Profile: Sid Applebaum

  • Updated: January 7, 1997 - 10:00 PM

Age: 72.

Family: The eighth of nine children of Oscar and Bertha Applebaum, who emigrated to St. Paul from Russia on their honeymoon. Married to the former Lorraine Smith; three children and eight grandchildren.

Residence: Minnetonka.

Work: President of Rainbow Foods, retires Dec. 28. He began his grocery career bundling soap and bagging rice and beans at Oscar's first store on St. Peter and 7th Sts. in downtown St. Paul. Applebaum created Rainbow Foods while recuperating from a heart attack; the stores eventually captured one-third of the $3.6 billion annual Twin Cities grocery market.

Vignette: The first Applebaum's fruit stand opened in 1929. On the 50th anniversary, Applebaum's six brothers and two brothers-in-law convinced him to sell to National Tea for nearly $19 million. Everyone but Sid retired. "I lay down on the family room floor that night and cried so hard I couldn't get over it," said Applebaum, who stayed on as president.

Quote: "When I was a kid, I wanted to play ball and ride a bike like the rest of the kids, but I always had to go to work. One day, I refused to work and went to the basement and cried. So my father agreed to buy me a bike. I rode the streetcar downtown. We went to the Goodrich Tire place. I picked out a nice bike and brought it home. Trouble is, I could hardly ride it because I had to go to work every darn day."

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