This is a list of all known chain grocery addresses in Detroit between 1930 and 2019 (with gaps), compiled from city directories, telephone books, and other sources. It is generated through a live Google Spreadsheet so it reflects the latest information I have.
- Most “R” Chain Stores locations from 1930 are not included as they were listed under owner names and are more or less impossible to find.
- C.F. Smith often operated under different names in 1935 as part of an effort to shield the company from chain store taxes. I have researched individual addresses and I feel that this is a reasonably accurate account of where stores were located.
- No city directories were published between 1941 and 1953 nor between 1974 and 2003. In some cases, the eastern and western directories were staggered (e.g. “east” in 1953 and “west” in 1954). City directories before 1930 did not list individual units of chain stores.
- Early directories included stray locations in Ferndale, etc. These have not been included. This list is basically addresses south of Eight Mile Road, including Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, and the assorted Grosse Pointes. There are (or will be) separate pages detailing some additional suburbs.
- This list does not include Lucky Stores from 1953 (east) and 1957 (west). I have extrapolated where possible and will correct this as soon as I can.
- Realistically, Detroit is by far the largest city I have documented and there are probably some other small omissions. My threshold for “chain” status was three stores, but I did not include generic names like “John’s Grocery” when there was no evidence that these were anything other than a bunch of unrelated markets owned by individuals named “John.”
- Street names have changed over time and I have tried to reflect this wherever I could identify it. Most of Detroit’s renumbering was done before 1930, but suffixes such as “Street,’ “Avenue,” and “Boulevard” have changed since then and may affect mapping results. Again, I have tried to account for these, but I may have missed some.
- I have also created a historical timeline of chain stores in Detroit that may be helpful in parsing this location data.
- Big Bear
- C.F. Smith
- Food Fair/Farmer Jack/Savon
- Great Scott
- National/Big D