Farmers Market supermarkets experienced much success

The original Farmers Market building at 3810 Marysville Blvd. has housed Rainbow Market since about 1964. / Photo by Lance Armstrong
The original Farmers Market building at 3810 Marysville Blvd. has housed Rainbow Market since about 1964. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part series about the history of the Farmers Market independent supermarket chain.

Among the most successful supermarket chains to have had a presence in the north area of the city was the Farmers Market chain, which was founded by the late Chinese immigrant Walter Fong.
As mentioned in the previous article of this two-part series, Fong, who immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s, began operating a grocery store in downtown Sacramento in the late 1930s.
The first Farmers Market opened at 3810 Marysville Road (now Marysville Boulevard), at Grand Avenue in Del Paso Heights in 1949.
That store, as well as the next four Farmers Market locations, was briefly summarized in the first article of this series.
Details about several other Farmers Market stores are presented, as follows:

Farmers Market No. 6

Farmers Market No. 6 opened at 6015 Watt Ave. in North Highlands in about 1961 and remained in operation until about 1982.
The first manager of the store was Albert C. Lew.
Jimmy Yee was another one of the store’s managers.
Presently, the North Highlands Community Health Center operates in the old grocery store building.

Farmers Market No. 7

The seventh store of the Farmers Market chain opened at 4911 47th Ave. in about 1961.
James Lim was an early manager of this store, which remained in business until about 1982. Johnny Fong and Stanley Yee were also among the store’s managers.
Today, the site is home to the Calvary Evangelism Center, which began its history as the Emmanuel Pentecostal Church at 1418 8th Ave. in 1940.

Farmers Market No. 8

A Farmers Market at 4200 Arden Way, at Eastern Avenue, first opened its doors to the public in 1961.
An early manager of the store was George Yee, who resided with his wife, Virginia, at 915 U St.
Farmers Market No. 8 remained in business until about 1965, when it was replaced by a store of the Holiday Market grocery store chain. The first manager of that Holiday Market store site was Kenneth G. Derryberry.
The Holiday Market on Arden Way was replaced by Pantry Market, and its accompanying Slim Trim Bakery, in about 1979.
Presently, the site is home to Walgreens Store #4170.

Farmers Market No. 9

The ninth store of the Farmers Market chain opened at 5920 Madison Ave., one block north of Marconi Avenue, in Carmichael in about 1963.
The first manager of that store was Leon A. Quinn. He was succeeded in that position about a year later by Paul Lee.
Earl Joe later served as the store’s manager.
Farmers Market Store No. 9 closed in about 1977, and the site has been home to Beck’s Furniture since 1978.

Farmers Market No. 11

Rancho Cordova received its own Farmers Market with the opening of Store No. 11 at 10665 Coloma Road in about 1966.
That store remained open until about 1982, and the site was home to the Rancho Cordova Neighborhood Center for many years.

Farmers Market No. 12

It was also in about 1966 when a Farmers Market opened at 1601 West Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento. The store remained in business until 1984.
Among that store’s managers were Ed Jong and James G. Louie.
The Sacramento Bee, in its Nov. 5, 1984 edition, notes: “Raley’s has opened a new superstore at 1601 West Capitol Ave. The 53,000-square-foot store represents a $1 million investment, the company said.”
That Raley’s store remains in business today, and its present store director is Sue Nelson.

Farmers Market No. 14

A Farmers Market was located at 2500 Meadowview Road from about 1970 to about 1981.
Albert C. Lew was that store’s first manager.
The site is presently home to the Sam and Bonnie Pannell Community Center.

Farmers Market No. 15

A Farmers Market opened at 10175 Folsom Blvd. in about 1970, and the store remained in business until about 1982.
On Oct. 7, 1984, The Bee reported: “Mike and Elaine Jackson have opened Canned Foods Grocery Outlet at 10175 Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova. The Jacksons previously operated the Canned Foods Warehouse at 3015 W. Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento.”
In 2000, at the same site, Sang Chang and Yong Choe opened Total Outlet, which was once described in The Bee as a “small Kmart.”
A Hancock Fabrics store has also operated at the same address.

Farmers Market No. 19

It was also in about 1970 when Store No. 19 opened at 2730 Broadway.
Managers of that store included Benjamin Hom and Wing Chinn.
The store closed in about 1979.

