Kessel Food Markets

Kessel Food Markets
Industry Retail
Fate purchased by Kroger
Founded Corunna, Michigan, 1981
Founder Al Kessel
Defunct 1999
Headquarters Grand Blanc, Michigan, United States
Number of locations
Area served
Flint, Michigan-Saginaw, Michigan area
Products Groceries
Owner Al Kessel

Kessel Food Markets was an American supermarket chain based in Michigan. It began in 1981 when Owosso, Michigan native Al Kessel, a former executive vice president of Hamady Brothers supermarkets, purchased Kroger locations in Corunna and Saginaw. Kroger closed these stores due to Michigan's poor economy at the time, and failure to reach union agreements.[1] After Kroger closed all five of its Flint locations in 1982 for the same reasons, Kessel purchased them as well, followed by 13 Hamady stores after that chain filed for bankruptcy in 1991. At its peak, Kessel Food Markets comprised 24 stores.[2] Kessel filmed his own television commercials for the chain,[3] in which he would throw items into a grocery cart and state, "Save at Kessel this week. Why? Because we're with you."[2]

The Kessel chain was frequently targeted by workers' unions in Saginaw.[3] By 1999, four of the Kessel stores had been converted to Save-A-Lot or closed, while the rest were sold to Kroger, which briefly continued to operate them under the Kessel name before converting them.[4] Kessel's company, Kessel Enterprises of Grand Blanc, Michigan, continued to operate the Save-a-Lot stores and local Pet Supplies Plus stores.

Kessel died December 28, 2012 at age 74 of esophageal cancer, in Naples, Florida.[5][6][7]


  1. Kessel buys Corunna, Saginaw Kroger stores The Argus-Press, November 24, 1981
  2. 1 2 Grocer Al Kessel remembered for kindness, dedication to employees The Flint Journal via, December 28, 2012
  3. 1 2 A look back at the history of Kessel Food Markets in Flint, Saginaw The Flint Journal via, December 28, 2012
  4. KROGER TO BUY MICHIGAN'S KESSEL FOOD MARKETS Supermarket News, December 20, 1999
  5. "Grocer Al Kessel dies at 74". Michigan Live. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  6. "Al Kessel dies at age 74". Michigan News. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  7. "Flint-Saginaw grocer Al Kessel dies at age 74". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
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