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From corner store to supermarket powerhouse

Albertsons still going strong after 80 years
Posted at 9:04 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 13:26:37-05

When Joe Albertson founded the now nationally-known grocery chain that bears his name, his philosophy for success was pretty simple: "Acting with integrity, always tell the truth [and] work really hard."

Susan Morris calls that philosophy the company's "secret sauce," and it's exactly how she got to where she is today, since she started with Albertsons when she was 16, and now - over three decades later - she's the company's Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer. "I've actually been with Albertsons for 35 years...I really got hooked on the business, never looked back, and been with them ever since," Morris says.

The very first Albertsons that Joe built was at the corner of 16th and State in Boise, and opened its doors in 1939. It didn't take long - only a couple of years, really - for the Albertsons brand to branch out well beyond Boise, due in large part to Joe's tireless work ethic, solid business sense, and huge heart for his neighbors. Morris says, "To this day i will still run into customers who come up and want to talk about Joe Albertson. Whether it's the fact that times were tough years and years ago, and they remember as Joe purchased eggs from their family's farm, he allowed them to run on a credit scenario for awhile because they couldn't afford food."

These days, the business Joe built is flourishing, with over 2,000 stores spread out across 35 states, all on a mission to offer the absolute best to their shoppers. Morris says the goal of every Albertsons store is,"You walk in, you have incredible fresh. Whether it's produce, our deli foods, our meat and seafood, we actually buy at a higher specification than most of our competitors."

Here in Idaho, Albertsons loves working with local producers like Agri-Beef and Wissel Farms to get food from field to store as fast as possible. "I love how they can go harvest the corn and within a number of hours its actually in our stores, available for customers," Morris tells Idaho News 6.

Moving forward, Albertsons plans to continue expanding and improving its fresh-food footprint across the country, but Morris says Idaho will always be home. "Joe was always to proud of not only his stores, and the legacy he had built," she says, "but really proud of the state of Idaho. This is a community we want to be a part of, that we've helped grow over the years, and it's helped us grow."

To find out more about the Albertsons Company and locate a store near you, you can find them online here.

Interested in seeing our other Made in Idaho stories? Click here to check them out!