1903- The legacy of Nilssen's began when C.J.E. (Carl) Nilssen began a general store in Clear Lake, Wisconsin. The general store then became Nilssen's Cash Store, a grocery and hardware store, when Carl and his brother Tom constructed a building on Main Street to better serve their community. The Nilssen legacy continued down to the next generation when Carl's sons, Neil and Larry Sr., took over the family business.
1960's- The business grew to include Nilssen's "Blue Ribbon" meats as Larry Sr. started to compete on the state, national, and international level winning many awards for his homemade sausages, processed meats, and hams. Larry's sons, Bradley and Larry Jr., joined the store soon after Neil retired in 1976.
1983- On Christmas Eve, a tragedy struck as Nilssen's Cash Store caught on fire. Three fire departments were sent out to battle the tremendous fire on Clear Lake's Main Street. The fire burned Nilssen's Cash Store to the ground. The complete loss of the building and inventory was not to stop the Nilssen family. A new building and business, known as Nilssen's Inc, was constructed that still stands at its current location near Hwy 63 in Clear Lake, WI. The new building allowed for more space to process, smoke, and package Nilssen's Blue Ribbon meats. With this new store in operation, Larry Sr.'s youngest son, Carl joined the business helping to continue C.J.E Nilssen's legacy.
1990's- Nilssen's Inc. was renamed to Nilssen's Market and was given a fresh new look with a new addition and some remodeling. Bradley Nilssen left the organization during this time and Larry Sr. retired. Although officially "retired" Larry Sr. would help out wherever needed until his passing at age 88 in 2016. Larry Jr. and Carl continued to produce award-winning Blue-Ribbon Meats while providing quality customer service to surrounding communities. Larry Jr.'s son Jordan entered the business and works alongside his father in the meat department. Together they invent new flavor combinations, travel to competitions, and work hard on winning awards for the Nilssen's Blue- Ribbon meats. Nearly 100 varieties of "Blue Ribbon" meats and cheeses are now sold to the public.
2006- The story doesn't end there, in fact the legacy continues. Another great grandson of C.J.E. Nilssen dreamt of owning his own grocery store. Jason, Bradley's son, worked at Nilssen's Market while attending school in Clear Lake, WI. Jason went on to college and still stayed employed in the grocery store business. After 14 years of working for various grocery store chains, Jason's dreams were to be an owner himself. Jason and his wife, Teresa, purchased Nelson's SuperValu in Baldwin, WI and changed the name to Nilssen's Foods. Wanting to grow the family business, Jason and Teresa Nilssen, then purchased stores in Ellsworth, Glenwood City, and most recently expanded into Minnesota with the purchase of Hub Food Center in Zumbrota, Minnesota. Jason is also co-owner of the Cumberland Nilssen's Foods with Joe Diedrich, who has served as store manager for several years in Cumberland.
2019- Jason and Teresa, went into partnership with the Wayne Foods stores located in Luck, Webster, and Danbury, WI. In 2021, the Food Pride grocery store in Beaver Dam, WI joined the Nilssen Family in yet another partnership.
2021 & Beyond-Four out of Jason and Teresa's seven children, as well as one daughter- in- law, currently work in the family business. Nilssen's strives to provide each community they serve with quailty, cleanliness, and great customer service continuing the family legacy.