In 1897, a young man named William Remke had the foresight and determination to start his own business. He opened a Meat Market at the corner of 13th & Holman in Covington, KY. Things went well, and the store moved twice to larger locations. In 1922, William moved the store to a third location at 19th & Holman. A Remke Market remained in that same location almost 70 years. William passed away in December of 1932, not living to see his three sons expand the Remke business.
In 1935, William Remke’s son, Robert, along with his brothers, William H. and Louis, opened a store in Ft. Mitchell. The three sons had the vision to expand their horizon. They didn’t just open another meat market, but offered their customers more, adding produce, canned goods and bakery products along with their top quality meat products. This was one of the first self-serve grocery stores in the area.
In 1957, having outgrown its facilities, the Ft. Mitchell store moved to its present location at the corner of Dixie Hwy and Orphanage Rd. In November of 1970, Robert passed away, leaving the store in the hands of his wife, Frances. William had left the company in 1942, and Louis had also passed away. A few years later, Robert’s son, a young Bill Remke, bought out his mother, and took over store operations. Bill continued the tradition of expanding Remke horizons. During his years as Owner, President, and now CEO, Remke Markets has expanded to eleven locations.
In 1990, the warehouse and corporate office were moved from the Ft. Mitchell store to a 67,000 square foot building in Covington. In 2002, the warehouse and corporate office were moved to a 83,000 square foot building in Erlanger.
Remke Markets had a significant change in 1996, when Bill Remke transferred the majority of stock ownership in the company to the employees.
In 2002, Matthew Remke joined the organization and has worked in many different capacities. In 2010, Matthew became the president of Remke Markets making him the fourth generation of this historical family owned business.
In 2010, Remke acquired 7 bigg’s stores from Supervalu doubling the stores of the great company. bigg’s had a tremendous history of quality and customer service that mirrored Remke Markets which made it a perfect fit. bigg’s was in existence from 1984 when the doors opened in Eastgate, Ohio until 2010. The Eastgate store was the first European hypermarket in the United States, a format that has been copied by many competitors since its inception. Customers drove for miles and lined up down the highway to experience the one-stop shopping bigg’s offered. The hypermarket stores combined groceries with general merchandise, and made bigg’s well known in Cincinnati for being a mass merchant. bigg’s sold a high volume of goods at a low margin.
The quality of the combined Remke and bigg’s associate teams is second to none and this is reflected in the positive feedback from customers regarding their experiences while shopping Remke stores. In addition, the company now has better buying power and can offer greater values to customers. Remke Markets has also introduced a tremendous additional value to customers by offering fuel discounts on grocery purchases.