Schmidt’s Food Markets – Early History – Lansing, Michigan

Copied from The State Journal – Lansing, Michigan – January 3, 1954
Schmidt Brothers Trace 34 Years of Food Retailing
  Thirty-four years is a brief span in terms of history, but in the food business this time has seen a great transformation.
  In 34 years, Paul and Albert Schmidt, natives of Lansing have engineered a business that has grown from a humble beginning in a small store with a $50,000 annual volume to its present multi-million-dollar position in the super market field.
  Opening of the new Schmidt market with its 13,000 square feet of floor area in the Edgemont park shopping center at Saginaw st. and Waverly rd., brings back memories to the founders of this growing food business.
  It was back in 1919 when Paul Schmidt, now president of Schmidt Brothers started his own store at the corner of Kalamazoo and Hosmer sts. It was known as the People’s Cash Market. Paul had been interested in the food business, specializing in the butcher trade from the time he was a small boy. At the age of 12 he had his first job in a Lansing meat market.
  In 1921 Albert, his brother, became a partner in the small east-side business, and today holds the position of secretary-treasurer in the big organization.
  The first store under the Schmidt name was opened on E. Main st. near Pennsylvania ave. in 1923, and three years later another store was purchased at 906 W. Saginaw st. The original store was sold.
  Eighteen years ago, a third market was opened in the 2000 block of W. Michigan ave. and the three stores constituted the Schmidt chain until six years ago. Then the first Schmidt super market was built on S. Cedar st. with 9,600 square feet of floor space.
  The second super market was opened at 910 W. St. Joseph st. three years ago. Facing the problem of parking and the lack of facilities connected with a smaller store, the firm disposed of the Main st. and Michigan ave. markets and closed the one on W. Saginaw st. in recent months.
  The new market in the Edgemont park shopping center is considered the finest in central Michigan and gives Schmidt’s three ideal locations.
  In February of 1930 the firm built a warehouse and central office building at 2919 S. Logan st.
  “We have lived through a revolution in the food business,” Paul Schmidt declared. “When frozen foods first came in the people didn’t want them and we didn’t think they would go over. Today nearly everything is frozen and we cannot add display cases fast enough to meet the demand.
  “We have seen a great change in packaging and merchandising, especially in meats. We have always followed the policy of selling only the things that we would be willing to take home and use ourselves,” he added.
  In addition to Paul and Albert Schmidt, officers of the organization are Dale Griffin, vice president; Albert Schmidt Jr., supervisor of stores; Don Griffin, office manager, and Jack Stein, who becomes manager of the new Edgemont market.
  The latter three young men were taken into the organization with a financial interest after they returned from service.
Advertisement from the 1959 Lansing Centennial Program

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