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Park & Shop-No Sales Pressure

“First in of its kind in northeastern Michigan, the big, new Park and Shop ‘super food market at 2024 North Niagara street – on the west river bank between the Genesee avenue and Johnson street bridges – will be opened to the public Tuesday.”


The serve-self store, operated by officials of the Home Dairy company, of which Charles F. Hack is president, is located in a $30,000 building erected during the past winter by C.K. Eddy & Sons and secured by a 15-year lease. The market is of a type which gained great popularity in Detroit and cities in other states. Parking space for 500 automobiles, including two 60x120 foot lots on the north and south sides of the building, makes it possible for the customer to drive a car to within a short distance of the store.


No ‘Sales Pressure.’  

Entering the market, the customer is given a basket to use in collecting the desired articles. He then begins a survey of the merchandise, piled on 17 tables, each 10 feet long and 52 inches wide, as well as 78 feet of shelves.”

-The Saginaw News, March 11, 1936.


If you remember shopping at a Saginaw Park & Shop Super Market, you were born before 1968 – the company’s three Saginaw stores were sold to Ray’s Food Fair in October of that year.


Park and Shop was a branch of Home Dairy Company, which opened its first store in 1918 in the 400 block of East Genesee. This link will take you to a post about the Home Dairy Company.


Located on the riverbank, directly across the river from the central business district, the first Park and Shop was planned for customers in cars. However, its rooftop sign faced the eastside shopping district and was only a brisk walk from the original Home Dairy. The building was part of the overall redevelopment of the West Genesee area by C.K. Eddy & Sons – it was the site of their mill and later business operations.


The facility was air-conditioned and featured state-of-the-art food display units. Before it opened, it was stocked with nearly 10 carloads of merchandise. The newspaper paper quoted store manager, John McLean:


“Customers will be given every opportunity to inspect all merchandise and prices. It will be the same if to us if they buy one cent’s worth or $10.00 worth.”


Carrying a full line of groceries, the store featured Home Dairy Company’s own trademarked Homade brand products. However, they also carried goods from larger suppliers such as Libby’s, Campbell’s, and Oscar Mayer. When available, seasonal produce from local growers was promoted. Although later Park and Shop stores included a delicatessen counter, the Niagara store does not appear to have included one.


After shopping:


“His basket  filled, the customer returns to the front of the store to have prices checked and his bill totaled by a cashier. He then is given a shopping bag with which to carry his purchases to his nearby car. The proximity of the parking lots eliminate much inconvenience for shoppers who are forced to walk long distances from to stores in busier districts.” (The Saginaw News, March 11, 1936.)


The chain would soon expand, and other Park and Shops were opened in Saginaw and other Michigan cities. In 1961one debuted in Green Acres Plaza. In 1963 the North Niagara Street store closed. Sears converted the building into a service center and named it their satellite store. In 1968 the three Saginaw stores were sold to Ray’s Food Fair. The Home Dairy Store and Park and Shops in other cities were not included in the sale.


This week’s recipe was inspired by a 1949 Park & Shop Advertisement for a Jell-O brand Party Kit.


As we continued our research, we were nearly tempted by the c.1950s photographs of an Oscar Mayer display ore which accompany this article. Featuring Sack’O-Sauce in a Can’O-Meat, the installation includes a product endorsement by members of the Park and Shop staff: Reinhold Riefe, Store Manager; Bert Montiegel, Asst Manager; Eddie Fuller, Department Manager; Mary Callahan, Clerk and Harold Brown, Department Manager.


Although tempted, and the sign does guarantee that we will like the product, we proceeded our exploration of Jell-O.


However, just in case you want to learn more about Sack’O-Sauce in a Can’O-Meat – while you are waiting for layers of gelatin to set, this link features an advertisement.


And just in case you need more to do while you wait for another layer of Jell-O to set, a field trip is an option; 2024 N. Niagara remains standing and now houses Michigan Truck Equipment.

The Recipe: Neopolitan Vegetable Salad

As published in Good Housekeeping, circa 1948.

2 packages Lemon Jell-O

4 cups hot water

3 tablespoons vinegar

3 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups finely chopped raw carrots

1 3/4 cups finely chopped raw cabbage

1 1/2 cups finely chopped raw spinach

Perfect for a party--this loaf! Dissolve Jell-O in hot water. Add vinegar and salt. Divide Jell-O into three parts and chill each part until slightly thickened. To first part, add carrots and turn into a 10 x 5 x3-inch loaf pan; chill until firm. To second part, add cabbage and turn out over firm layer in pan; chill until firm. To third part, add onion and spinach and turn out over firm Jell-O in loaf pan; chill until firm. Unmold. Cut in slices and serve with mayonnaise. Makes 12 servings.



  • We left the chopping up to our food processor. Making this quick and therefore, "perfect for a party."

  • We opted to use a Jell-O mold instead of a loaf pan, because honestly, why wouldn't we?

  • To aid in unmolding, free the edge of the Jell-O from the mold and dip the bottom into hot water for 20 seconds until loosened. Pray.


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