Sage Grocery Stores

Uh...California.

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wayne winterland jr.
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Sage Grocery Stores

Post by wayne winterland jr. » 24 Feb 2007 03:52

Does anyone remember a grocery chain called Sage Grocery Stores.
If I remember correctly they had stores in either the Riverside, California
or San Bernadino, California areas. They may have been bought out by Stater Brothers many years ago.

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Post by runchadrun » 24 Feb 2007 10:58

I found information on two locations: the corner of Cypress and Redlands Blvd in Redlands and Foothill and Willow in Rialto. The article about the Rialto store mentions stores in San Bernardino, Del Rosa, Riverside, and Redlands.

The Redlands store is a HUGE Albertsons. When i was in college at the U of R it was a Lucky and I was told that it was two different stores that had been combined into one, but it may have always been that large. The original store was 74,000 sq ft in 1959 which is large even by today's standards.

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Re: Sage Grocery Stores

Post by Dean » 24 Feb 2007 11:02

wayne winterland jr. wrote:Does anyone remember a grocery chain called Sage Grocery Stores.
If I remember correctly they had stores in either the Riverside, California
or San Bernadino, California areas. They may have been bought out by Stater Brothers many years ago.
Known as SAGE'S COMPLETE MARKETS the chain was based in San Bernardino. Current Stater Brothers chief Jack Brown began his career with SAGE'S.

I believe their main location was on Base Line. The building still stands today. San Bernardino City Schools acquired the site...yet, maintained the SAGE'S name for the building, I assume for the nostalgic appeal.

The District created an acronym for the site, using SAGE'S to now stand for: San Bernardino Adult and General Education Services.

http://www.sbcusd.k12.ca.us/new/Templat ... owFrame=No

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Post by Dean » 24 Feb 2007 11:43

runchadrun wrote: The Redlands store is a HUGE Albertsons. When i was in college at the U of R it was a Lucky and I was told that it was two different stores that had been combined into one, but it may have always been that large. The original store was 74,000 sq ft in 1959 which is large even by today's standards.
I believe that I had been told that the site had been two (2) stores as well.

Not sure if SAGE'S had created the pharmacy area, or LUCKY...yet, this area always has reminded me of the pharmacy area @ GEMCO. It is set off by itself...SAGE'S could've leased that portion to an independent pharmacist.

The eating area is cool.

I knew an employee that once worked at the site, when it was LUCKY. She said there is a quasi-basement/crawl space under the entire store!

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Post by runchadrun » 24 Feb 2007 22:19

(I'm moving this to the commercial archaeology forum since that's how this thread is evolving...)

Upon more searching I found that the Del Rosa store was at 1621 E Highland Ave (SE corner of Highland and Del Rosa) and the Riverside store was at 6491 Magnolia. The Rialto store also became a Lucky, like the Redlands store did.

Apparently the chain went Chapter 11 in 1973 because I found the public auction ad for the Riverside store which referred to the store as "Sage's Shopping Center & Coffee Shop." By 1976 the store had become a Big 5, which is still is today.

A public auction for the Baseline store took place in January 1974 and that store also included a coffee shop. This must have been the HQ store, as was noted by Dean, because included in the auction were 120 desks and 135 IBM Selectric typewriters. Fixtures being auctioned were from the hardware, liquor, jewelry, gift shop, pharmacy, bakery, and camera departments. I get the impression that Sage's was a lot like Gemco or Fedco as a department store that also sold groceries. The few ads I was able to find had them selling things like radios, TVs, and lawn mowers.

The owner of Sage's was Milton Sage. (His name showed up twice in the LA Times archive and one of them was that he had attended a cocktail party that was hosted by the late father of someone I now know.) I also found this interview from the San Bernardino Oral History Project: http://www.genesisnetwork.net/~sbpl/m_williams.html
WILLIAMS: Don sold that and Milton Sage came and asked him if he'd like to go to work for him. He was putting in a new market at Del Rosa and Highland Avenue, a big market out there. Previously it was just the one he had was on Baseline and "E". And he was putting in a BBQ rotisserie type chicken and takeout food, so Don managed that. Don said, "I don't know anything about chicken," so Mr. Sage gave him an option to come and he had two of these BBQ machines set up at the Baseline store and all of the chickens he wanted to play with on this rotisserie until he got it right. So, that was the way it worked out. Don did all the chicken but then there was also the chef back in the kitchen that did all the other stuff. So that was a new experience for San Bernardino then. We didn't have any of those in San Bernardino yet. But he found out that he didn't like working for anybody else, so we went into business again in a big dinner house out on Highland Avenue and Muscott, out in that area.
Here is a blog post with information on the various locations: http://loyaltubist.blogspot.com/2006/07/sages.html . The same guy mentions Sage's on this page (you need to scroll down) http://www.angelfire.com/ca7/loyaltubist/Main.html . There are some inaccuracies in other areas on this page and I emailed him a while back to correct some of them but he insisted he was right so I gave up.

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Post by klkla » 26 Feb 2007 17:38

I remember these stores very well. There were two in San Bernardino. A larger one and a smaller one, but I don't remember what streets they were on.

We shopped at the bigger one when I was a kid and it was a fun place to shop. It had a full service restaurant to the right as you entered from the front, and a large supermarket on the left. You could also enter through the back where they had a floral/plant shop that is similar to what you would see at a home depot today.

The store was very ahead of its time and offered prepared take out meals. This was in the late 60's when few if any other stores offered this service.

The corporate offices were upstairs in the middle of the store in front of the checkstands (it was a strange layout). I got to go upstairs a couple of times with my mom who was firendly with the owner (he was very friendly with all regular customers knowing most on a a first name basis). The company went bankrupt as a result of theft end embezzlement from family members that he employed.

