Monroe, Michigan chain history

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mburb1981
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Posts: 34
Joined: 18 Jul 2019 16:18
Location: Wyandotte, MI

Monroe, Michigan chain history

Post by mburb1981 »

Located halfway between Detroit and Toledo is a place for which I have created my newest chain history list:
Monroe chain grocery/supermarket history (1919-2021)

Yeah, this is just a period of a little over a decade, and this combined with the city's small size doesn't make this list too exciting, but there are still some footnotes to be found:
  • Since the chain locations in the 1958 and 1959 directories were identical, I have consolidated them into one.
  • Kroger entered the 1950s by consolidating their two Monroe stores into one at 123 West 1st Street.
  • Quite surprisingly, A&P had exactly one Monroe store during this period, at 222 South Monroe Street.
  • Southeast Michigan's other major chain during this period, Wrigley's, also had one Monroe store, which relocated in the middle of the 1950s.
  • National had a blink-and-you'll-miss-it existence in Monroe. They had just a single store at 950 South Monroe Street in 1956, and by 1958, it was sold to...
  • ...an outfit called Gruber's Food Market, which was Monroe's biggest grocer during this period. Its history can be traced back to the 1940s, and did business until 1970, when its remaining stores were sold to Seaway Food Town, which was unrelated to the Food Town chain which has locations listed in 1956 and 1958-59. This acquisition allowed Seaway Food Town to become dominant in Monroe.
  • In fact, Kroger's two current Monroe stores were both acquired from Seaway Food Town.
Last edited by mburb1981 on 16 Nov 2021 22:07, edited 1 time in total.
mburb1981
Full Member
Posts: 34
Joined: 18 Jul 2019 16:18
Location: Wyandotte, MI

Re: Monroe, Michigan chain history

Post by mburb1981 »

I was able to expand the listings back in time to 1919 and past 1959 thanks to directory scans of James Kirslis, who also runs an extensive website chronicling location lists of various Toledo-based chains, chiefly Seaway Food Town.

This update reveals that A&P was the first chain grocer to set up shop in Monroe, with a single store by 1919, and that they and Kroger have had storied histories of their own within Monroe County. It also reveals the existence of another local chain named R-J-B Food Markets, and it also features the Monroe tenures of not only Seaway Food Town but also of additional now-defunct Detroit Metro-based chains, namely Great Scott!, Chatham, and Farmer Jack. Also revealed is a small-scale revival of Gruber's following the sale of many of its stores to Seaway Food Town. The Carleton store of this revived Gruber's managed to last into at least 1995 before becoming Busch's Valu Land/Fresh Food Market, which itself closed by 2015.
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