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Lena Meijer's Chocolate-Peppermint Brownies

“When the renowned Meijer chain opened its Thrifty Acres store this morning there was one thing absent. . . . Spaghetti squash. But that commodity was probably never missed by the streams of customers who poured through the doors for the Gratiot Road store’s grand opening.”

“Poor weather was expected to dimmish the first day’s turnout at the new store, but Saginaw County sheriff’s deputies were on the alert with eight extra men who could be assigned to patrol the area should the traffic flow get heavier.” --The Saginaw News, March 18, 1980.

The Meijer firm first announced it interest in constructing a store in the Saginaw Area in September, 1977 – almost three years prior to opening their store on Gratiot Road in Thomas Township. Shortly after construction started on the Gratiot Road store in 1979, the company stated construction on a second 145,000 square foot store on Tittabawassee Road in Kochville Township.

In 1987, Store 42 in Saginaw created a Guest Happiness Committee as a way to support the community. One of their many fundraisers was a cookbook with team member recipes, published in 1997, and sold for $10. Unfortunately, we do not have a copy of this cookbook; however the Meijer Heritage Center Instagram shared a photo of the cookbook and the committee signature page. If anyone has this cookbook we would love to see it!

Meijer’s Grocery was started in 1934 in Greenville, Michigan by local barber Hendrik Meijer and his 14-year-old son, Fred, in an effort to meet more of their customers' needs. A second store was opened in Cedar Springs, Michigan in 1941 under the management of Johanna Meijer. By 1945, half of Meijer team members were women. In 1962 Meijer opened its first “Thrifty Acres” which provided groceries, clothing, and hardware, allowing customers to shop for all their needs in one location. This was the birth of the “supercenter” concept. Sandy, the coin-operated pony, also made her first appearance in 1962 and has become a shopping trip tradition that still costs just one penny.

This week’s recipe is from Mrs. Lena Meijer, wife of Frederik Meijer. It was originally published in the Grand Rapids Press in 1973, with the following endorsement:

"The sons of Fred Meijer are grown now. They don't empty the cookie jar as fast today as they did when they were little boys. But when Mrs. Meijer makes a batch of the family's favorite chocolate-peppermint brownies, all within smelling distance are attracted to the kitchen like bees to honey."

From Meijer Heritage Center Instagram: Store 42 in Saginaw, Michigan created a Guest Happiness Committee in 1987 as a way to support the community. One of their many fundraisers was a cookbook with team member recipes, published in 1997, sold for 10 dollars.

This dessert received rave reviews from the taste testers and came together quickly utilizing a box brownie mix base. Perfect for a busy night! We used a 9 x 9 pan for thicker brownies and it was perfect.

The Recipe: Lena Meijer's Chocolate-Peppermint Brownies


  • 1 pkg, double fudge brownie mix

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Pour into 13x9 inch baking pan and bake as directed. Cool. Frost with peppermint icing. Over the frosting spread the semisweet chocolate glaze.


  • 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar

  • 1½ tablespoons milk or cream

  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract

  • 3 tablespoons soft butter or margarine

  • green food coloring to tint frosting to desired shade

Mix all ingredients. Beat well. Spread over brownie mixture.


Melt together 2 squares semisweet chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter. Spread over mint frosting.



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