Nash Finch

Food distribution company.

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7600 France Avenue South
Edina, MN 55435
Employees: 4,540
CEO: Alec Covington
Stock Symbol: NAFC


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Nash Finch Company distributes food products and provides support services to a variety of retail formats including conventional supermarkets, military commissaries, multicultural stores, urban stores and extreme price stores.

Nash Finch's core business, food distribution, serves independent retailers and military commissaries in 34 states, the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Azores and Egypt.

The Company also owns and operates a base of retail stores, primarily supermarkets under the Econofoods, Family Thrift Center and Sun Mart trade names.

For 2009, Nash Finch reported sales of $5.2 billion, a 12.5% increase, and net income of $2.8 million.


The origins of the company can be traced back to 1885, and to a small candy and tobacco store in Devils Lake, ND.  Founded by oldest of the Nash brothers, Fred, and soon assisted by brothers Edgar and Willis, this tiny enterprise gave rise to Nash Finch and its excellent reputation as a premier food distributor.

The Nash Brothers' approach was simple.  They listened to their customers and gave them the products they wanted, efficiently, and at a fair price. Nash Finch has grown to industry leadership by retaining that same philosophy for 120 years.

From 1885 to 1889, the Nash Brothers' business was strictly a retail operation.  During that time period, the upper Midwest was fast becoming an important food center with the number of successful farms increasing rapidly.  As a result, the brothers had ready access to abundant and varied crops, especially fruits such as cherries and peaches, to sell in their stores.  Occasionally at first, and then quite often, the brothers could not sell all of the product volume available to them on a given day. 

To correct the problem, in 1889 the brothers began to "job" fruit - gather product in large quantities for others to sell to retailers in the region.  Within two years, the Nash Brothers moved entirely into the wholesale fruit business.  That same year, the brothers hired the first non-family member of the firm - a fourteen year old named Harry B. Finch.  Mr. Finch was to grow in experience and make contributions to the firm in many capacities over his distinguished 50-year business career.  

As customer demand increased, the firm kept pace, expanding through the acquisition of several small distributors called "fruit houses."   Between the years 1904 and 1912, more than 20 fruit houses were opened or purchased, increasing the Nash Brothers' storage capacity in numerous locations and strengthening the firm's growing reputation for quality, service and efficiency.

During this same period, the Nash Brothers were not just expanding, but also innovating.  The Nash Brothers supplied retailers with their own private brand of coffee, the No-Vary brand, until the early 1920's when the name of the coffee was changed to Nash's Coffee (a business Nash Finch owned until 1959).  The Nash Brothers also launched the Our Family® brand of products in 1904, a line which remains popular and well known for high quality, consistency and value. 

By 1915, Fred and Willis Nash moved their personal offices to Minneapolis to be closer to the financial institutions located in the thriving city.  Harry Finch remained in North Dakota to manage general operations.  In 1918, when the Company owned 31 fruit houses, the general operating offices were moved to Minneapolis. 

In 1921, the various small companies that were part of the Nash Brothers' enterprise were incorporated into two major wholesale companies: the Nash Finch Company in the United States and Nash-Simington Ltd. of Canada (which the Company sold in the 1930's).


- Medical/Pharmacy/Dental/Life Insurance
- Flexible Spending Accounts
- Vision Plan
- 401K/Profit Sharing
- Stock Purchase Plan
- Paid Vacation and Sick Leave
- Paid Holidays and Personal days
- Educational Assistance
- Scholarship Program
- Relocation Programs
- Associate Referral Bonus Program
- Legal Services Plan
- Short and Long Term Disability Insurance

Updated March 4, 2010