Dan’s Supermarket / Supervalu

By on November 26, 2012

Dan’s Supermarket is the region’s dominant grocer with six locations in Bismarck-Mandan. Interestingly, Dan’s is not named after a real person. It was created as a marketing gimmick to coincide with the “Dan the Savings Man” campaign.

Early History

Dan’s has its roots back to 1949, when Roy Rockstad & Eugene “Bus” Leary purchased the local Piggly Wiggly and converted it to Bismarck Supervalu, the precursor to Dan’s Supervalu, which eventually became Dan’s Supermarket. Bismarck’s Piggly Wiggly had opened in 1934 and before being purchased by W.W. Oliver in 1939. Supervalu purchased the Bismarck Piggly Wiggly in 1949, in addition to locations in Dickinson and Mandan, and then resold it to Rockstad and Leary. The nearby Mandan location was sold to Emily Moos and William Joersz, and also retained the Supervalu name (Bill’s Supervalu).

Dan's Supermarket (North)

Dan’s Supermarket (North)

Rockstad and Leary had been coworkers at National Tea Store, where Rockstad was market manager and Leary the store’s general manager. Prior to purchasing Bismarck’s Piggly Wiggly, Leary had operated his own grocery store, Leary Grocery, for 3 months, upon selling the store.

Expansion and Growth: “Dan’s”

Rockstad and Leary opened a second location at the newly christened Arrowhead Shopping Plaza in 1953. Anchoring Bismarck’s first shopping center, the new location was called “Dan’s” Supervalu to differentiate itself from its downtown location. The original “Dan’s” location still remains housed inside Arrowhead Plaza, and is the oldest grocery store still operating in Bismarck.

A south Bismarck Dan’s location opened in 1970 (relocated in 1995) adjacent next to the Kirkwood Plaza, which was still undergoing construction at the time. A north location opened in 1975 (relocated in 2003) in the building now home to Hobby Lobby. Its Mandan location opened in or around 1997.

Other Locations

In 1980, Dan’s purchased an existing grocery store in Dickinson and built a second Dickinson location in 1982. Those locations were both sold in 2013 to Nash Finch, who transitioned them to the Family Fare banner.

Dan’s also previously operated locations outside of North Dakota, including a store in Gillette, Wyoming.

2013 Expansion and Sale

Dans Supermarket at Sunrise Town Centre

Dans Supermarket at Sunrise Town Centre

2013 saw three major developments for Dan’s. In April, the company announced expansion plans to anchor a new mixed-use development called Sunrise Town Centre in northeast Bismarck. In November, Dan’s sold its two Dickinson stores to SpartanNash Company. Then, in December, Dan’s purchased the Bismarck Central Market store. The purchase excluded Central Market’s Mandan location, which shuttered soon after.

The Dan’s location at Sunrise Town Centre opened in January 2015.

In April 2015, it was announced that SpartanNash plans to purchase the remaining Dan’s locations. The locations continue to operate under the “Dan’s” banner, however, are now serviced by SpartanNash; ending an over sixty-year relationship with Supervalu.

External Link:

Location Opening Year
Arrowhead Plaza 1953 (November)
South Bismarck (Kirkwood) 1970 (Replaced in 1995 – now Gold’s Gym)
North Bismarck (Gateway) 1975 (Replaced in 2003 – now Hobby Lobby)
South Washington 1995 (June); Remodeled 2011
Mandan 1997 (est.)
State Street 2003 (March)
Northwest Bismarck (Central Market) 2013
Northeast Bismarck (Sunrise Town Centre) 2015

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