The founder of Albertsons was Joseph A. “Joe” Albertson, a college student who spent two years studying business during the Great Depression. Joe Albertsons was born on October 17, 1906 near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. During his college years, he had a job as the cashier at Safeway (another grocery store.) He eventually got promoted to a manager, and watched over many stores at once. However, during this time, Joe was actually planning to open his own grocery store in the future when he had enough money to do so.
After working at Safeway for ten years, he finally saved up to five thousand dollars. With that money, he also borrowed seven thousand five hundred dollars from Kathryn McCurry’s (his wife) aunt. Afterwards, Joe went into business and opened the very first Albertson’s Food Center on July 1939 on Sixteenth and State streets in Boise.
Albertson created an entire plan, which included unique items in grocery stores at that time. This included bakeries, homemade ice-cream, and vending machines for popcorn and nuts. Customers had bargain prices, and a great amount of variety to choose from.
In less than a year later, the couple opened the second Albertsons Food Market in Nampa on November 1940. Later on that year, Albertson opened another store in Caldwell, Idaho! On this point, it was the beginning of the chain. Sixty years later, even after Albertson’s death, there were one thousand Albertsons grocery stores as well as one thousand five hundred other locations throughout the United States.
In 2005, the group of investors came together to form Albertson’s LLC and officially acquired the stores in Arkansas, Arizona, Northern California, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Wyoming, and Oklahoma. Even today, the company operates around two hundred stores in seven states.
One employee quotes, “In the years that Albertson’s LLC has operated stores, we have operated under Mr. Albertson’s same philosophy: “Give customers the products they want, at a fair price, with lots of care along the way. Our goal has never been to be the biggest, just the best. It’s that simple.”