Family-Owned Nilssen’s Foods Has Expanded After 100 Years in Business
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Nilssen’s Foods is a full supermarket that offers deli, bakery, produce, meat, beer, wine, liquor, etc. Known for their Nilssen’s award-winning smokehouse meats, they have established a reputation across the state of Wisconsin for high-quality food products. Nilssen’s meats have beat over 1,000 competitors to win multiple awards at the State level, including the Grand Champion Award for their bacon and chili cheese brats. Of course, for those lucky enough to live in Pierce County, Nilssen’s is simply their family grocer.
The history of Nilssen’s Foods dates back to 1903 when Carl Nilssen first opened a general store in Clear Lake. In the 1960s, his successor, Larry Sr. started entering their meats in state competitions, where they promptly won awards, thereby establishing themselves as a high-quality butcher. The family continued to serve the community of Clear Lake, passing the mantle of leadership from one generation to the next. In 2006,, Jason Nilssen, a fourth-generation grocer, began expanding the family business, which now totals five locations, including one in Ellsworth. We recently spoke with Jason to discover why he decided to get into the family business and what role he sees Nilssen’s Foods playing in the Ellsworth community.
Q: What inspired you to go into the family business and grow it as you have?
A: I grew up in the family business in Clear Lake, Wi. I went on to college and worked for some other chain grocery stores along the way. I wanted to own my own store someday and I got my first opportunity in 2006 when I bought the store from the owners I was managing it for. I later bought my second store in Ellsworth from the Hinck’s.
Q: Why did you choose to purchase a store in Ellsworth?
A: It was an opportunity to grow close by to my other store and the Hinck’s were looking at retiring.
Q: Why do customers enjoy shopping at the Ellsworth location?
A: They enjoy our quality products and customer service. Also, the store is in a great location with a lot of traffic going by the store every day. Location is huge in our business. We offer an easy in and easy out for this fast paced world.
Q: Do you have any plans for the Ellsworth store?
A: My future goals in Ellsworth are to expand the store in the spring of 2019. We are planning on adding a Caribou Coffee to the location and do a full decor and case replacement inside and out. We hope to have everything completed by the end of August 2019 and will be sharing more details about our expansion soon.
Our customers and the community have been very supportive. They are why we are reinvesting in the business. We have been listening to the wants and needs of our customers and want to continue to serve this great community for years to come.
Q: How does Nilssen’s Foods participate in the community?
A: We are committed to this community and plan to keep supporting the Schools, Police Dept, Ambulance, Fire Department, Churches, Food Pantry, ect for many more years. We know it takes a community to exist and we want to be a big part of it!
Nilssen’s Foods is a Local Grocer and a Community Partner
Under the leadership of Jason Nilssen, the staff at Nilssen’s Foods is committed to being an active community partner, and it shows. By making donations and volunteering, they are playing an active role in Ellsworth. To learn more about their history and other locations visit, www.nilssensfoods.com.