19. Michigan : Hank & Doug Meijer
Meijer is a Michigan-based grocery chain owned and operated by the Meijer family. Brothers Hank and Doug are co-chairman and Hank is also CEO. The company was founded in 1934 by their grandfather Hendrik, a Dutch immigrant, and their father Frederik. The first store was called North Side Grocery and a few years later the name was changed to Meijer’s Grocery.
Hendrik and Frederik opened Thrifty Acres in 1962, one of the first stores in the country to offer one-stop shopping. Frederik ran the company from 1964 until he handed control to his sons Hank and Doug, in 1990. Meijer has opened a handful of smaller, more upscale grocery stores called Meijer Marketplace in Chicago. However, the bulk of its revenues (estimated $15 billion), come from its 200 big-box stores in 5 midwestern states.