LaLonde's History Of Generations
Old Tire Store
Kids at work!
1958 Charles “Chuck” and Joyce LaLonde opened the first LaLonde's IGA Super Market in a building that was
originally a tire store at 1707 Bay City Road, on the corner of Bay City and Saginaw Road. Chuck previously worked
for the Giant supermarket chain before working at Dow Corning Corp, and remembered stopping to buy food at a “tiny
little grocery store” on Bay City Road. When it went up for sale, Charles bought it.
Steve LaLonde, Chuck's son, has been in the grocery business since he was a small boy dusting shelves at age 8 and, as a teenager, cutting meat. He also worked there on weekends while he earned a food marketing degree from Michigan State University. In 1975 Steve and his wife Laura bought the store from his father, who had already added to the store twice by then. When an attached gas station moved out, Steve remodeled it and added freezers and coolers.
In 1980 Steve bought the former Swanson's Market at 4007 Jefferson. The interior was gutted and rebuilt, providing more room for the meat and produce departments.
In January 1983 fish was added “with strictly fresh fish on Thursday, Friday and Saturday”, eventually expanding the fresh fish days to a daily basis due to high consumer demand.
April 1983 celebrated 25 years in business with a 10–day sale featuring ground beef for 25 cents a pound (after the first 10 pounds were purchased at a special price). Steve focused on providing quality meats and one–stop shopping.
Both stores experienced a remodel in November 1988 with new awnings and colors. The Bay City Road deli section was tripled and the meat department expanded, resulting in four new jobs. The wine section at the Jefferson store was expanded to include new wines and new track lighting to highlight the store. Both stores also added video rentals with no membership requirements.
Scott kissing his infant son
Over the years both stores evolved differently, with the Bay City Road location catering to the workers on Midland's
industrial end by offering great, fast lunches at very reasonable prices. The Jefferson store specialized in top quality
meat and produce, and became a one–stop store for wine, liquor, lottery tickets.
Steve's son–in–law and daughter, Scott and Emily MacNellis, joined the company in 1997. 1998 celebrated 40 years in business by unveiling the new LaLonde's Markets website listing specials, recipes, and the Bay City Store's deli menu.
2008 saw a 30 percent expansion to the Jefferson meat and seafood department, and 50 percent increase in the produce
department during a full store interior and exterior renovation. New colors, flooring, display cases front counter as well
as back end coolers and freezers were added over the many month renovation. However the store remained open for all but 1
In the spring of 2012, the Jefferson location was purchased by Scott and Emily MacNellis, Steve's daughter and son-in-law, moving the markets into third generation ownership. Offering even more gourmet selections, meal solutions, and specialty meats, this location has become the hands-down destination for those looking for great value in the best quality meat, seafood and catering.
The burger section offers a phenomenal selection of no-prep, pre-seasoned and pre-stuffed burgers in a variety of flavors like mushroom Swiss, bacon cheddar, jalapeno, and black and blue burgers ready to throw on the stove or grill for a quick and very tasty meal solution.
Their assets include their employees, and among them are two of the best in the industry. Bill Albritton, one of Steve
LaLonde's best friends in high school, has been with the stores since 1969 when he hired in at the age of 16. He is the
Operations Manager and "the best meat cutter in town", training each new associate as they join the team. Tom
McDonough also began at LaLonde's while in high school, and has celebrated 25 years with the markets.
The LaLonde family has grown the business at both locations through their long-standing dedication to providing the highest-quality products and personal one-on-one service and affordable prices. LaLonde's only features USDA Choice beef with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Constantly changing both stores to meet the changing needs of their customers has been another key to their success. "We merchandise for our customers. And we're able to make changes quickly - much faster than a larger store - to meet changing needs".
Their customers seem to agree, as the LaLonde's neighborhood markets are cornerstones in their community.