Farmers Market No. 23

The 23rd store of the Farmers Market chain opened at 6645 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights in the 1970s. The site was previously home to the grocery business, Food World.
This Farmers Market store remained in business until about 1982.
In its Aug. 14, 1988 edition, The Bee, under the heading of “leasing activity,” notes that Cal-State Investments was attempting to have a bingo parlor constructed inside the 13,000-square-foot retail space at 6645 Auburn Blvd.
An update on those efforts was mentioned in the Nov. 4, 1993 edition of The Bee, as follows: “Plans to put a bingo parlor in a dilapidated former shopping center at 6645 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights have been dropped.”

2000 Howe Ave.

In 1971, a Kmart discount store was under construction at 2000 Howe Ave., at Cottage Way. The store, which during research for this article was not found to have received a store number, was in operation by the following year.
Suburban directories for the years 1974 through 1976 recognize the simultaneous existence of a Kmart store and a Farmers Market at 2000 Howe Ave.
Those directories also mention Frank Pence as the supermarket’s manager.
Farmers Warehouse Liquors made its debut with the opening of its first store in mid-1978.
Eventually, six of those stores were in operation, including a store at the Howe Avenue location.
The Howe Avenue store and three other Farmers Warehouse Liquors were sold to the Sacramento discount liquor chain, Liquor Mart, in April 1984.
In its June 12, 1985 edition, The Bee notes: “The independent super market (sic) chain, (Farmers Markets), grew to 35 stores before Fong sold it in 1977.”
The Farmers Markets chain entered into Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings in 1983, and the last of the stores were sold in the mid-1980s.

California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial close to becoming a reality

