FOOD: The Duke of Groceries

A powerful newcomer has arisen in the U.S. wholesale grocery business. Under the very noses of the alpaca-sleeved grocer barons, dapper, cold-eyed Nathan Cummings, 47, has fashioned himself a duchy. Cummings, boss of Chicago and Baltimore's Sprague Warner-Kenny Corp., wound up in twelve hours of feverish trading a deal that made him a real power in the business.

For about $1,500,000 Grocer Cummings bought up some 85% of the stock of Western Grocer Co. of Marshalltown, Iowa, one of the biggest wholesale grocers between the Mississippi and the Rockies. By this stroke, he...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!