The Hungry Moose Market and Deli was founded in the fall of 1994 by Mark and Jackie Robin in Big Sky, Montana, after a summer spent selling fresh, local veggies and flowers from a roadside stand.
During that summer, Jackie would drive over an hour from Big Sky to two local farms with her 18 month old son, Andrew, in tow. She would pick up local organic vegetables and fresh cut flowers from River Road Produce and Visser Greenhouse in Bozeman, and drive back to Big Sky to meet her husband Mark, who was busy setting up a table and tarp for the first ever Big Sky Farmers Market. Mark and Jackie had seen the need in Big Sky for fresh fruits and veggies (at the time, our town didn't have a market that offered a large selection of fresh produce) and decided to do something about it. As the temperatures grew colder, the idea of bringing the market inside took hold and The Hungry Moose Market openened its doors in October. With The Hungry Moose in town, Big Sky got its first taste of locally grown, easily accessible produce and other natural foods. Supporting and promoting our local farmers and purveyors is how The Hungry Moose Market and Deli got started, and we are proud to carry on that mission today.
In 1998, the store doubled in size and added a small deli. In 2005, the business moved to its current location in the Town Center of Big Sky with an expanded inventory of groceries, dry goods, produce, diary, ethnic items, and beer and wine. A much larger Deli with hot and cold offerings, plus an espresso bar and ice cream was added at that time. In 2013, the business added a second location at the base of Big Sky Resort in the Mountain Mall. The mountain location offers a more condensed variety of groceries plus a daily hot bar and made to order deli. It is a vital part of the retail offerings for locals as well as visitors to Big Sky Resort. Finally in 2015, the business leased space across the parking lot from the Town Center location to add a Central Kitchen, office space and back-stock storage.
The Hungry Moose Market and Deli has grown organically with the community of Big Sky. The Hungry Moose has been an active sponsor of community growth and events including: the local school, sports such as the local ski program, high school booster club, softball team, the ice rink, parks, trails and rivers, the arts including the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, The Arts Council of Big Sky, Big Sky Broadway, and organizations such as Women in Action, who provide scholarships and counseling. Community support and involvement has always been and continues to be a vital aspect of the business.
In 2016, Mark Robin was diagnosed with ALS. He chronicled his daily life and battle with the illness on his blog, markymooseinbigsky.blogspot.com. Following his diagnosis, the Robin family created and sponsored an annual event called Big Sky Soul Shine (bigskysoulshine.org). Big Sky Soul Shine offers music, carnival, food and drink as a thank you to the Big Sky community for its support, and is also a fundraiser for ALS. Mark passed away in December 2017, and Jackie continued to run the business, carrying on the "Marky Moose" legacy.
In February of 2019, Jackie transferred ownership of The Hungry Moose to Frank and Kristin Kern. The legacy of the Hungry Moose Market and Deli continues, and Frank and Kristin intend to sustain the reputation and standing that has been built over twenty-five years. The Hungry Moose Market and Deli Town Center Store was renovated in December 2019 with an expansion in size to support more drinks, deli and delivery. Flower arrangements were also added to the list of what we offer to customers.
The Hungry Moose experienced another great loss in March of 2020, when Frank Kern passed away. In the short time the Moose Crew came to know Frank, they were able to learn an incredible amount from him. He was a positive force whenever he walked into a room, and had a way of making people feel seen and known. Frank was tactful. Everything he said or did was with purpose. Frank shared Mark and Jackie’s vision of the Moose and intended to preserve what had been built over the years. Kristin Kern and their daughter, Kelly, continue to carry the legacy forward and sustain the reputation and standing that has been built over twenty-six years.