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Thank you, Joe Albertson, for 75 years!

First store location
First store location

The Rogue Valley shoppers and Kiwanis Clubs in Ashland and Central Point have reason to thank Joe Albertson for having the courage to open his first store.

1939 Studebaker model to be given away at Kiwanis BBQ

When Joe Albertson opened his store in Boise, Idaho in 1939 he had three concepts in mind; quality, good value, and excellent service. After 75 years of operation, those principals are still guiding lights for Albertson’s stores.

It is interesting to see that Joe Albertson spent his early grocery years with Safeway stores. The proposed Safeway-Albertson’s merger promises to keep each entity major operating officer in place and to keep all existing stores open. Makes it a full circle for the Albertson’s company!

After Joe spent many years rising through the ranks with Safeway, he reached the stage where he wanted his own store. He envisioned a one-stop shopping experience where customers could find virtually all of their needs under one roof.

His vision included many details that changed the face of the grocery industry. His 10,000 square foot store was nearly 8 times the size of an average grocery store in the 1930s. A scratch bakery filled the store with the aroma of fresh-baked bread. An ice cream shop served double-dipped, homemade ice cream cones called “Big Joe’s” for a nickel. There was also fresh popcorn, roasted nuts and an automatic doughnut machine.

The War caused some interesting challenges for the infant grocery operation. It was difficult to keep the shelves filled with food products, so Joe used his imagination and stocked make up, hair dye, pharmaceuticals, general household goods and other non-food items. Any Albertson’s today will have all those items as well.

“Give the customer the merchandise they want, at a price they can afford, complete with lots of tender, loving care,” was the philosophy Joe Albertson started with and the existing Albertsons still honor that.

Joe and his wife Kathryn were strongly in favor of contributing to local charities and Albertson’s in Central Point and Ashland will host a BBQ on Saturday July 26 from 11:00 Am till 2:00 PM. $5 will get a hot dog, or hamburger, with chips and a drink with the proceeds going to Ashland Kiwanis and to Table Rock Kiwanis.

Be sure to get a raffle ticket for the Albertson’s truck to be given away! It is a collectible model 1939 Studebaker