Does any remember Michaels Markets in Orange County, Calif.?


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wayne winterland jr.
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Joined: 12 Nov 2005 15:49

Does any remember Michaels Markets in Orange County, Calif.?

Post by wayne winterland jr. » 22 Nov 2005 14:42

I was wondering if anyone remembers Michael's Markets which started with their first store in Orange, Calif. on Tustin Ave. This small grocery chain was started by a man named Joe Goodnight who used to work for Alpha Beta Markets in Calif. before starting his own grocery store business. He named his stores after his son who was named Michael thus the name Michael's Markets. I one thing that i especially remember was in the way of service. In those days the checkstands were the turnstyle type where the customers put their groceries on the turnstyle but at Michael's Markets they had a box boy (or bag boy or clerks helper) standing in front of the checkstands to unload the customers groceries and put them on the turnstyle to be checked out.
This was kind of a forerunner to the type of checkout system where the cashier takes the customers purchases out of the shopping basket and rings them up. It was a nice touch in those days.
At the time that Michael's Markets started business I was working for Alpha Beta Markets and worked just down the street from one of the Michael's Markets on the east side of Orange, Calif. and every time that
Alpha Beta's weekly ad came out it was always suspicious that Michael's Markets would have several of the same exact items on their ad at a lower advertised price. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how that happened. It was most likely that Joe Goodnight still had friends at the Alpha Beta Main Office who no doubtedly gave him a copy of Alpha Beta's Ad for the upcoming week so he could pick which items he would advertise at a lower price than Alpha Beta's ad. I have to give Joe Goodnight credit for doing his homework and trying to undercut his competitors prices and it wouldn't have been nearly so easy to do if Alpha Beta Markets had treated their employees a lot better than they did. I believe that in those days Joe Goodnight got some of his financing to start his business from the Challenge Dairy Company as they and other product companies as well offered some financiang to people wanting to start their own grocery stores and why not because that way they would most likely be assured of having their products carried in those stores. I know that in those days my father was offered the opportunity to start his own grocery store and the backing would have come from people he knew at the Foremost Dairy Company.
Let me know if anyone remembers this small grocery company.

thanks, Wayne Winterland Jr.

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Re: Does any remember Michaels Markets in Orange County, Cal

Post by Larcor » 20 Jun 2011 11:52

Hi Wayne,

I worked for Michael's Markets and knew Joe and Michael Goodnight as well as the
General Manager Jim Recupero, the District Manager Ken Sage and the Sales Manager
Rudy Neeley. This company was indeed financed by Challenge Dairies. Although the
Goodnights invested everything they owned also.

In answer to your question about how Michael's knew in advance about Alpha Beta's
advertized specials. The information did not come from the newspapers, but came
instead from the venders. These same venders would offer advertising specials for
their products and for very specific times. Compiling this information along with the
competitions advertising philosophies it was not that difficult to ascertain what they
were going to do and to undercut them.
Hope this helps.
Look forward to discussing my Michael's experiences with yours and others.

Larry Corbett

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