Sidney Applebaum, born on February 28, 1924 in Saint Paul, Minnesota was an American businessman and the co-founder of various food chains. He was the second son of Oscar and Bertha Applebaum. Oscar Applebaum used a horse-drawn cart to sell vegetables door-to-door in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their family started off small, with eleven members living in a three-bedroom home. On their honeymoon, his parents immigrated to the United States from Russia. His father opened a corner grocery business in St. Peter and on 7th Street in downtown St. Paul after that. He was able to do this thanks to a $65 borrowing sufficient money from his eldest son. The first of Applebaum’s food stores opened here. Sidney offered assistance to his father by wrapping soaps and rice sacks. As a box boy, he also transported fruits and goods. He became acquainted with the grocery business at a young age as a result of this. He graduated from West St. Paul’s Humboldt Senior High School. Following graduation, he returned to the family firm, where he not only assisted in its growth but also helped it reach new heights.
After reaching a stable point in the business realm by taking small steps, there grocery stores and Rainbow foods gained public recognition.
Grocery stores: Sidney Applebaum and his six brothers, as well as their two brothers-in-law, had taken over the administration of Applebaum’s grocery stores, which had grown into a large chain by the 1950’s. After a decade, the chain had expanded to a national level. Their business continued to establish a chain of warehouse supermarkets with Dayton-Target Hudson’s shops, which stretched from Duluth to Houston. He along with his brothers had progressed the family business and initiated Applebaum’s Food Markets. It eventually grew to over 30 stores in Minnesota and another in Duluth in 1979. D.B. Reinhart, the originator of National Tea, later purchased the Applebaum’s Food Market chain. Sidney began working for them and was ultimately promoted to General Manager of the Twin Cities retail unit. D.B. Reinhart also agreed to support Sidney’s plan to turn some of the former Applebaum stores into Rainbow Foods locations. Applebaum’s stellar career in the grocery sector won him the Minnesota Grocers Association’s “Grocer of the Century” honor in 1997. His son telling about his business courtesy said that that he could do anything for anyone. If he had workers who couldn’t afford Thanksgiving dinner, he’d escort them to the store and get them everything they needed.
Rainbow foods: Rainbow Foods was established on October 1, 1983, with Sydney Applebaum as a co-founder. In the mid-1990s, he went on to propagate Rainbow Foods into a major supermarket, with about a third of the market share in the Twin Cities. Rainbow foods were supermarkets in the manner of a shop. The franchise was sold to Fleming Foods, a Texas-based company, in 1994, and then to Roundy’s in 2003. Roundy’s then resold several of the Rainbow Foods locations to Lunds and Byerly’s and Supervalu Inc. in 2014. Despite several changes of ownership, Sidney Applebaum remained president of Rainbow Foods until 1996. He purchased four Holiday Foods businesses in Fridley, Plymouth, Burnsville, and Bloomington after 1997. The stores were bought by Supervalu after a year and a half, and they were eventually transformed to Cub Foods outlets. January 1, 1997 was the day Sidney Applebaum, finally retires from Rainbow Foods.
Currently, three Rainbow Foods stores exist in the Twin Cities, one of which is located adjacent to Big Top Liquor, one of the Applebaum family’s six liquor store franchises in the Twin Cities.
Death: On September 17th, 1945, Sydney Applebaum tied the knot with Lorraine Smith. They have three children together. Nancy, Ellen, and Jay Applebaum are his children. He had eight grandkids and five great-grandchildren at the date he departed. Sidney Applebaum was recognized in the community for his dynamic participation. He served on the boards of the University of Minnesota, United Hospital, Oak Ridge Country Club, and Children’s Cancer Research Fund, as well as the Shriners and St. Paul Rotary. He also assisted with the Olympic Festival and the St. Paul Winter Carnival management.
Sidney Applebaum was working on a number of company expansion plans before he died. He hoped to start a new supermarket chain using the existing outlets as a foundation. He even tidied up the businesses as part of his strategy, but nature wouldn’t let him go. Sydney Applebaum worked for the majority of his life and was a really diligent worker. He was a successful entrepreneur who, thankfully, was able to maintain a healthy work-life balance. His family is abandoned with nothing but his recollections and the lessons he taught them to live by.
Sidney Applebaum, a co-founder of Big Top Liquors, Applebaum’s Food Stores, Sid’s Discount Liquors, and Rainbow Foods, was a man of success, businessman, folk’s educator, and a source of inspiration to follow, especially for those in the Grocery Markets industry.
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