Waterville Historical Society

your connection to the past

The Waterville Historical Society collects, preserves, provides access to, interprets and fosters an appreciation of history that has an impact on the Waterville, Ohio and surrounding area.

Waterville’s Nation Wide Grocery Chain

       Third Street, Waterville, Ohio

Waterville had a Nation –Wide Grocery Store located on Third Street in at least the 1940s. Nation-Wide was organized in the summer of 1921 to combine several grocery stores into a chain. They could buy for the chain but each store would operate as their own. They would have the name Nation-Wide listed on the store. As you see in this picture the sign is over the door and under the windows. We have also seen photos of stores on the East side of Toledo and one was at the Albon-Airport Road corner. There were rules that were followed as to the training of the store managers, such as making sure everyone was courteous and knowledgeable of the things they sold. They were to never allow a bin or shelf to look like they had run out of an item and to make it looked like it was full. After the person was accepted they would be trained as store managers in a company school for 2 weeks. They would be paid as if they were working at a store and would be trained in salesmanship, courtesy, and learn how to tactfully suggest items for sale and please their customers. They also taught the person how to order merchandise. After the schooling was over they were given the “rule-book” which outlined the policies of the corporation. In the 1960s Paul Fey owned the store, that he had brought from a Mr. Hoffman, and it was known as Paul’s Market located at 34 N. Third Street. I am not sure how long the Nation Wide Store existed here in Waterville or if the Paul’s Market was still part of the chain store. Can anyone tell us more about the Nation - Wide Store or how long it was in existence here in Waterville.   Of course Nation-Wide was not the first chain grocery store as Kroger dates back to the late 1880s.


P.O. Box 263,  Waterville, OH  43566            whs43566@outlook.com

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