Welcome to Cash Wise! Our growing retail company is in the business of people serving people – our employees and our guests! Our 19 full-service Cash Wise stores are located throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.

Our Brand Promise, Vision & Mission

With nearly 8,000 total employees in our 120 retail locations, we’re passionate about providing superior guest service at our grocery, liquor, and convenience stores, as well as our pharmacies. Our employee-owned company strives to live out our vision.

Brand Promise

Our brand promise to our guests, “Low Prices, Fresh Foods, Friendly Service” reflects our commitment to our guests to provide you with the lowest prices on the freshest foods…all, with a friendly smile.

Vision Statement

Be remarkable! Inspire happiness, healthy living and simplicity, one guest at a time.

We are also committed to making a positive difference by what we do each day to bring our company’s mission to life.

Mission Statement

We empower employee owners to create unique shopping experiences, anticipate needs and exceed expectations for our guests.

Our History

In 1979, Coborn’s, Inc. saw the opportunity to try a new business model and go big. They began plans to change the Willmar Coborn’s store from a conventional supermarket layout to a discount warehouse format under the name Cash Wise Foods.

Cash Wise Foods became a larger, warehouse grocery retail format, much larger than the size of a typical supermarket at the time and priced well below conventional grocery stores, making it very attractive to a large number of consumers. The format is still very popular today. The first Cash Wise Foods opened in Willmar in 1979.

From there, Cash Wise grew to become a significant part of the company’s portfolio, with a supersized store built in Waite Park, MN in 1982, in what was then pretty much the edge of nowhere. It was built in an open field on the far western edge of St. Cloud. The company’s philosophy was, “Build it and they will come.” And indeed, they did. Today, the Waite Park location is the top store in the company in terms of yearly sales volume.

Currently, there are 17 Cash Wise stores across Minnesota and North Dakota to include a significant expansion in 2012 through 2015 in western North Dakota, home to the Bakken Oil Fields.

Coborn’s, Inc. continues to grow, with much of that tied to the Cash Wise Foods group of stores. We are continuing to build new stores, update our current stores and when the opportunity is right, even acquire stores throughout the Midwest that fit our portfolio.

Through five generations of Coborn’s family leadership, the company has thrived. Today, Chris Coborn is President, CEO and Chairman, and his daughter, Emily, who is Vice President of Fresh Merchandising. Under their leadership, the company continues to grow and evolve into a dynamic organization. Today, the company employs over 8,000 employee-owners in six states.


Cash Wise's continued success depends upon sustaining our environment, the people in our company, the communities we serve, and the way our business operates. Cash Wise has always been committed to the responsible use of environmental resources, and seeks continuous improvement in sustainability. These aspirations consider the well-being of our employee/owners, customers, suppliers, communities and ethical commitments.

Energy, Fuel, Water and Materials

Cash Wise makes reductions wherever practical in our consumption of energy, fuel, water and materials by:

  • Building new stores and facilities that are more energy-efficient
  • Reducing energy consumption in all our stores and facilities, new and existing, through installation of energy-efficient equipment and design options, combined with energy-saving practices
  • Minimizing water use while maintaining the highest standards of sanitation and food safety in the industry
  • Reducing fuel use and emissions through fleet modifications, training, and optimization of loads, routing, and delivery schedules
  • Evaluating the use and sale of alternative fuels wherever practical

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Cash Wise explores and implements, wherever practical, alternatives for reducing, reusing, and recycling materials:

  • Recycling store and food-processing-generated material destined for landfills
  • Working with our suppliers to reduce materials, promote reusable and recyclable materials, and increase the use of recycled content where practical

Promoting Sustainability

Promote sustainability with customers, employee/owners, communities, suppliers, and within our industry by:

  • Offering environmentally friendly products, such as reusable shopping bags
  • Providing guests and employees tips for practicing sustainability at home
  • Providing information and leadership in promoting nutrition and wellness
  • Working with suppliers to find sustainable product and packaging options throughout the supply chain
  • Contributing time, talents and resources to sustaining our communities through volunteerism and giving