Safeway in Green Bay, Wisconsin? (Or, how directories lie)

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Andrew T.
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Safeway in Green Bay, Wisconsin? (Or, how directories lie)

Post by Andrew T. » 10 Jun 2018 00:51

Back in 2010 when I lived in northeast Wisconsin, I remember browsing Green Bay city directories for research and being confused by a 1950s-60s listing for Safeway Stores in the grocers' section.

Safeway...in Wisconsin, and northeast Wisconsin at that? Surely it couldn't be? Iowa, yes...but Safeway in the midwest never crossed east of the Mississippi, as far as I knew. At the time, I passed off the listing as an error and spared myself the futility of looking for marina roofs in cowfields.
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Since I have online access to city directories now, I double-checked Green Bay's grocers of 1959. Sure enough, Safeway was listed as though they were there. Tracing the location was complicated by the "(P)" at the end, though: P indicates Preble, and Preble's addresses were renumbered when the town was annexed by Green Bay in 1964.
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The reverse-lookup section contained a few indicators that things were not as they seemed. Safeway shared an address with the Marketing Association of America, and the Schreiber cheese manufacturers. That didn't seem like the location of a supermarket.
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The section of Main Street between Deckner Avenue and Baird Creek (or Main Boulevard, as it used to be) was numbered 118-246 in the days of Preble, and it's numbered 1640-1695 now. Schreiber Foods is still operating in the same place as it was in 1959, even though nothing else on the block is.

Elsewhere on the Internet, I found a reference to "Safeway Stores, Inc." in Green Bay with a 1730 Morrow St. address. On Google Maps, that address brings up...you guessed it: Another facility for Schreiber Foods!

What does this mean? My belief is that Safeway relied upon Schreiber Foods as a cheese supplier, and set up an office on their premises to handle orders. The directory publishers then got confused when they were putting their data together, and repeatedly listed Safeway in the grocers' section!
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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klkla
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Re: Safeway in Green Bay, Wisconsin? (Or, how directories lie)

Post by klkla » 10 Jun 2018 17:49

Safeway used to have a cheese processing plant in Wisconsin. I don't know what city it was in, however.

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Re: Safeway in Green Bay, Wisconsin? (Or, how directories lie)

Post by Andrew T. » 11 Jun 2018 15:47

I don't know about Safeway's other Wisconsin suppliers or processing facilities, but it seems I was right about the Safeway-Schreiber connection. This page says, matter-of-factly...
Schreiber's other early large customer was the grocery chain Safeway. Safeway had recently ended its relationship with another Green Bay cheese company, and Schreiber stepped in. It made private-label cheese products for Safeway's vast chain of groceries.
I also happened upon this court case from 1971 where one company sued the other. It says (in part):
In late September of 1965, Safeway began to receive complaints from its consumers on the West Coast who had purchased cheese from its stores and later had become ill. Samples of the cheese retrieved indicated that it was the product of Standard which had been sold to Schrieber and resold to Safeway.
Hmm, that must not have ended well!
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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