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Jewel Osco - The history

Jewel-Osco is a chain of 187 supermarkets with headquarters in Itasca, Illinois, and Chicago suburb. The stores are located across northern, central, and western Illinois; eastern Iowa; and parts of northwest Indiana.

Jewel-Osco and Jewel are fully owned subsidiaries of Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons.

The company started in 1899 as a group of door-to-door salesmen selling tea and coffee from the back of horse-drawn wagons. Frank Ross and his brother-in-law Frank Skiff launched the business with only $700 in their pockets. With time, they expanded their services into delivering some groceries and later into grocery stores, and finally supermarkets.

In 1984, Jewel was bought by American Stores but before that happened, the company managed to transform into a big, multinational holding company that operated a few supermarket chains and also other store chains with non-food items. Altogether the company operated under several different brand names.