Heinen's Fine Foods owners, 60
Why they're interesting: As the owners of Heinen's Fine Foods, the twin brothers are continuing the legacy of their grandfather, who opened a butcher shop in Shaker Heights in 1929. Last year they opened a gorgeous store downtown in the historic Cleveland Trust Co. building, adding to a network of 18 locations in Ohio and four more in suburban Chicago. Through it all, they've managed to keep the business in the family.
In the Bag: During their teenage years, the brothers first worked as baggers. Then, at 16, Tom got a job in the meat department, while Jeff worked in the grocery warehouse. Their dad owned the company at the time, but that didn't afford them any special treatment. "In the beginning all that meant was I pulled giblets out of chickens and scraped fat off a lot of floors," says Tom.
Time Travel: Born on June 9, 1955, Jeff is the older of the twins. But exactly how much older is a matter of debate. "We were always told five [minutes], but I think the birth certificates say six," says Tom. "I'm technically older," says Jeff. But does he lord it over his brother? "No, when you get to age 60 you want to be as young as you can possibly be."
Building Memories: The downtown Heinen's store in the 1908 Cleveland Trust building opened in 2014 to much fanfare. The 33,000-square-foot restoration brought new life to the East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue intersection as well as providing a legitimate grocery option for downtown's 13,000 residents. "The building is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says Jeff. "It's iconic."
Play Time: While the brothers attended college 2,700 miles apart (Jeff at Stanford University and Tom at Bucknell University), both played rugby in school. "We came home for Thanksgiving or Christmas and were like, I started playing rugby. Hey, me too. After rugby we tried to find an adult sport. Golf became our adult sport," says Tom, who is a particular fan of the Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach, California.
Grocery Games: From Great Lakes Brewing Co. beer to Trattoria pasta sauce, the brothers are committed to carrying local products. In July, the company held a Shark Tank-inspired contest for local food products in their downtown store, dubbed Shark Bank. "We easily have 20 [local spaghetti sauces] if you count every line extension, with mushrooms, white or red," says Tom. "Local really resonates with customers."