Rosauers Supermarket had its beginning in 1934 when J. Merton Rosauer, just out of school, bought a little grocery store on the corner of Sprague and Lee Streets in Spokane, Washington. The purchase was financed by a $1,000 loan from his father and mother. These were Depression times, and it was four years before the loan could be paid back out of profits.
It took courage and faith to launch a business at a time when America’s economy was turned upside down, and over the years Mr. Rosauer would parlay these traits into one of the most successful and innovative corporations in the Pacific Northwest. In 1938 he sold his first neighborhood store, and with his earnings reinvested in another. A short time later he repeated that process again. Then in 1949, Mr. Rosauer opened the Company’s first – and Spokane’s first – supermarket. It was located at 3rd and Oak, and it incorporated lessons and ideas that had been 15 years in the making. At that time, Rosauers had only about 20 employees. But these dedicated people made the new supermarket an instant success. Interestingly, that first store is still operating, in a space seven times larger than its original size.
Since the first supermarket in 1949, Rosauers has expanded its operations to include conventional Supermarkets, Price Impact Super Stores, and Natural and Organic Markets serving the Inland Pacific Northwest in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.
In 1984, prior to retiring, Mert Rosauer sold the company to another Spokane-based business, URM Stores, Inc. By selling to his supplier, Mert felt that the traditions he established would endure at the stores he founded for many more years to come.
In September 1989, after just 5 years of ownership, the Board of Directors for URM Stores, Inc., made a decision to sell the Rosauers chain. On July 27, 1990, a dream came true for the 1,250 existing Rosauers employees of that time. They became the proud new owners of fifteen (15) food and drug stores operating in four states, one freestanding pharmacy, an ice cream plant and the corporate office building, through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) transaction.
Since 1990, Rosauers has made several acquisitions to expand existing stores and add to the total number of stores in operation. These included Market Time Drug in Lewiston, ID, Drug Fair in Moscow, ID, Super 1 Foods in Spokane, WA, the Monroe Street Market and Spokane Wine Company in Spokane, WA, Super 1 Foods in Walla Walla, WA, Super 1 Foods in Colville, WA and the Excel Food Store in Colfax, WA. New stores have been built in Yakima, WA, 9 Mile Falls, WA, Bozeman, MT and Meridian, ID.
In June of 2000, the employees, by unanimous vote, re-sold the company to URM Stores. Today, Rosauers Supermarkets Inc. consists of 17 Rosauers Stores, 4 Super 1 Foods Stores and 1 free-standing Huckleberry’s Natural Market. The company has approximately 2,100 employees.
Rosauers has continued to stand by its founding principles of providing the highest quality products, largest selection, cleanest stores and friendliest, professional service. Commitment to valuing its employees and customers will continue to guide the company toward a very successful future. Mert Rosauer would be proud of the legacy he founded so many years ago. Welcome to Rosauers!