Mackenthun’s receives honors

From left, Jessica Miles (Minn. Department of Agriculture, Minn. Grown Program), Paul Hugunin (Minn. Dept. of Ag., Minn. Grown Program), Jamie Pfuhl (President, Minn. Grocers’ Association), Carrie Tollefson (2004 Olympian, Minn. Grown Program), Eve Viskocil (Produce Manager, Mackethun’s), Jessa Theis (Owner, Mackenthun’s), Jaime Mackenthun (Owner, Mackenthun’s), and Ed Gardeski (Store Manager, Mackenthun’s) pose with the 2012 Minnesota Grown Independent Retailer of the Year Award. Submitted photos

From left, Jessica Miles (Minn. Department of Agriculture, Minn. Grown Program), Paul Hugunin (Minn. Dept. of Ag., Minn. Grown Program), Jamie Pfuhl (President, Minn. Grocers’ Association), Carrie Tollefson (2004 Olympian, Minn. Grown Program), Eve Viskocil (Produce Manager, Mackethun’s), Jessa Theis (Owner, Mackenthun’s), Jaime Mackenthun (Owner, Mackenthun’s), and Ed Gardeski (Store Manager, Mackenthun’s) pose with the 2012 Minnesota Grown Independent Retailer of the Year Award. Submitted photos

It has been a big year for Mackenthun’s in Waconia, which won two awards this spring.
In the first year of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Grown Awards, Mackenthun’s was awarded the Minnesota Grown Independent Retailer of the Year for its stellar produce department.
Mackenthun’s works with over 30 local farmers to provide customers with fresh, homegrown produce, something they have always strived to do, according to Mackenthun’s president Kim Mackenthun.
“We’re a family business and all the farmers are family businesses,” said Jessa Theis, marketing director and co-owner of Mackenthun’s. “In most cases this product is picked from the fields in the morning and in the store by the afternoon.”
Each year, Mackenthun’s is among the first grocers to have homegrown tomatoes in store, and supplies fresh, homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers throughout the summer. As the season shifts to autumn, local pumpkins, squash, and apples are beginning to arrive thanks to produce manager Eve Viskocil, who coordinates with local farmers and headed up the display that caught the attention of the Department of Agriculture.
Additionally, Mackenthun’s is proud to have the Minnesota Grocers Association Store Manager of the Year working in Waconia.
Ed Gardeski received the award for his storewide educational programs. Working with the more than 200 Mackenthun’s employees, Gardeski has held seminars, headed up online classes, and much more.
“We strive to create exceptional experiences for customers,” Kim Mackenthun said.
And Gardeski has done just that. Not only building customer service skills, Gardeski has aimed to help employees grown professionally and personally.
Gardeski was nominated for the award by Mackenthun’s and was up against dozens of store managers from across the state.
Both awards were formally announced in April 2012.
Mackenthun’s began in the early 1900s in Plato, Minn., when August Mackenthun opened a small butcher shop. In 1917, his son, Arthur, opened a meat market in Waconia. A full line of groceries were added to the market in the 1940s and 50s. Today, Mackenthun’s employs over 200 employees but is still run by the Mackenthun family.

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