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  1. Any idea when Milgram stores first came to KC? My cousin told me there use to be one where La Bodega is now. The earliest one I find here is in Brookside, taken during the 1940 Tax Assessment.


    1. I found this excerpt from the State Historical Society of Missouri’s archives, which houses the Missouri Food Company’s manuscripts. It is part of the abstract that precedes the actual archive and generally describes the contents and how they’re organized. I hope it answers your first question. As to the La Bodega question, you say the BKS Milgram’s is the earliest you’ve found, but what are you searching through to find them?

      Just a personal footnote to your question – I happened to be working in Brookside when they closed that last store (circa 2000), and when the contractor took down the sign, I asked for and was given the lighted flower above the “i” in Milgram, which was a part of their logo.

      (From SHSMO)

      Historical Note:

      Nat Milgram moved to Kansas City, Missouri, with his family from New Jersey in the early 1900s. Nat Milgram began his professional career by buying a paper delivery route for the Kansas City Star. In 1913, Nat had saved enough money to open the first Milgram Food Store, at 18th and Minnesota in Kansas City, Kansas. Over the next ten years, the company expanded to thirty-seven stores in the greater Kansas City area, and was run as a family business. Nat managed the business as a whole, and his three brothers and five brothers-in-law managed the several stores around Kansas City.

      In 1928, Milgram Food Stores was purchased by the Kroger Company. In 1932, Nat Milgram restarted his grocery company by creating Milgram Food Stores, Inc. Milgram Food Stores’ motto was “Hi Neighbor,” signifying the desire to be part of whatever community in which a store was located. Nat Milgram served as president of this new corporation until his death in 1958. Milgram Food Stores continued to be run as a family business, with Nat’s son Lester, and sons-in-law William Klein and Stuart Wien, holding senior leadership positions within the
      company. Milgram was one of the truly iconic business names of Kansas City, and the family’s civic contributions were hard to match.

      After the death of Nat Milgram, Lester Milgram became president of the company. Lester was chairman of the company at the time of his death in 1976. William Klein and Stuart Wien succeeded him in the role of chairman. While under the management of the Milgram family, the grocery chain was successful, and actively involved in community affairs in Kansas City.

      In 1984, Wetterau, Inc. acquired Milgram Food Stores. Soon, Wetterau was acquired by SuperValu, and gradually all the previous Milgram stores closed.


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