This time of year many Edinans head for warmer climates to golf, walk along the beach, get a little sun and open a grocery store.
OK, that last one probably only applies to one man, Jerry Paulsen, founder of Jerry's Foods in Edina.
While most people like to relax on vacation, Jerry worked during four of his winter vacations to get a supermarket built on the island.
Having wintered at the popular "snowbird" getaway for 10 years, Jerry had long seen a need for a grocery store in the area. Little did he realize that building one would take so long and meet with so much resistance.
The public, which questioned in 1983 whether the new store would change the island's character, recently named the Jerry's "Best Grocery Store on the Island." The 27,000 square foot supermarket had many features unique to the area but similar to Jerry's other stores in Minnesota. News articles went into great detail about the unheard of practice of drive-up parcel pickup.
Jerry's in Sanibel, in turn, has many features unheard of in Minnesota. The store is built on stilts 13 feet above ground level because of frequent flooding by tropical storms. Although more expensive than the typical waterproofing construction, the stilts offer the side benefit of underground parking.
The out-of-state location can sell wine, which is prohibited in Minnesota. And it does offer a sizable section of tanning aids and snacks than the Edina store - for those folks who do golf, walk along the beach and relax during their vacations.
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