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So Cincinnati: Kroger

Updated: Friday, February 21 2014, 09:22 PM EST
CINCINNATI (Tiffany Wilson) -- It's the gallon of milk you gran on your way home, or the cake you pick up for your child's birthday.

It's toiletries, pet food, cleaning, supplies and even furniture.  And it all started in our hometown.

Kroger, the largest grocery retailer in the country, is So Cincinnati.  When Barney Kroger opened his first store in 1883 he had 372 dollars to his name.  Now the Kroger Company does more than 96 billion dollars in annual sales.

It's the American dream, played out on the streets of Cincinnati.

One Kroger patron said, "I mean it makes you proud."

Another tells us, "I think they've done a great job keeping it local feeling."

Innovative ideas spurred the early success.  Barney created his own in-store, private label brands.  For example, he pickled his mother's sauerkraut, he brought in a bakery to the store, he brought in the meat department.  Barney created one stop shopping.  Just about 40 years after opening the shop on Pearl Street downtown the Kroger Company was up to five thousand odd stores across the country.

Today Kroger has roughly 2,600 stores nationwide and 109 around Cincinnati.  Walk through the Newport Kroger Marketplace and now you can buy whatever you're craving whether it's soda, a fresh sushi roll, or even a bar stool.

Customers are satisfied with their shopping experiences and Kroger is very satisfied with Cincinnati.  Vice President Lynn Marmer says the Queen City is part of the company's success because Kroger can attract top talent.

"It's really easy for people to live here," she said.

The company shows its appreciation by investing in our area, donating four million meals a year to the Freestore Foodbank and facilitating the community rewards program.

Marmer explains, "It is such a simple program.  You take your Kroger card, you link it to a nonprofit you care about and then that nonprofit earns dollars based on your shopping.  And that program in Cincinnati is 4 million dollars a year."

What started as a single store and some homemade sauerkraut now is one of the top five global retailers.

One patron said, "We've shopped at Kroger my whole life, so that's all I know."

But no matter how big the grocer gets they say they are very proud to have Cincinnati as a home.  And that makes the Kroger company, So Cincinnati.

The newest Kroger Marketplace will open in Florence, Ky. this spring.So Cincinnati: Kroger

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