2007-02-10 / Top News

Opening of Doud's Market Continues Family Legacy

Long-time Family-owned Grocery Store To Re-open in Mid-April Under New Name
By Ryan Schlehuber

The grocery store at the corner of Main Street and Fort Street on Mackinac Island, set to open in mid-April, may have a new name and a new look, but owner Andrew Doud hopes to establish Doud's Market as a reliable grocery store that reaches out to its customers, supporting the Island community.

"It's going to be more grocery store oriented," Mr. Doud said of his new store, Doud's Market, formerly Doud Mercantile. "Yes, we'll have things like phone cards, but it will be groceries first."

Doud Mercantile closed earlier this winter for the first time since 1943, when the original store, which was at the head of Arnold Line's dock at the time, burned to the ground. The store was founded by James Doud in 1884.

Andrew's brother, Franc, who had been operating the store and is a majority owner in the family business, has signed a building lease with option to purchase with Susie Lundgren of Mackinac Island and Harbor Springs. Andrew Doud, who is owner of Doud's Market, is leasing the building from Ms. Lundgren.

"Without Susan, there wouldn't be a grocery store," said Mr. Doud, who managed Grand Hotel's Gatehouse restaurant last summer.

"I believe it is critical that the Island have a viable grocery store," said Ms. Lundgren. "I'm very excited to see Doud's reopen. I'm looking forward to shopping there this summer."

She said Andrew Doud is a "perfect fit" for the job, as he has the family background, management skills, and enthusiasm to make Doud's Market a successful business.

Mr. Doud, whose first job as a young boy was sorting returnable cans at Doud Mercantile, under the supervision of his father, Stephen, has put much thought into carrying on his family legacy.

"On the business side of it, I really did a lot of research on this, and I believe I can establish this place as a solid grocery store," he said. "It is a vital part of the Island. It's so expensive for Islanders to leave the Island and it's an all-day event to shop off-island."

Mr. Doud wants to reestablish Doud's Market as the Island's main grocery store, giving Islanders an assurance their needs will be met at a reasonable price.

As for the personal side of managing his family's legacy, "I had to do it because it means more to me than just a business," he said. "It's a sense of family pride. It's where practically every Doud started working."

His strategy for success, he said, will be "really reaching out to the people."

He hopes to establish a grocery delivery service with Mackinac Island Service Company, similar to what Doud Mercantile did in the 1900s, when young employees would visit cottagers on the bluffs to take grocery orders and then deliver the goods on a buckboard wagon.

Customers will be able to fax or e-mail their orders to the store and have them delivered by dray, explained Mr. Doud.

"Islanders can also stop in and drop off their list of groceries and do whatever else they have to do downtown," he said. "We can then deliver it to their home."

He has redesigned the interior of the store with the help of Michigan Grocery Association and Great North Foods.

"I want to maximize the limited space we have in the grocery store," said Mr. Doud, who plans to keep the store's meat deli and salad and soup bar. "They were able to tell me how small community stores like this compete against the Wal-Marts of the world. They said we have to be more service-oriented if we are going to survive, and that's what I plan on doing, making this a solid, reliable grocery store."

Design plans include installing new floor tile, rearranging shelves, and possibly moving the entrance of the store from the corner of the building to the center, which is what it used to be years ago, according to Mr. Doud. It would allow for more window space, he said.

He also is in the process of transferring the store's liquor and state lottery licenses to his name.

"I'm looking forward to opening," Mr. Doud said. "This store has been a huge part of Mackinac for so long. The people of the Island deserve the best effort, and I really believe they have faith in this store and will support this."

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2007-02-10 digital edition