(Above) Bronson Market, Lake Bronson, Minn., is under new ownership. Jennifer Rogers purchased the grocery store from Jill Frei Oct. 1. The market will be open Mon – Sat 8-6 and Sundays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Right) Grandson Sam can often be seen behind the counter at Bronson Market helping out new owner and his grandmother, Jennifer Rogers.
By Linda Andersen
“I wanted to buy it to keep it open. It’s so important to have a store in town,” says Jennifer Rogers who purchased Bronson Market from former owner Jill Frei on Oct. 1.
Although Rogers is the new owner, she is not a new face in the store. “I’ve worked here for the last three years,” she explains, mentioning that she began employment with the store when Frei bought it.
What does Rogers enjoy about her work? “Dealing with the people – you know pretty much everyone,” she replies, adding that “a lot of socializing” is involved.
Someone else who likes to socialize is her two-year old grandson, Sam, who often spends time with Rogers in the store and happily substituted for his grandma in photos behind the counter. “He’s my only employee,” Rogers quips, saying that, at least for now, “I plan on doing it myself.”
Rogers grew up in Lake Bronson, the daughter of Walter and Linda Braget, and graduated from Tri-County School in Karlstad in 1991. “I grew up, moved away, and came back,” says Rogers, explaining her life story in brief.
She is the mother of four children – two boys and two girls – and the grandmother of two grandsons.
A walk around the business, on a great, old solid wood floor, reveals that, besides some basic grocery items, the store offers products which could be worth a special trip to Lake Bronson. Frozen Belly’s Pizza, the tasty pizza made in Thief River Falls, is available in several varieties, including basic pepperoni and cheese, plus some with interesting names – “3 Lil Piggies,” “Cow Pie,” and “Chicken Al-Fraidy,”
For a small store, Bronson Market has an impressive amount of gluten free foods, including pancake mix, pasta, all purpose flour, and cookie mix. Just a few of the frozen gluten free items include pizza, double chocolate muffins, and whole grain bread.
Mason Brothers of Wadena is the primary supplier for Bronson Market. They make deliveries two times a week.
Hunters will find blaze orange gloves and caps. Shoppers needing greeting cards will find them for a reasonable ninety-nine cents per card.
Rogers says her hobby is crocheting and she sells a variety of her creations, including dish cloths, slippers, and baby blankets in the store. In the future, she would like to add the work of a couple of other women in the community and have a larger gift section.
What are the most popular items in the store? “It varies,” says Rogers, adding that “We go through a lot of produce.” She says baking supplies have been selling well lately.
She sells live bait seasonally, has lures in stock, and will have ice fishing products for sale soon. She also plans to sell lottery tickets in the near future.
Bronson Market is officially open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. Rogers adds that she is also at the store on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7 a.m. for freight delivery and welcomes customers at that time.
Check out Bronson Market and support a small town business!