Steve Kanelos installs the temporary sign for the future California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial at Capitol Park. Photo by Lance Armstrong
Steve Kanelos installs the temporary sign for the future California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial at Capitol Park. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Having a California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial placed at the southern end of Capitol Park is something that a group of local people have been striving to have become a reality for several years. And it appears that the group’s dedicated efforts are finally about to pay off.
On Monday morning, March 9, Steve Kanelos arrived at the park and installed a sign, which reads: “Proposed site: California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial.”
Steve’s father, Gus, had suggested the idea of such a memorial many years prior to the formation of a committee for the project.
After being asked to describe his feelings regarding having that sign placed at the park, Steve said, “Well, it’s been a long time coming, and we’ve been waiting a long time for this (moment). It’s a great accomplishment and we feel that it’s just the beginning of what’s next to come here.”
The group working to have the monument set in place at Capitol Park prefers the name American Portuguese, as opposed to Portuguese American, because they are dedicated to the notion that they are “Americans first and Portuguese second.”
In commenting about that point, Eddie Maria III, the chairman of the committee, said, “We never lose sight of the fact, of course, that we are Americans first that have a strong, rich (appreciation) of our Portuguese heritage.”
And part of that heritage is the service of “American Portuguese,” who served in the United States military.
During an interview with this publication following the installation of the sign, Maria said, “(Portuguese) came here from Portugal and without being required to do so, signed up and said, ‘I want to fight for this country. I’m from Portugal, but I’m an American citizen and I want to fight for the freedoms of America. And even if I’m not being asked to do so, I’m going to step up and fight for this country.’”
Maria, whose Portuguese grandparents came to America through Hawaii in the 1910s, also shared details about the project to have the memorial placed at the park.
“It all started at an American Portuguese Club meeting some years ago,” said Maria, who grew up in the Pocket and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1987. And Gus Kanelos (who had a very Greek American upbringing and is also part Portuguese and part Italian) came in as a past president of the APC. He attended the meetings regularly, and at the meeting that I attended – one of my first meetings, actually – (Gus) talked to the group about the opportunity to honor American Portuguese that served for this country (from) California.
“There was quite a bit of excitement about the opportunity. It was something that I’m sure a lot of the people within the organization had not considered before. We knew about these monuments (on the grounds of) the state Capitol, but they always looked to be so expansive, in such that we never thought that a little group like the American Portuguese Club could do something like that. We saw hundreds of thousands of dollars into these incredible looking monuments, and thought, ‘What could we really accomplish?’ But we set forth to see.”
The group met with people who had previously worked on monument projects to obtain a better understanding of what it would take for the group to meet its goal of honoring “American Portuguese” military veterans from California through a special monument.
The first official meeting of the committee was held at Balshor Florist at 2661 Riverside Blvd. in May 2011, and later meetings were held at the Cabrillo Club at 4605 Karbet Way.
Maria acknowledged the ongoing efforts of the committee, saying, “I believe that the only reason we’re here today putting the temporary sign to let people know the future of this monument is because of the hard work and the passion and the dedication that the eight-member committee had to making this happen.”
Additionally, Maria praised the APC, noting that it “took (the monument project) by the horns and ran with it.”
APC presidents during that time have been Wes Silva, Phil Soto and Jack Cornelius.
In speaking about one of the obstacles of the lengthy process of reaching the present status of the monument project, Maria said, “Maybe 18 months or so ago, I didn’t even know if we would be able to put a temporary sign in this spot. There were a lot of concerns from different departments of the state Capitol. They just didn’t want this to be a situation where you had a bunch of monuments all over the place. And they termed it as looking like a graveyard.”
The group had originally planned for a much larger memorial, which was described in the Sept. 15, 2011 edition of this paper, as follows: “The arched-topped center piece of the green granite memorial, which will include American and Portuguese national flags and insignias of military service branches and the POW-MIA insignia, will stand 96 inches tall by 24 inches wide by 10 inches thick, and will be accompanied by two outside wing pieces, which will each measure 86 inches tall by 24 inches wide by 10 inches thick.
The base of the monument, which will be created by the Ruhkala Monument Co. of Sacramento, will be 10 inches tall by 96 inches wide by 16 inches deep.”
That large monument plan was eventually abandoned, and a compromise was agreed upon.
The committee mentioned that the project now calls for a granite memorial bench, which is anticipated to be installed as early as this summer, but no later than the end of this year.
The cost of the project is estimated at $80,000, a sum that includes an $8,500 state inspection fee. Thus far, about $43,000 of those needed funds has been raised.
In front of the bench, which will be about 7 feet long, will be four pavers, with the names of sponsors, donors and honored veterans.
Maria spoke about the bench, saying, “Over time, we got some responses back from the Department of General Services (and) the California Department of Veterans Affairs. And their point of view was that we needed to do something a little different than we initially anticipated. We needed to create something that could be useful in the park, and that’s where the bench idea came into play.”
A very significant day in the process of having the memorial placed in the park was Sept. 28, 2012, when the bill for the memorial was signed. The bill’s author was Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, of Modesto. There were also about 10 coauthors of the bill.
In speaking about Olsen, Maria said, “Without her support, we would not be here. There is no doubt about it. She’s been part of (the monument efforts) every step of the way.”
Maria also commended various members of the Department of General Services, and J.P. Tremblay, deputy secretary of the state Department of Veterans Affairs, who he described as “a huge supporter and somebody that we’ve counted on from the very beginning.”
But Maria’s highest praise was given to committee member Loretta (Petit) Kanelos, who was heavily supported in her efforts by her husband, Gus, who is also a member of the committee.
“It is amazing the amount of time that (Loretta) has put into (this project). She has never wavered in her desire to make this a reality. Her mindset has always been, ‘This will happen.’
“I can’t say enough of how much gratitude the American Portuguese community of California should have for Loretta Kanelos. And, of course, with her husband, Gus, as well, she is really the reason that all of this came about. They came up with an idea, they plugged people into place to make sure that idea came to fruition. And every step of the way, they’ve been there supporting us, not only from an emotional standpoint, but from just a work ethic that I’ve never seen before. It’s just amazing, and I’m very proud to have been able to work with them. I can assure you that we would not be here today without their efforts. And Loretta really is the backbone. There’s no doubt about it. But it has been a group effort.”
Loretta, who was present with her husband at Maria’s interview with this paper and at the sign installation, responded to Maria’s comment, saying, “No matter what I’ve done, I couldn’t have done it if (Maria) would not have led (the committee).”
Maria said that having the California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial placed at Capitol Park sets a precedent for future cultural veteran memorials at the park.
“(The state commented), ‘You’re really the guinea pigs in all of this, because you’re the first of a kind when it comes to a group coming together from an ethnic perspective or a nationality perspective, and placing something in (Capitol Park) as this bench,’” Maria said. “To have a bench here and to have the American Portuguese be honored in that way, it is the first of its kind and it will be the template for groups that want to do something similar in the future.”

Salute dinner to be held April 11

As a fundraiser for the California American Portuguese Veterans Memorial project at Capitol Park, a “Salute Dinner” will be held at the SPHSS Hall at 6676 Pocket Road on Saturday, April 11, beginning with a no-host bar at 4 p.m. and continuing through 8:30 p.m.
The event will include guest speakers, a “Portuguese in California” presentation, entertainment, a silent auction and appearances by Nuno Mathias, consul general of Portugal in San Francisco, and Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen.
The cost of the event is $50 per person.
Additional information about this fundraiser can be obtained by calling Rod Rosa at 916-924-3000 or by visiting the American Portuguese Club’s Facebook page.
Further donation information, including how to reserve a name on the memorial’s pavers or how to contribute items for the dinner’s silent auction, can be obtained by contacting Maria at 314-757-0474 or by email at

Corti Bros. building has had multiple tenants

Corti Bros. has been the longest term tenant in this large structure at the southwest corner of 59th Street and Folsom Boulevard.
Corti Bros. has been the longest term tenant in this large structure at the southwest corner of 59th Street and Folsom Boulevard.

