Jewel (supermarket)

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Jewel is an American supermarket chain that has 182 stores across northern, central, and western Illinois; eastern Iowa; and portions of northwest Indiana.[1] Jewel is headquartered in Itasca. Jewel and Jewel-Osco are currently wholly owned subsidiaries of Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based SuperValu.




In 1899, Frank Vernon Skiff founded Jewel in Chicago, Illinois, as a door-to-door coffee delivery service. In 1902, Skiff partnered with Frank P. Ross, renaming the venture the Jewel Tea Company. In 1929, the company built a new office, warehouse, and coffee roasting facility in suburban Barrington, Illinois, creating hundreds of local jobs despite the Great Depression.[2] Area residents nicknamed the new, five-story headquarters the "Gray Lady" due to its sophisticated art deco style.[3][4]

The company's expansion continued throughout the mid-20th century. In 1932, Jewel acquired the Chicago unit of Loblaw Groceterias, Inc., then a chain of 72 self-service stores, as well as four Chicago grocery stores operated by the Middle West Stores Company, and began operating them under the name Jewel Food Stores, Inc. In 1934, Jewel Food Stores merged with Jewel Tea Company. In the 1960s and 1970s, Eisner Food Stores, located in downstate Illinois and west central Indiana (Lafayette, West Lafayette, Indiana), were part of the Jewel company; some time in the early 1980s, those stores were converted to the Jewel name. In 1981, Jewel sold its home shopping service.

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