left the Family Fare in south Moorhead Monday afternoon, March 12, in a mild state of shock.
The source of their consternation was fresh news that the grocery store would be closing for good in April.
“It’s going to be missed, a lot,” said Kritzberger, whose home is on Brookdale Road, not far from the store and the nearby Brookdale Shopping Center.
Kritzberger said there has been a grocery store associated with the shopping center for the five decades she has lived in the neighborhood. “I’m in shock,” she said.
Livingood agreed, saying he will miss the store.
“I just started using the pharmacy here,” he said.
Officials at SpartanNash, the company that operates the area’s Family Fare stores, did not respond to questions submitted Sunday, March 11, and again on Monday checking into rumors that the store was to close.
However, store employees confirmed Monday that they had been informed the store was closing and that its final day could come in mid-April.
Moorhead Mayor Del Rae Williams said Sunday she was recently approached on two different occasions by people who asked if the store was closing. She said she told them she has no knowledge of an impending closing, and that remained the case Sunday.
The Moorhead store at 2605 8th St. S. was a Sunmart store until about four years ago, when the name changed to Family Fare. At the time, the Moorhead store and other Family Fare stores in the area underwent major remodeling.
One factor possibly figuring in the decision to close may be competition.
In early 2015, around the time the Moorhead Family Fare remodeled, a new Hornbacher’s grocery store opened in what is now the Azool shopping center at Eighth Street South and 40th Avenue South in Moorhead.
The Moorhead Family Fare also faces competition from a Hornbacher’s located at 101 11th St. N.
Family Fare officials declined to allow employees to be interviewed while working Monday.
One indicator of the store’s impact on the Moorhead community is a wall display that features oversized $1,000 checks to various organizations, including Moorhead area schools, the Lutheran Church of Christ the King and St. Joseph’s School.
The checks, all written in 2017, were part of a program SpartanNash participated in that gave $1,000 donations to nonprofit organizations for every $150,000 worth of store receipts turned in.
One longtime Family Fare customer, Beverly Fay, said she will miss the store. Fay, who said she bought all of her groceries at Family Fare except for milk, said she had “no idea” where she would take her business in the future.
“I’m very disappointed,” she said.
At the time the Brookdale Shopping Center opened in 1962, the grocery store anchor was a Red Owl. The location of the store changed over the years, as did the brands associated with it.
According to one online source, the evolution is thought to have gone something like this:
The Red Owl moved from the north end of the Brookdale mall to the south end in the late 1970s.
It became Red Owl Country Store Foods around 1982.
Around 1985, the store changed hands but retained Country Store Foods in the title.
A few years later, Red Owl bought the building back and opened Wise Buy Foods, which operated until about 1993. The Brookdale Shopping Center was without a grocery store for a time until after the original shopping center was demolished in the late 1990s.
When a new shopping center was built, a detached grocery store building was also constructed and Sunmart Foods moved in.
In 2014, after Nash Finch Co. merged with Spartan Foods, Sunmart Foods became Family Fare Supermarket.