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A sign of change

By Staff | Aug 17, 2012

In the past few months shoppers at Leevers Foods have seen a change in brands, as the long-time Super Valu store has switched suppliers. The changeover was completed on June 8, and Leevers is now supplied by Nash Finch out of their Fargo warehouse.

Rugby store manager Bob Dahlen said Leevers had been with Super Valu for 74 years. The Leevers family started the stores in Devils Lake and later expanded to other towns. They have had a store in Rugby since at least the early 1970s, he said.

“Super Valu had gotten so large it had forgotten about the small independents,” Dahlen said. “Nash Finch is much more friendly toward smaller stores.”

Ironically, Nash Finch also had its beginnings in Devils Lake but has grown to be a national distributor. The company has two warehouses in the state, one in Fargo and the other in Minot. Leevers Foods will be serviced by the Fargo warehouse, Dahlen said, since the Minot warehouse is overwhelmed by the increase in business brought about by oil development in western North Dakota.

Leevers Foods will still carry the national brands with which customers are familiar, Dahlen added, naming Kraft, Nabisco, Hormel and others as examples. “The only thing that changed is the private label,” he said. Instead of seeing Shoppers Value or Flavorite shoppers will now see Our Family and Value Choice. The products were switched out gradually, beginning in about March.

The store itself was remodeled two years ago so Dahlen forsees no major changes there, but says products may be rearranged to fit Nash Finch’s standard layout. “We’ll be tweaking a few places,” he said.

Some new products will also be carried. Nash Finch has an organic line and Leevers will stock 20 or 25 different items. They won’t be in an organic section but will be integrated on the shelves with like products. “We’ll do carrots with carrots, catsup with catsup,” Dahlen said.

Customer response to the changeover has been very positive because many local people are already familiar with the Our Family label, according to the store manager.

A new sign reflecting the name change is in place above the entrance and will be lit this week, Dahlen said.

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