It was very sad. The store was great and had very loyal customers and provide a unqiue shopoping experience.

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sage stores

Post by wayne winterland jr. » 27 Feb 2007 02:10

I'm not at all familiar with the street name locations of the Sage Stores but I was wondering if they ever had a store located near the old
Santa Fe Railroad Depot in San Bernardino. I recall there being a grocery store just a block or two from the depot but I'm not sure if the store was a Sage Store or a Stater Brothers since this time period would have been in the 1950's. I remember that this store also had an upstairs eating area at one time.

<<Moved to http://www.groceteria.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=1163 by moderator>>

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Post by runchadrun » 27 Feb 2007 11:20

(moved over from another thread...)
wayne winterland jr. wrote:I'm not at all familiar with the street name locations of the Sage Stores but I was wondering if they ever had a store located near the old
Santa Fe Railroad Depot in San Bernardino. I recall there being a grocery store just a block or two from the depot but I'm not sure if the store was a Sage Store or a Stater Brothers since this time period would have been in the 1950's. I remember that this store also had an upstairs eating area at one time.
Accodring to the list at http://loyaltubist.blogspot.com/2006/07/sages.html it doesn't look like it. The Baseline and the Highland Ave stores were both well to the northeast of the depot. There's a Hispanic store called El Tigre at 1184 W 2nd St which is a former Stater Bros, so that might be the store you're thinking of. The city wants to tear it down to build a Superior Food Warehouse store.

As an aside, there's information on the restoration of the Santa Fe depot at http://www.sanbag.ca.gov/about/santa-fe_depot.html

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Post by javelin » 27 Feb 2007 16:48

runchadrun wrote:There's a Hispanic store called El Tigre at 1184 W 2nd St which is a former Stater Bros, so that might be the store you're thinking of. The city wants to tear it down to build a Superior Food Warehouse store.

As an aside, there's information on the restoration of the Santa Fe depot at http://www.sanbag.ca.gov/about/santa-fe_depot.html
I had wondered what that was before, but what about the boarded up building next to it? I wish they would tear that whole place down, it's a real eyesore.

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Sage's

Post by Rivcokid » 16 Mar 2007 16:33

Sage's was begun around the 1930s by Milton Sage. The San Bernardino store was the main one, but here in Riverside there were three - the main one at Magnolia and Beatty, built in 1947 (it now houses Big 5 Sporting Goods and Alin Paper Company), one on Arlington (that's now an Albertson's, across from Sears), and one downtown on Main Street between 11th and 12th (now the site of the Family Law courthouse). It is fondly remembered by many people here in Riverside. I remember going to the one on Magnolia many times when I was a kid - you walked in and there was a separate liquor room to the left, a place where they sold miscellaneous stuff to the right, and the grocery store beyond those places. On the east side of the building was Sage's Coffee Shop, which was popular with many people. Across Beatty was Sage's Toy Store too. The way I heard it, Sage's had to file for bankruptcy because he expanded too quickly and simply overexpanded himself. It is unfortunate, because it is remembered as a very friendly place to shop. In fact, there are still reunions of Sage's employees held every so often, and more than one person's obituary has mentioned the fact that they worked at Sage's

If anyone is interested, I have a postcard of Sage's store on Magnolia dating to the early 60s. Let me know, and I'll scan it for you !!

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Post by runchadrun » 20 Mar 2007 11:31

javelin wrote:I had wondered what that was before, but what about the boarded up building next to it? I wish they would tear that whole place down, it's a real eyesore.
Here's a picture of the former Stater Bros that I just spotted on roadsidepictures' flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/54177448@N00/274265818/

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Post by javelin » 28 Mar 2007 01:00

runchadrun wrote:
javelin wrote:I had wondered what that was before, but what about the boarded up building next to it? I wish they would tear that whole place down, it's a real eyesore.
Here's a picture of the former Stater Bros that I just spotted on roadsidepictures' flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/54177448@N00/274265818/
That's the El Tigre market and former Stater Bros. On the other side is an abandoned building a bit larger than this one and separated by a parking lot. Lots of former burger stands around like the one next to it in that pic.

wave invasion

Sage's Markets

Post by wave invasion » 19 Apr 2007 17:38

I used to go to the Redlands store as a kid in the 60's. It had everything: a restaurant (the Copper Cupboard), a great magazine section (had to get the new MAD magazine), clothing, RX, and the best toy store around up the hall (in "Citrus Village"). Way ahead of it's time. My Mom was the Credit Manager and worked upstairs (which seems to have disappeared in the new Albertson's); also upstairs was an employee break room and the Manager's office (Don Thorpe-nice guy). Unless I'm mistaken, I used to buy my 25 cent hot dog at the deli counter from Jack Brown! Even though I was 10 years old, I remember him being kind and courteous even to a kid! Sure miss the place for some reason.

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Sages

Post by JWT » 08 Nov 2007 10:42

My Mother worked for sages in the restaurant @ Baseline and "E" in San Bernardino. I remember the place being a happy place to visit. The employees were indeed friendly.

My Mom was known to locals and the other staff as "Smarty Marty"

Any body remember David Dowling? He was related to the Sage family some how but I am not sure how. He was in a wheel chair.

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Re: Sage Grocery Stores

Post by gtponie » 04 Jan 2009 21:32

My mom and dad worked for Sage's. My father, Duke Bridges worked at the Base Line store from 1955 to about 1970. He was a book keeper. He worked upstairs. My mother, Leila Bridges, worked in the bakery at the Redlands store untill she had a massive stroke in 1966. My dad saw that the company was going down, and went to work for my cousin Ernie Larson at the Sunkist packing house in Mentone untill 1980.

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