Central Market / Miracle Mart / Econofoods
Central Market, Miracle Mart, and Econofoods were former brands of the grocery store now operating as Dan’s Supermarket at 1190 W Turnpike Ave. Central Market and Miracle Mart also once operated in Mandan, replacing the former Bill’s Supervalu.
It is the only grocery store located on the western fringe of northwest Bismarck.
Early History: Econofoods
Nash Finch originated the Bismarck store under its Econofoods banner in 1989. Despite initial denials to the contrary, Econofoods was a replacement to the company’s Warehouse Market store, located on East Broadway Avenue (now Conlin’s Furniture).
The $1.8 million, 52,000-square- foot building was the city’s largest grocery store upon opening. It was originally a warehouse-style grocery store, similar to competitor Cash Wise Foods, with limited service and customer self-bagging. It did, until at least 1992 offer parcel pickup service, much like competitor Dan’s once did. While long-since discontinued, the former parcel drive-up lane remains to this day.
Bank Center First (now American Bank Center) established a 440-square-foot full-service branch inside the store in 1994.
Barlow’s Miracle Mart
Econofoods was purchased by Steve and Linda Barlow in 1998. The Barlows had moved to the area the previous year after purchasing Bill’s SuperValu in Mandan. They maintained the Nash Finch affiliation in Bismarck and changed distribution of its Mandan store, from Supervalu, to match.
The store underwent its first significant remodeling in 1999. The service desk and pharmacy were relocated from next to the checkouts in order to free space for three additional checkouts. The video rental store (since closed) was also remodeled.
Other upgrades included white ceilings and brighter fluorescent lighting.
In 2003, both locations were renamed Miracle Mart to match the Barlows’ three Minot locations. Steve passed away later that year.
Linda sold the stores to Grand Central in December 2005, who soon after remodeled both stores and re-branded them Central Market the following year to match the company’s location in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. The store also branded itself as “The Fresh Place” during this time, with both brands featured in marketing and on store signage.
Both stores underwent remodeling shortly after its acquisition. It was about this time that its video rental store closed and was demolished.
In 2013, Dan’s Supermarket purchased and converted the Bismarck Central Market store. The Mandan store shuttered shortly after. Ironically, SpartanNash (formerly Nash Finch), purchased Dan’s Supermarket in 2015.