This summer, the 68-year-old Corti Bros. Italian grocery store will celebrate its 45th year of operating in a building at 5810 Folsom Blvd. in East Sacramento. But few people today realize that this structure had an existence prior to that time.
The building was constructed in 1951 to house a supermarket known as Grand View Market.
Associated with that building in its early days was a Grand View Market sign, which is mentioned in the May 19, 1951 edition of The Sacramento Bee as costing $1,500.
The structure was completed by the fall of that year.
A full-page advertisement for the Grand View Market was featured in The Bee on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 1951.
The advertisement mentions the store’s then-upcoming grand opening and opportunities for customers to win grand opening prizes. Those prizes included the grand prize of a 1951 model Westinghouse refrigerator and the second prize of a 1951 model Westinghouse washing machine.
Grand View Market opened the following day and offered specials throughout the weekend.
Among those specials were a 10-pound sack of Gold Medal flour for 89 cents, a one-pound can of MJB coffee for 79 cents, a dozen large, Grade B eggs for 64 cents, ground beef for 55 cents per pound, four pounds of Watsonville apples for 25 cents, two pounds of bananas for 25 cents, two medium size avocados for 23 cents, a bundle of broccoli for 17 cents and cucumbers for 2 cents each.
Grand View Market was founded by Joseph C. “Joe” Yee (1901-1979), and the store’s original manager was Delbert Mar.
At the time that Joe began operating Grand View Market, he had already established himself as a successful Sacramento grocer.
As early as 1939, Joe, who resided at 1501 W St. with his wife, Rose, was operating Independent Market at 1630 11th St., and another grocery store at 1600 G St.
His grocery experience also included running Grand Central Market at 701 16th St. and Grant Union Drive-In Market at 3700 Rio Linda Blvd. in Del Paso Heights.
Grand View Market’s grand opening was held during the week beginning with Sunday, Oct. 21, 1951. The store’s original hours of operation were 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
A week later, the store once again lowered many of its prices for its “Autumn Festival” sale.
Another feature of the store was its inclusion of Don & Lou’s Fountain eatery, where one could purchase a fresh strawberry sundae for 29 cents or a hamburger and milkshake for 55 cents.
Grand View Market made front page news on Nov. 26, 1951, when The Bee reported that 14 clerks and a salesman were locked in a walk-in refrigerator.
The holdup lasted about an hour, and the gun carrying intruder, who had entered the store through a skylight prior to the business’s opening, eventually escaped with $350 in petty cash.
In an update to that holdup, The Bee reported on Dec. 26, 1951 that the Sacramento Police Department had been notified that James M. Rudolph had admitted to robbing the Grand View Market, as well as Stop-N-Shop market at 6001 14th Ave. on Oct. 24, 1951 and the Fruitridge Manor Pharmacy at 5611 Stockton Blvd. on Nov. 27, 1951.
On Jan. 30, 1954, Grand View Market held a benefit breakfast as a fundraiser for the family of grocer Lawrence E. Hall, who was fatally shot inside his grocery store at 1828 East El Camino Ave. in North Sacramento on Dec. 1, 1953. The breakfast, which cost 50 cents per person and raised $125, was served by members of Sacramento Boy Scout Troop 1.
It was also in 1954, when Grand View Market offered its customers an opportunity to win a 21-inch Westinghouse deluxe model television set. The winner’s name was drawn on March 26, 1954.
The 59th Street and Folsom Boulevard building survived a fire during its early years, as was indicated in the minutes of the city council meeting of June 16, 1955. Included in those minutes were the words: “Communication from Don N. Yee, manager of the Grand View Market, expressing appreciation for the excellent work performed by Chief (Peter F. Mangan, Jr.) and his men during a recent fire at the market was received and ordered filed.”
By 1957, Simeon L. Pipkin (1897-1973) and Gladys I. Pipkin (1904-1972) were operating Roy and Gladys’ Fountain Lunch restaurant inside Grand View Market.
That eatery was still in business at that site in 1962 when George Quan, Sr. opened George’s Food Market.
That market evolved into a location of the Giant Foods chain, which operated during the 1960s and 1970s.
A city building inspector’s card, dated Nov. 30, 1962, documents a contract for the construction of a Giant Foods sign at 5810 Folsom Blvd. by Ad-Art Sign, Inc. (2417 Cormorant Way, Sacramento) at a cost of $2,500.
At its height, the Giant Foods chain had its East Sacramento location, as well as stores at 5341 Auburn Blvd. in the Foothill Farms area; 5747 Watt Ave. in North Highlands, and 223 D St. in Broderick (a former area of today’s West Sacramento).
During the summer of 1970, Corti Bros. moved to its present site, replacing the Giant Foods Market at 5810 Folsom Blvd.
The last existing Giant Foods supermarket – the Broderick store – closed in about 1979. And that store’s final owners were Richard H. Quan, George H. Quan, Jr. and Margie D. Quan.
Corti Bros., which began its history at 912-914 8th St. in 1947, relocated to 3195 Folsom Blvd., across the street from Spurgeon’s Cleaners and about a block west of Philipp’s Bakery, in 1952.
Corti Bros. eventually grew to become a chain of four stores. But today, Corti Bros. has only one location – its East Sacramento store.
In 2008, Corti Bros. was faced with a major dilemma when its building lease ran dry and the store was not offered a new lease.
Furthermore, the building’s landlord had made arrangements for the then former, now current Raley’s Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Teel to lease the structure.
Teel intended to open the start-up gourmet market, Good Eats, in the building.
But due to the community’s love for this popular, historic Italian grocery store, many people in the city rallied to save the store at this location, and Teel and his business partner, Michael Ashker, eventually terminated their plans for the site.
In commenting to The Sacramento Union in September 2008 regarding the large crowd that attended a Sept. 3, 2008 rally in support of his store, Darrell Corti said, “The turnout for our rally was quite heartening, so we must have been doing something well.”
As a result of the strong customer support of the store, Corti Bros. was able to renew its lease at its longtime site on March 19, 2009.
And today, the tradition of Corti Bros. lives on, as the store retains many longtime customers while attracting new customers, thus continuing the prosperity of this longtime popular Sacramento business.

