Bernard Henry Kroger
(January 24, 1860 – July 21, 1938), better known as Barney Kroger
, was an American businessman
who created the Kroger chain
starting in 1883.
Kroger was born in Cincinnati, Ohio
the fifth of ten children in a family of German immigrant
. The family lived above a dry goods
store that his parents owned, but Kroger was forced to go to work at age thirteen to help support his family. He quit his first job in a drug store because his religious mother objected to his working seven days a week. He then worked as a farmhand
near Pleasant Plain, Ohio
before contracting malaria
and coming home.
Kroger then began working as a door to door salesman
for the Great Northern and Pacific Tea Co.
, eventually ending up at the Imperial Tea Co.
The grocery was not doing well, and the two owners made Kroger a manager. When the owners later refused to make Kroger a partner, he used his own money to open his own grocery.
Kroger's store, The Great Western Tea Co.
, succeeded despite numerous growing pains and catastrophes. Kroger opened four separate locations within two years. He renamed the company Kroger Grocery and Baking Co. in 1902, later shortened to Kroger
, and opened over 5500 stores by the end of the 1920s. He is credited with introducing the low-cost grocery chain models that... Read More