Doris Schnuck, matriarch of US grocery company Schnuck Markets, has died aged 88 at her home in St Louis, the same city where the family business was founded in 1939. The wife of the late Donald Schnuck, Doris had been in failing health for sometime, a company spokesperson told local news source St Louis Post-Dispatch.
Schnuck Markets is one of the largest privately owned supermarkets in the US, employing more than 15,000 employees at 100 stores across the Midwest in the US. It started with just one retail store, opened by Donald’s parents, Anna and Edwin.
Doris and her husband oversaw substantial growth of the company, which had been incorporated as Schnuck Markets in 1952 by Donald, his father and his brother Edward. Proud of its focus on customer service, by 1961 the company had adopted the slogan “The friendliest stores in town”. It was a leader in the development of combination pharmaceutical and food stores, which had become popular in the US in the mid-1970s.
The 1980s and 1990s marked the transition from the second generation of the Schnuck family to the third. In 1998 the company acquired Logli Supermarkets, which had also been a family-owned business.
Doris was involved with several philanthropic causes during her lifetime including the Children’s Tumor Foundation and St Louis Zoo. In 2006 the Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden opened at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Doris is survived by her six children who are all involved in the family business. Her son Scott is the current chief executive and chair.