David Christiansen

David Christiansen

If you’ve lived in the Twin Falls area, you’re probably a fan of Swensen’s Magic Markets. The story of this homegrown grocery business is the same as many other mid-20th-century entrepreneurs — put down roots in a small-but-thriving town, open a simple business providing necessities to the community, raise your family along with the business, then pass it down when the time comes.

Sherm Swensen did just this. He started out over 65 years ago, living in the apartment above his first location. Sherm focused on fresh, local produce, meats and dairy items. The folks of Twin Falls were loyal to the Swensen family even as they expanded throughout the Magic Valley. Why? Because everyone who walked through the doors was family! There was always someone taking a few minutes to sip on a cold soda and shoot the breeze with Sherm.

Now, Sherm’s grandsons, Ben and Andrew, are taking over. When asked how they will continue the family legacy, these third-generation grocers point to the past.

“The success of the stores is a direct result of the dedication of our parents and grandparents,” Andrew said. “They knew what they were doing. The store is always clean and well lit, interesting products are readily available (and at the right price!), and there’s always a friendly face welcoming the customer and wishing them a good day.”

They’ve added a few modern conveniences like more specialty items and online ordering with curbside pickup or delivery, but the feeling is the same — talented employees, loyal customers, inviting locations and a commitment to be the best.

Over the years, the Swensen family has seen many former employees go on to achieve great things — doctors, attorneys, accountants and entrepreneurs in their own right. Now a whole new group of employees is looking at Ben and Andrew as mentors and innovators.

“Ben and I were lucky enough to have family who inspired us and helped us grow,” Andrew said. “It’s a privilege to pass on this legacy and contribute to a community that we love so much.”

When it came time to refinance their business loan, Ben and Andrew chose Mountain America Credit Union. They had heard great things from many of their colleagues.

Andrew said, “They really lived up to their reputation by offering a smooth, professional and positive experience.”

Today, the buildings are bigger and there are more cars in the parking lot than Sherm could ever have imagined, but that hometown feeling is still there — inspiring you to pick up a cold Orange Crush and chat with a friend. Thankfully, some things never change.

David Christiansen is the AVP SBA Sales Manager at Mountain America Credit Union.