Founded by Royal Supermarkets in the mid-1950s, Chatham was often compared to Kroger in size and selection. Typical of many grocery stores of its time, Chatham was unable to keep up with big-box grocery competitors, including Michigan-based Meijer. Kroger subsequently purchased former Chatham locations after the chain went out of business.
In 1986, Chatham was then owned by Nu-Trax, Inc., headed by Wendell Smith. In March 1986, the company was purchased by Alex Dandy, a businessman who owned Hamady Brothers food chain in Flint, Michigan. Dandy illegally diverted assets of the company to his personal benefit, and Chatham was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1987. Dandy was convicted in 1991, of tax offenses, mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and obstruction of justice. He died in 2003.
- United States of America, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Alex Dandy, Defendant-appellant, 998 F.2d 1344 (6th Cir. 15 September 1993).
- Henderson, Tom (1 June 1992). "The looting of Chatham. (Alex Dandy convicted for plundering Chatham Supermarkets Inc.)". Corporate Detroit. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "Obituaries: Alex Dandy". Supermarket News. 22 December 2003. Retrieved 20 May 2012.