> Supermarket: Market Basket
> Headquarters: Tewksbury, Massachusetts
> Year founded: 1917
> Best independent grocery store: Roslindale Fish Market, Roslindale
“Market Basket” has proved a popular name for supermarkets. There was a well-known chain of that name in Southern California in the mid-20th century, and there are currently 31 Market Basket supermarkets in southeastern Texas and Louisiana. Neither has anything to do with this Market Basket, though. This one grew out of a small food store opened in 1917 in Lowell, Massachusetts, by Greek immigrants Athanasios and Efrosini Demoulas. This grew into the DeMoulas Super Market chain, which branded one of its stores, in New Hampshire, as Market Basket in 1975. Today there are 80 Market Basket stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.
> Supermarket: Meijer
> Headquarters: Grand Rapids, Michigan
> Year founded: 1934
> Best independent grocery store: Honey Bee La Colmena, Detroit
Not to be confused with the Kroger Company’s Fred Meyer market chain, Meijer has its origins in Greenville, Michigan, in 1934, when barber Hendrik Meijer and his 14-year-old son, Fred, started selling provisions to barbershop customers. There are more than 200 stores today, in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana.
> Supermarket: Hy-Vee
> Headquarters: West Des Moines
> Year founded: 1930
> Best independent grocery store: Tim & Tom’s Speedy Market, St. Paul
With stores in eight Midwestern states and annual sales of $10 billion, Iowa-based Hy-Vee is ranked among the top 25 supermarket chains in America and also one of the country’s top 50 private companies. The chain is employee-owned.
> Supermarket: Kroger
> Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio
> Year founded: 1883
> Best independent grocery store: Oriental Supermarket & Restaurant, Jackson
According to its corporate parent, the Kroger Company, Kroger’s became the first grocery chain to regularly monitor product quality, back in the 1930s, and in 1972 became the first retail grocery store to test an electronic scanner — installed at one of its units in suburban Cincinnati. The company’s merchandise and supplies reach Mississippi and other states through what is said to be one of the nation’s largest privately owned trucking fleets.
> Supermarket: Schnucks
> Headquarters: St. Louis, Missouri
> Year founded: 1939
> Best independent grocery store: McGonigles’s Market, Kansas City
From its beginnings in North St. Louis in 1939, the family-owned Schnucks has grown into a chain of almost 100 units in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Family patriarch Edwin Schnuck ran a wholesale meat business, and the growing market chain branded itself as the home of “Meat Masters.” It is still known for the quality of its meats today.