ONTARIO, Canada - A company spokesperson has confirmed that the founder of Kowalski's Market died Thursday in a plane accident in Canada.
Jim Kowalski, 67, was on a fishing trip near Ontario, Canada when the accident occurred. The circumstances of the accident are unclear at this time.
Kowalski and his wife, Mary Anne, opened the first Kowalski's Market on Grand Avenue in 1983. In 1986, they expanded their business and opened another market in White Bear Lake.
They Kowalski family is known for giving back to the community donating, among other things, food to the needy.
Lynette Harris runs MOMS Food Shelf in St. Paul and says Kowalski's has always been there for people in need, no matter how big the request.
"Whatever we are in need of, they have never told me no. They have always been generous with us," said Harris. "I just love them for that because they see our need and they just do it."
Every Saturday, Harris gives food away to families and she says 80 percent of which comes Kowalski's.
"It's just really sad that he is gone. My heart just goes out to the family," she said.
Kowalski's nephew is local musician Tim Mahoney. Through his media representative, he sent an email to KARE 11 Thursday night describing his uncle as an "awesome powerful man."
"(Kowalski) was loved greatly. The family is shocked and grieving,"Mahoney wrote.
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