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Arlan’s Market continues its expansion during its 25th anniversary year as it remodels its grocery stores in Texas.

By Russ Gager

Those looking for evidence of the importance of independent grocers in Texas need look no further than Crestview, a neighborhood of Austin. There, a neighborhood association closed off half the parking lot of an 11,000-square-foot grocery store founded in 1953 on the occasion of the owners’ retirement and the purchase of the business by Arlan’s Market, an independent grocery chain headquartered in Seabrook, Texas, near Houston.

“There must have been 400 or 500 people who showed up,” President Ames Arlan estimates. “The family run grocery store is very dear to the community, so they really came out in full support and did a really nice barbecue. The mom still worked here up until the last day – she’s 85 years old – and her sons worked here all their lives. One of the sons has been working there since he was 12 and he’s 65 now. So the entire family is retiring.”

Arlan’s Market is in the process of remodeling the store. “It’s our smallest store, but in a really neat neighborhood,” Arlan says. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to add a lot of organics, specialty items and new refrigerated cases. Most of the homes were built in the 1940s and ’50s. People have lived here since the 1950s and ’60s, and younger people are moving in.”

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Becoming a part of the communities it serves is a vital part of the Orchard Supply Hardware formula for success.

By Eric Slack

California-based hardware retailer, Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) has been serving West Coast neighborhoods for more than 80 years. Founded in 1931 as a purchasing cooperative, today Orchard Supply Hardware operates neighborhood hardware and garden stores focused on paint, repairs and the backyard. Orchard Supply Hardware was acquired by home improvement retailer Lowe’s in September 2013 but remained a separate business unit. The hardware retailer currently operates 81 stores in California and Oregon with each store averaging approximately 40,000 square feet of retail space. 

“We are most known for our neighbors-helping-neighbors philosophy at every store, which is a commitment to fitting our format into the neighborhoods we call home,” President Bob Tellier says. “Our stores have been opened in former car dealerships, bowling alleys, multi-unit facilities and other shuttered facilities.”

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The name of Esther Price Candies has meant quality in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, for 90 years, and through the Internet, now nationwide.

By Russ Gager

Home cooking is always best, and that includes home candy-making. So the tried-and-true methods of candy-making employed at Esther Price Candies – which date back to the founder’s home business 90 years ago in Dayton, Ohio – keep customers coming back for more.

“People from here move down to Florida, and all their relatives and friends up here send them our candy, and this happened continuously because Esther Price is one of the things we are noted for in this area and potato chips,” President James Day says. “They still call and order for their friends at Christmastime, and that’s why our mail-order business is so strong.”

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Harvest Market implements a number of sustainable measures to shrink its footprint while continuing to support its communities. 

By Janice Hoppe

Harvest Market takes the better-for-you concept to a new level by focusing not only on what consumers put in their bodies but also on how it can better the environment and communities in which it operates. As Mendocino County, Calif.’s first Certified B Corporation, the company made a commitment to use its business for good and not just a profit.

“Basically, that means that we are not just making a profit,” co-owner and Senior Vice President of Operations Jennifer Bosma says. “It shows that we can make decisions that are not just good for profit, but also about environmentally sustainable measures, supporting the community and provide employees with a fair living wage. Part of that is also carrying a certain amount of organic and non-GMO products.”

B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. There are more than 1,400 Certified B Corps in 42 countries and more than 120 industries working together to redefine success in business, B Lab says.

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A signature blend of on-trend apparel at affordable prices has helped Melrose Family Fashions reach its target market.

By Eric Slack

The Melrose Family Fashions story began with a single store in the southern tip of Texas, a 6,000-square-foot location focused on ladies’ apparel. Today, the organization has grown to about 100 stores with a focus that has expanded to the entire family.

“Our stores are now about 10,000 to 12,000 square feet,” CEO Reuben Bar-Yadin says. “We are mostly in Texas but have expanded toward the West Coast. We focus on strip centers and our target audience is what we call the blue collar Hispanic consumer.”

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Launched this year, the new Carry On by Brookstone airport concept store stands to revolutionize the retail experience for the traveling public.

By Eric Slack

The Brookstone name has been synonymous with retail excellence since the company opened its first location in 1973 in Peterborough, N.H. Today, the Merrimack, N.H.-based company continues to strive for retail innovation, including with the recent launch of its Carry On by Brookstone airport store concept.

“For years, Brookstone has had particular success serving both business and leisure travelers in our airport stores,” CEO Tom Via says. “They’ve come to rely on us for travel electronics, travel pillows and blankets, and the ever-important take-home gift. Brookstone airport stores were so successful for us that we simply wanted more of them. As a new store concept, Carry On gives us a great way to offer customers an even more specialized travel assortment that we just couldn’t fit inside our Brookstone stores. Plus it gives us a way to open more stores in airports where we already do business.”


S&R Quisberg provides its customers with a full selection of products in Minnesota’s north woods in its branded grocery stores and gasoline stations.

By Russ Gager

Chris Quisberg’s grandfather started in the grocery business in Minneapolis around 1956, but later sold the business and opened grocery stores in Minnesota’s north woods. “My guess would be my grandfather didn’t want to retire, and my dad, Steve, wanted to be in the grocery business,” Quisberg surmises. “Somebody came along and offered him a deal, and it was good enough money. My dad always says everything is for sale for a price.”

Quisberg himself – now president of S&R Quisberg, headquartered in Baxter, Minn. – started working in the family’s grocery business when he was 12 years old. “I’ve never had a different job in my life, so I don’t know if I’m missing anything,” Quisberg concedes.

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