This was the grocery store I remember going to in Caseville when growing up. The grandparents said it was once a bowling alley with wood floors that creaked as you walked on it. We assumed that it was true because it kinda looked like one. The smell was a unique combination of boasting chicken, suntan oil, sweat, and mustiness. You had to take your empty pop bottles to the back where they traveled down a conveyor belt to the deep basement. The Caseville IGA always seemed to have everything we needed for a summer weekend at the beach or an entire week with the grandparents. While it was cramped and crowded during the season, I loved it and was sorry to see it go.
Everyone simply referred to the store as “The IGA” or “Ig-A”. Those of us who grew up in Caseville sometimes still refer to the current store as IGA and everyone knows what we are talking about.
IGA stands for the Independent Grocers Alliance founded in 1926. This is a brand of grocery stores that operates in more than 30 countries worldwide. However, it is not a chain store. The Caseville IGA operated as a franchise but the store was owned separately from the brand. These stores are typically found in small towns and the stores are owned by families and small businesses. IGA is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
Related Reading for Michigan History
- Joys of a Michigan Cottage
- Boat Names in Caseville Harbor
- Caseville Historical Society
- History of the Thumb’s First Industry
- The 20 Sites of Henry Ford’s Village Industries