> Supermarket: Costco
> Headquarters: Issaquah, Washington
> Year founded: 1983
> Best independent grocery store: Tamashiro Market, Honolulu
This massive warehouse-style retailer descends from a business-to-business store called Price Club, opened in San Diego, California, in 1976. The first Costco opened independently in Seattle in 1983, and ten years later the two enterprises merged. Today, there are more than 760 locations in eight countries, accounting for total annual sales of more than $64 billion.
> Supermarket: Albertsons
> Headquarters: Boise, Idaho
> Year founded: 1939
> Best independent grocery store: Lark and Larder, Boise
It’s fitting that Albertsons is Idaho’s favorite supermarket, since the chain was founded in the state’s capital in 1939. According to the company website, in those days, “For just over 75 cents, customers [could] purchase three pounds of tomatoes, a pound of coffee and a one-pound roast.”
> Supermarket: Jewel-Osco
> Headquarters: Itasca, Illinois
> Year founded: 1899
> Best independent grocery store: HarvesTime Foods, Chicago
Now one of the Albertsons Companies brands, Jewel grew out of a door-to-door tea and coffee wagon founded in 1899. This grew into Jewel Food Stores, and the company began acquiring other chains — including Osco Drugs in 1960. Known today as Jewel-Osco, the chain operates 188 stores in the greater Chicago area, as well as in Indiana and Iowa.
> Supermarket: Kroger
> Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio
> Year founded: 1883
> Best independent grocery store: Wildwood Market, Indianapolis
Using his life savings — $372 — a merchant’s son named Barney Kroger opened a grocery store in downtown Cincinnati in 1883. According to the Kroger Company, which now runs thousands of supermarkets under numerous banners, as the business grew, Kroger’s became the first market to bake its own bread and the first to sell meat and groceries under the same roof.
> Supermarket: Hy-Vee
> Headquarters: West Des Moines, Iowa
> Year founded: 1930
> Best independent grocery store: C Fresh Market, Des Moines
The small general store opened in Beaconsfield, Iowa, in 1930 by Charles Hyde and David Vredenburg (the “Hy” and “Vee” of the market’s name) has grown into a chain of more than 240 supermarkets and drugstores in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.