Aldi grocery chain to build in Grand Rapids, MN

ALDIThe Scenic Range News Forum reports that the discount supermarket chain Aldi seeks to open a store in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, on the site of a former lumber store.

In a subdivision deal, fast food chain Hardees will also open a restaurant on the same site.

This lot is located across from the McDonald’s on Pokegama Avenue South. It had been occupied by the lumber store ProBuild, which had been a UBC store before that.

The Grand Rapids City Council approved a subdivision of the property at a meeting this week.

From Beth Bily at the Scenic Range News Forum:

Sam Munger confirmed that his company is looking to develop a Hardees at 1250 Pokegama Ave. S. The building permit filed with the city lists the development as a $768,500 project. “We’re working very hard to make this happen,” he said. “We have high hopes for this store if we’re able to make it come to fruition.”

Although the fast food restaurant chain underwent contraction in the 1990s, the Hardees brand has been in growth mode in recent years. Beginning in the fall of 2013, Hardees began an expansion into the northeastern United States. In total, 200 new Hardees have or are expected to open with the next few years in the northeast region.

Aldi Director of Real Estate Andrew Mack did not return requests for comment as of press time. However, its building permit suggests plans are to develop a $1.2 million select assortment grocery store at 85 SE 13th Street.

Aldi has made a name for itself in the discount grocery business, with prices often significantly under those of WalMart. Costs are contained through methods that may be unfamiliar to many American shoppers. The grocery chain charges small fees for shopping carts, asks customers to bring their own shopping bags and limits hours and inventory to keep costs down. The Germany-based grocery chain, which grew from a single location in 1913, is now estimated to own and operate nearly 10,000 stores in 18 countries.

The third parcel created from the subdivision has a yet unspecified use.

My stepmom shops at Aldi in the Twin Cities and always gets some sweet deals. Meanwhile, a guy can get fat and happy on Hardees. Hibbing used to have two Hardees. They roll in barrels of gravy off the trucks.

Once final paperwork is complete demolition of the old lumber store and the start of construction could happen as soon as mid-May, according to the Scenic Range News Forum.


  1. David Gray says

    Aldis provides excellent value and can be a real boon if you are feeding a family.

  2. I think it would be great to have a Aldi store here. Have shopped in them. They have great prices.
    And I would like to have Hardee’s back in town to .

  3. I live in Uk can say that Aldis is the best , fresh fruite and veg at low prices an average weekly shop would be halved in price , I also worked in a food factory at one time that supplied Aldi and they defiantly expect the best

  4. Darla DuBois says

    Yay! About a year or so ago I contacted Aldi’s and suggested that they put an Aldi’s in Grand Rapids. Who knows if my suggestion is what prompted this, it doesn’t even matter. Now the people of Grand Rapids will have a more affordable alternative to the more expensive grocery stores in the Geand Rapids area.

  5. Darla DuBois says


  6. Cheryl R Gangl says

    Please put up one in Hibbing, MN 55746

  7. Why did so many Hardees close a few years ago? There must have been a franchise problem, as they closed in many cities. Hope they have that problem under control.

  8. Independant says

    Just remember saving a nickel on a pound of bananas sometimes comes at the price of shutting down your locally owned “expensive” store where the profits are actually spent and donated back into the local community by the family that owns it…

    • David Gray says

      What about those items where you are saving in the neighborhood of fifty percent?

      • Independant says

        Sure I can do all of my shopping exclusively at Walmart and save a few hundred bucks a year but consider what happens when the local guys get driven out of business. Over in Aurora the two national dollar stores that moved into town undercut the local grocery store on many items, now we can buy all the Chinese boxed and canned goods we want but the local family run grocery store is gone. Awesome.

  9. It’s about time that a newcomer finally add some competition to this community. I agree with “Independent” in that the local grocery store owners are probably more invested in the overall economic health of Grand Rapids but when our options are shopping for produce and groceries at Walmart or paying extravagant prices because there’s no real competition between the two grocery stores, I believe a third, non-local option may be what we need to get prices back in check.

    • Independant says

      Next time a school or civic group runs an ad listing who donates to our local schools and community events take a look at the long list of small locally owned business that donate so that our communities can be a better more enjoyable place. The few bucks more you spend a year with local businesses are re-spent and donated back into the Iron Range…

  10. I agree completely with Independent. Our two local supermarkets contribute many,many dollars to the community. I understand families needing to budget carefully, but in the long run cut -rate operations hurt the local establishments .Walmart has done a fine job in driving out the smaller businesses that used to exist in GR. Makes me sad.

