Luverne businessman honored by state grocers' associationGlen Gust recognized for best creative display in retail
LUVERNE — Glen Gust knows it’s important to be part of the community and to give back. On Thursday at Glen’s Food Center, the owner was recognized for his work with the “Minnesota’s Own” display contest.
By: Aaron Hagen, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — Glen Gust knows it’s important to be part of the community and to give back.
On Thursday at Glen’s Food Center, the owner was recognized for his work with the “Minnesota’s Own” display contest.
“It’s very important to be part of the community and give back whatever you can,” Gust said. “Glen’s does very well giving back to the community. Every organization, sports teams, churches, youth groups, trips and whatever we can do to help out, we try our best to do.”
The contest, which was through the Minnesota Grocers Association (MGA), involved more than 300 participants.
Out of the statewide contest, Glen’s was awarded a silver plate for winning the best single creative display in retail.
“This truly exemplifies what the Minnesota Grocers Association is about,” MGA president Jamie Pfuhl said.
“And the ability to recognize our independent grocers all throughout the state is fantastic and to see the commitment back from the community to support Glens and him to be able to support back is truly what Minnesota’s Own is all about and what the industry is about.”
Along with the silver plate to acknowledge the honor, Glen’s was awarded a $1,000 check to donate to the charity of its choice.
That money went to the Rock County Emergency Food Shelf.
“The food shelf was established by the Rock County Ministerial Association, so it’s a county project to reach the needs,” food shelf director Mary Gehrke said. “How this helps is that summer’s here, kids are home and we’re going to see a lot more people at the food shelf over the summer. It’s always great to have some extra donations to buy the groceries that we need for this month.
“We give vouches out each week to the people that come for some of the basics. Glen’s is where they exchange the vouchers, so they give us a good deal on the things that people need. We also stock our grocery shelves from here, so we try to buy things that are on sale because we are trying to be economical, too.”
This wasn’t the first — or last — time Glen’s has given back to the community.
“There is always a need,” Gust said. “People get down and out occasionally, and there’s need for food shelves or people that need help. We do our best to be able to provide that service.”
However, Thursday’s presentation allowed Glen’s to be publicly recognized.
“It’s one of the things that’s interesting about the grocery industry as a whole throughout the entire state, is they do give back to the communities and are such an integral part of their communities,” Pfuhl said. “The food shelf is obviously a natural for us because we do have food. Whether it’s with engaging the consumers to donate or us donating extra product or whatever that may be, sometimes the industry doesn’t get a lot of recognition because they do a lot of these behind the scenes. This is a great way to showcase that.”
The promotion encouraged stores to create a display featuring the 15 vendor partners as a way to inform Minnesotans about local hunger and to help fill food shelves across the state.
“One part of the Minnesota’s Own program is about is the partnership,” Pfuhl said. “It’s partnerships with the local food shelves, giving back to the community and Minnesota’s own taking care of Minnesota’s own. Plus, also supporting vendor partners. (Glen’s) was able to showcase all of the 15 vendor companies that supported it. They showcased all of that in their display.”
Throughout the year, the campaign provided 5.8 million meals statewide.
“I’m just proud of the staff, everyone that pitched in and all the customers that donated,” Gust said. “It’s quite an honor to be No. 1 out of 341 statewide, so I’m pretty happy about that. We worked hard at it. Everybody pitched in and worked hard at it.
“I’m proud to be a part of the Minnesota Grocers Association and an independent grocer, and I’m just proud of the accomplishments we’ve made.”
Now the challenge will be to repeat their success next year.
“We’ll do our best,” Gust said. “And believe me, we will. We’ll come up with some more ideas. We’ll definitely be an entrant in this year’s competition.”
Daily Globe Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.