Hugo's purchases Palubicki's Family Market in Fosston, Minnesota

On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the Grand Forks-based grocery chain announced it has purchased Palubicki’s Family Market and Spirits, Fosston’s grocery store.

Palubicki's Family Market and Spirits sits along U.S. Highway 2 in Fosston, Minnesota. The grocery store was bought by Hugo's in November 2022.
Contributed / Mark A Steele
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FOSSTON, Minn. – Hugo’s Family Marketplace will soon have a new location in Fosston, Minnesota. On Tuesday, Nov. 22, the Grand Forks-based grocery chain announced it has purchased Palubicki’s Family Market and Spirits, Fosston’s grocery store.

The Palubicki family has owned the grocery store in Fosston since 1975, when Jim and Nina Palubicki moved to Fosston and purchased the town's grocery store. Their four daughters were raised in the family business and in 2006, daughter Leah Palubicki purchased the store.

Kelley Palmiscno, owner of Picks, suspects that overall, more people are turning to resale and thrift stores to find a good deal. “I think people are getting a little bit thriftier,” she said.

In 1975, the store, then called Palubicki's Red Owl, had four or five aisles, said Leah Palubicki. The original store was expanded twice, with the last expansion in 1989, which brought the building to 18,000 square feet.

Under Leah Palubicki, the business expanded to include fuel with Palubicki’s Express in 2012. In 2016, Palubicki’s Family Market and Spirits opened in a new 48,000-square-foot building, which more than doubled the size of the grocery store and added a pharmacy, Caribou Coffee and liquor store.

Leah Palubicki told the Grand Forks Herald that U.S. Highway 2 allowed Palubicki’s Family Market to grow.


“It’s the lifeblood of Fosston,” she said. “We were able to purchase land on the highway that allowed for that large of a building to be built that had such easy in-and-out parking.”

Fosston’s central location between other towns like Bemidji, Crookston, Thief River Falls and Detroit Lakes also helped the business grow, she said.

With the addition of the Fosston store, Hugo’s will operate 12 supermarkets, seven liquor stores, two pubs, four pharmacies and nine Caribou Coffee shops throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.

“We are excited to purchase this store and become members of the Fosston community,” Kristi Magnuson Nelson, president/CEO of Hugo’s, said in the announcement. “Leah and her family have built an impressive company rooted in family values, which makes this new addition to our family of supermarkets so special. We are committed to maintaining the great tradition, quality and service that the Palubicki family has built.”

Magnuson Nelson expects the transition to be seamless for the shoppers and employees of Palubicki’s Family Market.

“Hugo’s will retain all of Palubicki’s management team and employees who currently work at the store. Leah has built a great team. We look forward to working with them,” Magnuson Nelson said.

Leah Palubicki said Hugo’s hopes to close the deal by the end of the year.

Related Topics: LOCAL BUSINESS
Ingrid Harbo joined the Grand Forks Herald in September 2021.

Harbo covers Grand Forks region news, and also writes about business in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.

Readers can reach Harbo at 701-780-1124 or Follow her on Twitter @ingridaharbo.
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