Farmers Market supermarket chain had north area presence

The former Farmers Market No. 5 building still stands at the southwest corner of El Camino and Howe avenues. Photo by Lance Armstrong
The former Farmers Market No. 5 building still stands at the southwest corner of El Camino and Howe avenues. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two-part series about the history of the Farmers Market independent supermarket chain.

Among the early supermarket chains of the Sacramento area was Farmers Markets, which was founded by Walter Fong 65 years ago. Those markets included locations in the north area of the city.
Prior to opening the first of his Farmers Market, Walter (1903-1990) had already gained experience working in the local grocery industry.
Walter, who immigrated to the United States from China in the early 1900s, was residing in Sacramento by the early 1930s.
The 1932 city directory lists Walter as then working as a clerk at Chris’ Confectionary at 620 K St.
By the following year, Walter was managing the Capital Poultry Co. at 518 I St. in Sacramento’s Chinatown.
Walter spent at least two years managing that store, and, in about 1938, he began operating his own grocery store at 1600 F St.
Also assisting in that store was Stephen Fong, who was residing with Walter above that store at 1600 ½ F St.
The 1940 U.S. Census lists Walter as a 37-year-old grocery store manager.
Additionally, that census lists Walter’s then-27-year-old cousin, David Fong, as a grocery store cashier, and recognizes his then-36-year-old wife, Yee Shee Fong, and his then-13-year-old son, Ying Fong. Walter and Yee Shee were married in China in 1927 and their son was born in that country.
It was also in 1940 when Walter became the proprietor of a second grocery store at 1400 I St. That site was vacant two years later.
Among the other workers at the F Street market were William Jang of the fruit department, and Frank Yue of the meat department.
It was also in the 1940s when Walter Fong was an owner of the North 12th Street Market at 300 N. 12th St., with Kay Fong.
During the same era, Walter also owned the Del Paso Heights Market at Park and Grand avenues in Del Paso Heights. That market, which was managed by James Lai, was destroyed by fire on April 18, 1954.

Farmers Market No. 1

Walter, whose leadership roles also included serving as president of the California Food Dealers Association and the Sacramento Chinese Food Dealers Association, opened his first Farmers Market at 3810 Marysville Road (now Marysville Boulevard), at Grand Avenue in Del Paso Heights in 1949.
Managers at the first Farmers Market store, at separate times, included Chew Fong and Kenneth Wong.
The 1952 city directory recognizes Suey Ying as Walter’s business partner in the market.
Although Farmers Market may seem like a logical name for a grocery store, one can speculate that the store took its name from a hardware store – Farmers Hardware, which was located at 3736 Marysville Road, at Grand Avenue, prior to the opening of the neighboring Farmers Market.
In about 1964, Farmers Market No. 1 was replaced by Rainbow Market, which continues to operate in the original Farmers Market building.
The Farmers Market operations would eventually grow to include many stores, some of which are summarized, as follows:

Farmers Market No. 2

A second Farmers Market store opened at 1271 West Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento on July 9, 1953.
The officials for Farmers Markets during that era were Walter Fong, president; James Y. Lau, vice president; Mark Chin, secretary; and Jack B. Fong, treasurer.
A 1959 advertisement for Farmers Market Store No. 2 recognizes the store’s offerings as groceries, meats, vegetables, frozen foods and drugs.
This store remained in business until about 1966.

