Missoula, MT chain grocery/supermarket locations, 1925-59

Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Moderator: Groceteria

Post Reply
User avatar
Andrew T.
Senior Member
Posts: 534
Joined: 18 Oct 2007 14:26
Location: Thunder Bay
Contact:

Missoula, MT chain grocery/supermarket locations, 1925-59

Post by Andrew T. » 13 Jul 2018 15:52

This list is a short one: Missoula, MT chain grocery/supermarket locations, 1925-59.

I haven't actually been to Montana, but I feel compelled to cover this city for personal/familial reasons. (Which is the case for a lot of cities, actually...) What interesting things are to be gleaned here? Well, for starters...

* Missoula has a rather unusual street grid. There are numbered streets with geographical prefixes and suffixes (i.e., South 3rd Street West). The "north" and "south" streets are actually two completely disconnected sets of east-west streets, separated from each other with the Clark Fork River, downtown, and a bunch of railroad tracks in between! Elsewhere, oddities abound. I especially like the Rose Park neighbourhood, where the grid takes on a 45-degree tilt for no adequately explained reason:
rosepark.png
* Safeway entered Missoula by 1930. Missoula's other "big" chain, Buttrey, entered the market in the 1950s by reoccupying a former Safeway store. Buttrey was eventually acquired by Jewel, which passed the division off to Albertsons...which eventually merged with Safeway! Funny how it all came full circle.

* A 1950s Safeway pylon store at 901 Brooks Street still stands intact...although the address of the building in question is now 1603. (The 800 block of that street is now followed by the 1600 block...remember what I said about the Missoula street grid having interesting oddities?)

* A late 1930s Safeway at 705 S. Higgins Ave. also still survives.

* A shopping centre anchored by Buttrey opened in the late 1950s at 2301 Brooks Street. An Albertsons still operates there today (though not in the same position as the Buttrey of yore).

* Incidentally, the Safeway brand disappeared from Missoula in 2015 after 85-plus years due to the Safebertsons merger. Safeway's last stores are now Missoula Fresh Markets under local ownership.
"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

User avatar
Groceteria
Great Pumpkin
Posts: 1574
Joined: 04 Nov 2005 12:13
Location: NC Triad
Contact:

Re: Missoula, MT chain grocery/supermarket locations, 1925-59

Post by Groceteria » 04 Aug 2018 12:16

This llst has been added to the site with a map:

https://t.co/hsYeZZaJfh


User avatar
Andrew T.
Senior Member
Posts: 534
Joined: 18 Oct 2007 14:26
Location: Thunder Bay
Contact:

Re: Missoula, MT chain grocery/supermarket locations, 1925-59

Post by Andrew T. » 11 Sep 2019 22:15

Wow, great...another city conquered! The updated table shows the continuity between Buttrey and Albertsons, as well as the stories of the other chains that have come and gone in Missoula over the last 60 years.

I'm just sorry that it didn't reveal any previously-unknown Safeway Marinas. In fact, it seems that Safeway didn't build any stores in Missoula at all between the 1950s and the 1970s...and never had more than two stores open at a time until the turn of the century.
"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

User avatar
Groceteria
Great Pumpkin
Posts: 1574
Joined: 04 Nov 2005 12:13
Location: NC Triad
Contact:

Re: Missoula, MT chain grocery/supermarket locations, 1925-59

Post by Groceteria » 12 Sep 2019 07:25

There’s also the Smiths Food and Drug that apparently opened in a former Albertsons following the 1998-99 American Stores merger. This seems to follow the same sequence that happened in Northern California, where Albertsons abandoned its own locations in favor of recently acquired Lucky stores. Kroger then occupied several of these former Albertsons locations by returning the Ralphs brand to Northern California. The strategy apparently didn’t end well for Kroger in either market.

Post Reply