My Teen Years Working at a Felpausch Grocery Store
Felpausch Food Centers are no more.
When I was a teenager, I worked in one, just like many others high schoolers. I had a lotta fun working there, especially with my buddies Gene, Chris, Dave, Paul, Doug, and Bob. Oh, did we have a good time...
Felpausch got its start in Hastings in 1933. That was followed by stores in Albion, Eaton Rapids, Marshall, Mason, Stockbridge, Leslie, Grand Ledge, Jackson, and others in the Mid-Michigan area.
When the 1970s rolled around, individual stores were getting sold and turned into other businesses: usually a different grocer or hardware store.
Remember those “whole chickens in a can”? Gene and I would grab one, go into the bathroom, and gobble the whole thing down.
Doug swiped a bottle of pop off the shelf, went into the dairy cooler, and was gulping it down when the manager walked by and caught him. Next time, shut the door, Doug.
We'd get locked in the freezers, get into Crazy Foam fights with the truck drivers, flirt with customers, and argue who was next to carry-out groceries. Yeah, we'd bag 'em and drag 'em....for no tips.
Then there was Gary, who was our age (17), but thought he looked cool smokin' a pipe. Gary...buddy...NOT cool.
It was at that grocery store that I first felt the brunt of having a good head of hair. Looking back now, my hair was pretty short compared to what male hair became (see photo below). It was a Saturday afternoon when I came into work this particular day. The manager said to me, “before you punch in, I need to talk to you”. Words to dread.
So we met at the backroom break table and he said, referring to a regional manager, “you know, (expletive deleted) was in here the other day, and he said you need to get a haircut. So you either need to cut it before going back to work or look for another job”. I thought about it for a few seconds and said, “I guess I'll go look for another job”. And I did.
I was in the local rock band at the time, but my hair really wasn't that long. But I wasn't gonna argue about it...it wasn't worth it. So I left. That was the only blot on an otherwise great time, working at Felpausch, with a great group of guys.
In 2007, Felpausch was bought out by Spartan Stores, where most grocers with the 'Felpausch' name were changed to 'Family Fare'.
So, Felpausch is gone...but for me, and I'm sure others who once worked there, it was actually a pretty cool/fun place to work.....for a grocery store.
FORMER FELPAUSCH GALLERY