Farmers Market No. 3

The third Farmers Market made its debut at 5040 Franklin Blvd., at 26th Avenue, on March 28, 1957, and remained in business until as late as 1982.
Among the people who served as managers at this store, at separate times, were Jack B. Fong, Reven G. Louie and L.A. Amnigoni.
This market continued to operate until 1981, and was replaced by Century Market No. 1 by the following year.
Today, Harvest Foods grocery store is located at the old Farmers Market No. 3 site in the Century Shopping Center.

Farmers Market No. 4

A Farmers Market store opened in the former location of a Sav-A-Lot Market at 3022 Stockton Blvd., at Broadway, in 1958. But by 1961, the site was home to Karl’s Shoe Store.
Also located at this site during its post-Farmers Market years were the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 6; Mung Sing Market; APNA Insurance Agency; and Boon Boon Café.

Farmers Market No. 5

Another Farmers Market made its debut in 1958, with the opening of Store No. 5 at 2120 El Camino Ave., at the southwest corner of El Camino and Howe avenues.
Among the managers to serve this store at different times were Kay Fong, Howie Wong, Peter Broumas and Ben Horn.
The store remained in business until about 1974.
In more recent years, the former El Camino Avenue market site was home to Sierra Copy and the present day Copier Clearance Center.

Vic’s IGA Market closes after 18-year run

Vic's Market

Vic's Market

Vic’s IGA Market in the South Hills Shopping Center in South Land Park has permanently closed.
The 40,000-square-foot market, which operated at 5820 South Land Park Drive, had opened its doors to the public in 1996. And those doors were closed for the final time on Sunday, March 1 in preparation of the business’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing.
During an interview with this publication on Sunday, March 8, bankruptcy attorney Pete Macaluso said that Vic’s would be filing for bankruptcy during the following day.
And in addressing the topic of the closure of the store, which is owned by A.L. Groups, Inc., Macaluso, a longtime local resident who graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1976, said, “They can’t go back (to operating the store). Look at the competition and the environment. Smart and Final (at 7205 Freeport Blvd.) was the last straw. (That store) opened a couple months ago within four miles (of Vic’s). You have the two Bel Airs and Nugget [Market, which] have historically been players in the game. You have down on South Land Park Drive, (by) the zoo, there’s that kind of upscale market, (Sprouts). Then you have Grocery Outlet (at 6419 Riverside Blvd.). So, this guy just cannot compete given the lease he has. This complex went through a series of (Americans with Disabilities Act) lawsuits four or five years ago, which caused a couple other of the people in the area to go bankrupt, as in Brick Oven Pizza. And coming out of that (situation), the leases haven’t been made any better for the tenants. And because of that (point), he just cannot keep losing money every month.
“Unfortunately given the economic competition and environment, and given the bad lease that he has, there’s no opportunity to renegotiate and reorganize. He’s just got to take his losses and go on and do a new job. He’s going to go on and find an employee job somewhere.
“It’s unfortunate. He didn’t want to do the bankruptcy. Sometimes you just can’t help. But given his age, at this point in time, people have to look at how old they are. Are they going to make their retirement or are they going to spend 10 more years paying off their bills and have no retirement? Sometimes bankruptcy is the only smart economic decision.”
Macaluso also mentioned that prior to the closure of the South Land Park Vic’s, the store’s employees were paid in full and all taxes were paid.
And he added, “(Good Eats), the barbecue place inside the store, (is) moving around the corner, (and Beijing Wok), the Chinese restaurant (which also operated inside the store), has two other locations.”
Vic’s was only the second business to operate at this South Land Park location.
The other business was also a grocery store – Jumbo Market.

