I have to admit, I was today years old when I found out the actual meaning behind this popular Minnesota store's name!

The Land of 10,000 Lakes has been home to some iconic brand names over the years, many of which still call Minnesota home today. We all know that big national retailers like Target, Best Buy, 3M, General Mills, and many others have their roots right here in the North Star State, right?

And so does this familiar brand name. It's a grocery store chain that was founded in Stillwater, Minnesota back in 1968 and still retains its corporate headquarters there. It has a very simple name-- but do you know what that familiar name actually means?

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I'm talking about the brand name, Cub. As in, Cub food stores. The popular and familiar grocery store chain has been a part of the Gopher State for 55 years, and is still expanding. For instance, a new Cub foods store just opened recently in Rochester, Minnesota's third-largest city.

A Cub foods store in Stillwater, Minnesota (Google Street View)
A Cub foods store in Stillwater, Minnesota (Google Street View)


I'd always just figured that the name 'Cub' was a reference to the abundant wildlife that also calls Minnesota home. That's not a bad guess, seeing as the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says that between 13,000 and 18,000 black bears currently make their home here in Minnesota. So cubs ARE somewhat familiar here.

But that's NOT what the Cub means when referencing the Minnesota grocery retailer. According to Grocery.com, the 'cub' in Cub Foods is instead an acronym or abbreviation for the phrase 'Citizens United for Buying,' which refers to Cub having been one of the first whole discount food stores in the U.S.

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Over the years, the Cub Foods chain has been the property of several different owners, but is currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of UNFI (United Natural Foods). The store finder page on the Cub website says there are currently 106 Cub food stores here in Minnesota along with one location in Rockford, Illinois.

Grocery.com also notes that Cub was the grocery chain behind a number of innovations that are common today, including the checkout conveyor system. Who knew?!? Either way, here's a shout-out to another Minnesota store that's still going strong-- and the somewhat hidden meaning behind its name!

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Most popular grocery stores in America

The most popular grocery stores in America, from corporate chains to family-owned enterprises. Stacker ranked them using consumer ratings sourced from YouGov polls.

Gallery Credit: Stacker




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