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UPDATED: 'It was time to find someone to carry the baton,' Dean's Country Market owner says on sale to Central Market

Saying it was a huge decision to make after 45 years in the grocery business, Dean Simpson of Dean's Country Market, with store locations in Perham and New York Mills, is consolidating his business with Central Market in Detroit Lakes.

Dean Simpson and his wife, Kathy, announced early Tuesday that they were selling their grocery stores in Perham, pictured, and New York Mills to the owner of Central Market in Detroit Lakes. The sale should be finalized in about 60 days. Marie Johnson/FOCUS
Dean Simpson and his wife, Kathy, announced early Tuesday that they were selling their grocery stores in Perham, pictured, and New York Mills to the owner of Central Market in Detroit Lakes. The sale should be finalized in about 60 days. Marie Johnson/FOCUS

Saying it was a huge decision to make after 45 years in the grocery business, Dean Simpson of Dean’s Country Market, with store locations in Perham and New York Mills, is consolidating his business with Central Market in Detroit Lakes.

The transaction will be finalized in about 60 days, he said.

Central Market is owned by the Lofberg family, which was unavailable for comment early Tuesday. They have operated the store in Detroit Lakes for 46 years and through three generations.

Dean’s Country Market is comprised of two stores owned by Simpson and his wife, Kathy. They started out in a small store in downtown New York Mills in 1972, and expanded to Perham in 1978. In 2007, the couple built a larger superstore in Perham.

Citing medical issues within his family and a general readiness to take life a little slower, Simpson said the time was right to sell and retire.

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“It was time to find someone to carry the baton,” he said. “I’m still going to be active and involved in the community. I’m not going to go away, but I’m going to lighten the load.”

With the decision made to find a buyer, Simpson said it was important to find a family-owned business with owners who desire to give back to the community and be involved in it, and Central Market fits the bill.

“The community here has been good to us and supported us, so we wanted someone to come in and be involved in the community and to give back,” he said. “The Lofberg family is very involved in Detroit Lakes and has made the commitment to be involved here, also.”

The Detroit Lakes family was interested, Simpson said, because they recognize that “the greater Perham area is a tremendous area.”

“With the support of the community and businesses, it makes this area a place people want to do business,” he said, adding that the success of the stores goes to a number of people.

“I really want to thank all the employees who have worked for us to make it a success,” Simpson said. “And I want to thank the public for its support in allowing us to build the stores we have and to have the reputation we have. It’s been a great run.”

Simpson plans to continue his community involvement as a consultant to Central Market, serving as a director of United Community Bank, and as a newly appointed member of the Hospital Board, he said. He will also continue to serve on the West Central Initiative Foundation Board.
He was inducted into the Perham Hall of Fame for his various contributions to Perham and the state of Minnesota when he was a state legislator, during the Perham Area Chamber Choice Awards banquet held last week.

The Simpsons have four children and eight grandchildren, whom they plan to spend more time with in the near future.

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Check back for more on this developing story. 

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Central Market is owned by the Lofberg family. Kaysey Price/Tribune

Related Topics: DETROIT LAKES
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