Jumbo Markets

That South Land Park building opened in 1968 as the new location of Store No. 4 of the Jumbo Market chain, which eventually included 11 stores from Jackson to Dixon.
The first Jumbo Market was opened at 2355 Florin Road in 1961.
And heading the market at that time was Ben Mar, president; and Harry T. Wong, vice president.
Ben was not new to the grocery business, as he became the manager of State Fair Market at 3222 Stockton Blvd., near the old State Fair grounds, in 1951.
A 1954 advertisement for that market includes a photograph of Ben and the words: “Ben is just a little guy who runs a big market and does a very good job of it. Shop in the State Fair Market and see for yourself.”
After a decade of managing State Fair Market, Ben witnessed the opening of the first Jumbo Market, which had its large business sign placed at the Florin Road site in September 1961. The sign, which cost about $1,600, was created by the Ad-Art Sign Co. of Sacramento.
A second Jumbo Market opened at 7870 Florin Road in about 1964, and Jumbo Market Store No. 3 at 2711 El Camino Ave. made its debut about two years later.
Also involved in the early operations of Jumbo Market was Joe Mar, manager; Raymond Mar, clerk; and Thomas Mar, buyer.
The featured South Land Park Drive building was built to house Jumbo Market No. 4 in 1968.
The project’s architect was Sooky Lee and the contractor was John F. Otto, Inc.
A building inspector’s card, dated May 14, 1968, recognizes the construction cost of the two-story grocery store building as $419,000.
The building passed its final inspection on December 3, 1968.
In 1989, five of the last seven Jumbo Markets were sold, and with the 1996 sale of the business’s South Land Park Drive store, there were no more Jumbo Markets in operation.
As for the original Jumbo Market location at 2355 Florin Road, it was replaced by The Food Depot on Nov. 28, 1994. The store site is presently home to Mi Rancho supermarket.

Vic’s IGA Markets

The final Jumbo Market store on South Land Park Drive was purchased by Vic and LaReece DeStefani and operated as a Vic’s IGA Market. The couple already owned a Vic’s IGA Market at 1330 Fulton Ave.
IGA, which stands for Independent Grocers Alliance, is self described as an organization “founded in 1926, bringing together independent grocers across the United States to ensure that the trusted, family-owned local grocery store remained strong in the face of growing chain competition.” In addition to its American presence, IGA is also represented in more than 30 countries, commonwealths and territories.
The first Vic’s IGA Market opened at Florin and Power Inn roads in 1983, and the Fulton Avenue store opened at the former site of an Alpha Beta store two years later. The latter named Vic’s store remained open until 2007, when it was purchased by Jagtar Kandola, owner of the Zinfandel Grille restaurant, at 2384 Fair Oaks Blvd.
Another Vic’s store made its debut at 9249 Folsom Blvd. in 1986.
At their height, Vic’s IGA Markets were located at seven sites from south Sacramento to Folsom.
Vic, whose parents were immigrants from Italy, sold his last grocery store in the Village Shopping Center at 9580 Oak Ave. Parkway, Suite 4 in Folsom in 2010, but continued to work at that store for another year, at which time he finally retired at the age of 82.
That departure from the Folsom store concluded Vic’s 64 years of working in the grocery business.
Vic, who was raised on a farm near Stockton, began working in the produce side of a grocery establishment in Manteca following World War II, and he worked his way to the vice president role of grocery stores in Fairfield and Stockton.
Associated with the Vic’s on South Land Park Drive was the Vic’s Market Bakery, and a Chinese takeout, which was a carry over from the Jumbo Market at the same location.
And well known at the bakery was baker Charlie Wong’s coffee toffee crunch cake, which was topped with coffee-flavored whipped cream.
The DeStefani era of Vic’s IGA Market on South Land Park Drive ended in October 2007, when the store was sold to Jay Saini, who was making his first venture in the grocery vending world.
With the 2007 sale of that store, Vic then-owned only one store – the aforementioned Vic’s IGA Market in Folsom. That location of Vic’s was replaced by Boom Supermarket, which operated at that site from April to December 2014.
The closure of the South Land Park Vic’s store, which began operating under new ownership in 2013, will obviously leave a void in the South Hills Shopping Center.
Macaluso said that there is presently no plan for what business would fill the vacancy at the old supermarket site.

