At Coborn’s, we’re always looking to create new and exciting ways to please our customers and introduce new items. I’m excited to announce the debut of our own new brand, “Four Brothers,” a unique product lineup that touts our company heritage and history that dates back to the company’s origins in the early 1900s. “Four Brothers” pays tribute to the 3rd generation of Coborn’s brothers, Bob, Dan, Bill and Ron, all credited with taking Coborn’s, Inc. to new levels under their leadership in the 1960’s through today. In addition, we’ve also just released a wonderful coffee-table style book, “Behind the Store Shelves” that details the rich history of the supermarket chain from our early days, way back in the late 1800’s actually, when Chester and Lee Coborn opened Coborn’s Bros Feed Store in 1884 through today. You can find “Behind the Store Shelves” at all St. Cloud area Coborn’s stores. And I promise, if you’re a history fan at all, or have any connection at all – either through your own employment with Coborn’s at some time, or have any connection at all to the Coborn’s family, you will certainly want to pick up a copy. It’s an outstanding tribute to one of Central Minnesota’s most revered companies.
The Rich History of Coborn’s, Inc.
Chester A. Coborn is credited with starting the “original” Coborn’s Grocery in 1921 in Sauk Rapids’ oldest landmark, the Bell Building. His sons, Chester C. and Duke Coborn took over the business in 1929. Bob, Dan, Bill and Ron, the “four brothers” and sons of Duke, were all involved in the family business starting in the early 1940s during WWII. They became increasingly more involved in the business, taking over significant leadership roles in 1957.
Throughout the years that the four brothers served as the company’s leaders, the company grew from a handful of Coborn’s stores to the company we are today, with more than 120 business units including our flagship stores, 30 Coborn’s stores located in Minnesota, South Dakota and North Dakota, and 14 Cash Wise Foods stores, located in Minnesota and North Dakota. From a few hundred employees back then, to more than 7,500 today, the four Coborn brothers took the company to new heights. Dan Coborn, now 84 years young, still serves as the company Chairman and can still be seen several days a week around the office, despite the fact he “retired” in 1999.
The Launch of a New Brand
So with that rich history in place, we felt it a natural fit to honor the four brothers when we began looking at how we could create a “destination” brand in our Coborn’s stores. With months of brainstorming and research behind us, we agreed that paying tribute to Bob, Dan, Bill and Ron would be an appropriate way to recognize their leadership. “Four Brothers” will showcase unique, one-of-a-kind fresh items, primarily in our meat, bakery, deli and produce departments, staying true to the company’s roots, where Coborn’s started first as a produce market, and then opened its first smokehouse, meat market and fresh bakery in Sauk Rapids in the 1960s and 70s.
Cheezy Garlic Loaf
Our first Four Brothers item has already arrived in your favorite Coborn’s bakery department. Cheezy Garlic Loaf is a delicious artisan gourmet bread, loaded with cheese, and the perfect accompaniment to any great family dinner. Eat it right out of the bag…and it’s difficult to stop once you start, I can attest. Or, wrap it in foil and heat it in your oven or on the grill for a delicious addition to your favorite BBQ or Italian meal. As the calendar turns to fall, it will be a great addition to your chili meals, as well. You can find it now in our bakery departments.
Jayne R., our wonderful meat and seafood department merchandiser, introduced you to Four Brothers Flame Seared Ribs in her blog earlier this week. And they are delicious! Meaty, savory, and most of all, convenient…simply heat and eat. Be sure to slather on your favorite BBQ sauce, too, for a little added punch. You’ll find Four Brothers Flame Seared Ribs in the service case in our meat departments.
Creamy Caramel Sauce
In the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing a wonderfully decadent Four Brothers Creamy Caramel Dip. As we move into fall and the apple harvest, there’s just nothing better than a crunchy crisp apple with a sweet, smooth caramel sauce to top it off. Watch for Four Brothers Creamy Caramel Sauce, arriving soon in our produce departments.
In the weeks and months to come, we’ll be introducing several new Four Brothers items as well. We have plans for new items in all of our fresh departments – bakery, deli, produce and meat. We hope you’ll come to love this exciting lineup of new items as wonderful additions to your family table to make memorable meal occasions.
– Dennis H.
Coborn’s, Inc. VP of Marketing / Guest Blogger