    • David Gray says

      How did this morph into a discussion about Walmart? Are you saying Aldi and Walmart are the same? The model is radically different…

  11. That’s the beauty of capitalism Jackie, it gives us all the freedom to chose, to spend our money as we see fit.

  12. I used to live in Grand Rapids and moved away about 7 years ago. I was sticker shocked when we moved to Brainerd, because so many food items were priced much higher than I was used to paying while living in Grand Rapids. Things may have changed, but they’re probably still cheaper than Brainerd. I really chimed in because an Aldi opened here in October, and it’s been a life saver for our family of 6! I am literally getting double the amount of food for half the price that I was paying at Cub, Target, Super One, or Wal-Mart! We pay a quarter for the cart and bring our own bags, Aldi doesn’t need to pay a cart person because we put our own cart back or just hand it off to the next busy mom! They don’t waste money on bags and force us to bring our own, that’s great for the environment! They do sell bags, but people rarely buy them. The food itself is mostly their brands, it’s rare to see name brands in Aldi. I was pretty skeptical at first, but my family prefers Aldi foods over everything that I used to buy, literally everything has a better taste and they carry a lot of organic, no MSG’s or artificial colors. I seriously can’t say enough about how happy we’ve been with our new favorite store!

  13. I do feel a little bad for the little guys (other local grocery stores) but if they would quit price gouging in the first place, people would stick with them. You get what ya have coming to ya..I believe it’s called karma.

    • David Gray says

      In the Brainerd market, where Aldi just moved in last fall, most of the grocers aren’t local. You have Cub, Walmart, Aldi, Target (sort of), and Super One. The only one of those that is even vaguely local is Super One which is based in northern Minnesota.

  14. You seriously think the local grocers are deliberately gouging customers? Really,now…

  15. John Ramos says

    An Aldi opened in Superior last year, and another is in the planning stages for Duluth. They’re a small store, so they don’t have a massive selection, but the quality of the products has always been good. I’ve certainly never saved 50 percent on anything. Some items are 10-15 percent cheaper than elsewhere.

  16. Loretta Olafson says

    I’m happy for Grand Rapids they are getting a Aldi I wish they would be niec if they put one in Bemidji we need ine real bad to get prices to come down to earth

  17. I also wonder about Hardies. They ran some ads when my kids were in high school that we would laugh about because they made us lose our appetites. Then in the next year, Hardies closed all over.

    I do wonder when similar stores have prices that vary so much. Are they paying lower salaries? Not paying benefits? Or is it really a management style that makes more sense? If that’s the case, why wouldn’t other business copy this?

    We know that WalMart drove prices down so low, refusing to pay suppliers a decent price, which is why many companies went “off shore.” I saw a documentary on this, which included accusations of the US govt policies subsidizing the practices via tax policies. This was quite awhile ago. We see what this wrought in the long run. In eastern Wis, there used to be both cookware factories and furniture factories. My dinning room set was made there. But when I tried shopping there for furniture for my mother few years ago, I was told, “It’s all made off shore now.”

    Online shopping cuts into local business too, but when local selection is small, we sometimes have little choice (for example, I never find Talls in pants in stores here.)
    There used to be a song with a line, “You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.” But none of this is easy to discern.

  18. mom on a budget says

    I am very happy Aldi is coming to Grand Rapids. I have a family of 5. I currently shop at Aldi in Superior. Yes, it is a drive. BUT… I save a ton of money, and that makes my drive worth it. I rarely spend over 200 for 2 weeks of groceries at ALDI. I cannot afford to feed a family on the prices of Ogles, Cub, or even Walmart. Shopping locally owned stores on a budget is not realistic. It is a nice thought, but not realistic. A gallon of milk at ALDI is less than $2. A gallon of milk at the local grocery store is over $4. Yes, you do save over 50% on many items. Some items, only 20%. But when it is all said and done. I can compare my receipts to the cheapest items in Walmart, Had I purchased the same items in Walmart, I would have spent over $150 more. At the local grocery stores? Over $200 more. So, I will pay the $20 in gas it costs me to get my cheaper groceries in superior, while patiently awaiting ALDI to open in Grand Rapids.

  19. mom on a budget says

    I am confused about the comment that Walmart has driven out local business in Grand Rapids. I don’t know of any locally owned and operated business that has been closed as a result of Walmart in Grand Rapids. Walmart prices are not that cheap anymore anyways. Used to be a money saver, now it’s pretty close to any other store.

  20. How about a jo-Ann’s or Hobby Lobby?

    • mom on a budget says

      WalMart doesn’t have a large enough crafting section to run them out. More than likey, when they were here, they were continuously struggling.

  21. mom on a budget says

    And.. Both of those are chains.

    • mom on a budget says

      Lol, I screwed up. I thought you were talking about WalMart running those stores out. I didn’t remember either one being here. And one of those stores would be nice here. There is not a whole lot of options here otherwise.

  22. Happy Shopper says

    Aldi is my favorite store ever!!!! Great selection of fresh fruits & Veggies & I love there fit n active brand items. The only time I got to go there is when I made a trip to the cities to visit friends & my car would be packed coming home. So happy when the one came to Brainerd but Grand Rapids is lots closer for me can’t wait for that one to open!!! I tell all my friends what a great store it is, now I don’t have to just go there 2 or 3 times a year! So glad they are finally coming to northern MN!!!

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