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Editorial: Saying goodbye to old friends will be tough; Hello new ones!

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It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that Park Rapids says farewell to a local institution.

Jeff and Bob Hensel of J&B Foods are hometown boys, our sons, our brothers, our friends. They've worked awfully hard and deserve a rest.

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But it's still tough to see them go.

Hugo's is a wonderful chain of supermarkets and will be a welcome addition to Park Rapids. It is a company that treats its employees well and has enjoyed success in building four Grand Forks stores, an East Grand Forks store and one each in Crookston, Thief River Falls and Grafton.

It's hard to lose old friends but Jeff and Bob won't be far away.

They leave a wonderful legacy of memories, a well-trained and friendly staff, community leadership and support and a familiarity we've grown accustomed to and relied upon.

Their low-key manner and hard work ethic is something for all business owners to emulate. They have left a recipe for success to their lucky buyers.

We wish them all the best as we welcome our new neighbors from the north.

Hugo's was named after a Grand Forks man and former mayor named Hugo Magnuson.

He was a fixture in community events, active in Grand Forks politics and was as civic-minded as the Hensel men are in Park Rapids.

Hugo, a longtime Grand Forks city council member, passed away in 2003. Many locals believed he stayed alive to make sure his beloved town recovered fully from the 1997 flood that devastated it.

He was everyone's favorite curmudgeon to the end. He opened his first Piggly Wiggly store in 1939. The Hugo's chain is now in its third generation of ownership.

We hope the transition is as seamless for the company as it is for the city.

PARK RAPIDS ENTERPRISE

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