Former East Sacramento resident shares his early memories

Jim McFall, who grew up in East Sacramento, holds a copy of his senior year portrait. He graduated from Sacramento High School in February 1942. Photo by Lance Armstrong
Jim McFall, who grew up in East Sacramento, holds a copy of his senior year portrait. He graduated from Sacramento High School in February 1942. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Jim McFall served his country in both the Navy and the Army Air Corps during World War II. Photo by Lance Armstrong
Jim McFall served his country in both the Navy and the Army Air Corps during World War II. Photo by Lance Armstrong

At 90 years old, Jim McFall, who grew up in East Sacramento, enjoys reminiscing about the early years of his life. And it is because of that fact that he did not hesitate in accepting an offer to share some of those memories with readers of this publication.
Last week, while sitting alongside his wife, Patricia “Pat” (Lyons) McFall, who he married on Sept. 4, 1947, Jim flipped through his copy of Sacramento High School’s 1941 Review yearbook, as well as newspaper clipping and other mementos from his high school years.
He quickly became engrossed in the contents of those items, as he pointed to photographs of his former classmates and told stories about their activities during and after high school.
A few of his comments during that portion of his meeting with this paper were:
“Patty O’Connor, she was a pretty girl and pretty popular, too.
“There’s the Manana Club. That was the rich girls in East Sacramento. Martha Harrold (the daughter of automobile dealer Ellsworth Harrold). There was a heck of a lot of them. Well, the Breuners (of Breuner’s home furnishing store at 6th and K streets) had four girls. But it was that class of people who all formed the Del Paso Country Club.
“Phaedo was one of the boys’ clubs. They thought they were the best and were wrong.
Kerry Cutter was one of the officers in their boys’ club. The Cutter family (who resided in Curtis Park) was in (insurance) and real estate.
“The Butlers were pretty prominent in town, too. They lived on 41st Street, between J and L (streets). And they had a couple of kids, (including) Jean, who married Fred Carnie.
The Carnies, they opened up an awning, (tent and venetian blinds business at 515 L St.).”
After pointing to a photograph of a group of boys, Jim said, “This is the track team. Dr. Sutan wouldn’t pass me, because I had a fluttering heart and he wouldn’t give me the physical pass, and I couldn’t run in most of the events. I had been grounded, but I ran the 880 (yard)/half-mile on the same unit as (the future prominent California landscape artist) Greg Kondos.”
In speaking about his family, Jim said, “My father was (Winters, Calif. native) Walter Wyatt McFall and my mother was (Volcano, Calif. native) Vera Marie (Gilmore) McFall.
Connie Lou (who was four years older than Jim) was my sister and my brother was Bill. He was so much younger than me. When I went in the service, he was in the 5th grade or so.”
As far as his own schooling, Jim, prior to becoming a student at Sacramento High, attended David Lubin School at 3575 K St., Kit Carson Junior High School at 1300 54th St., and Sutter Junior High School at 1820 K St.
Although Jim was born in East Sacramento at the old Sutter Maternity Hospital – the original name of Sutter Memorial Hospital – he said that his first home was in Red Bluff.
“My father and two other men owned a (bus) stage line and lived in Red Bluff and had (stops in) Redding, Red Bluff, Marysville and Yuba City and Sacramento. Now when my mother was pregnant, she came down to Sacramento to stay with her sister-in-law, and the baby (Jim) was born in the old, wooden hospital. So, I was born in (East) Sacramento, but my parents’ actual residence was in Red Bluff.”
Jim mentioned that he has an early childhood recollection of his father driving a Packard automobile.
“My father’s car had the little vases in the windows and just about every weekend, we would go for a ride and pick flowers, and my job was to put them in the little vases of the car,” Jim recalled. “He never really took to cars, except the Packard. That to him was the car. Every (owner) of the bus line drove a Packard.”
Jim also shared a fond memory related to the other owner of the bus line.
“The other owner of the bus line was Wert Irwin, who had an ice creamery (called the Shasta Ice Cream Co.) on what would now be Broadway (and 28th Street). It had the best in the world ice cream. And as kids, with my dad, we would go in there on making of ice cream days when (Irwin) was whipping it up, and get whipped ice cream. It was the best thing you ever tasted. And he would take it out of the freezer and you would eat it. And I never will forget Wert’s ice cream.”
The McFalls, as Jim recalled, were living in Oakland in about 1928 and were residing in East Sacramento by the following year, when the family moved to 3921 N St.
Jim fondly spoke about a special feature of his former N Street home.
“That was one of the first places I ever remember my folks having a record player with flat records, and my mother had quite a few Enrico Caruso records,” Jim said.
It was also at that time that Walter was operating his own hardware store at 910 J St. He had previously run a hardware store in Oakland.
Regarding that business, Jim said, “His hardware store made what money they did off of contractors and he (provided supplies for) quite a few things for a contractor named Walter Campbell. And he and Walt Campbell got to be quite good friends, so much to the point that my sister and I went to swim in the Campbells’ swimming pool, which was really one of the few (swimming pools) around.”
From at least mid-April 1930 to about 1935, the McFalls resided at 1034 40th St.
And while living in that house, in about 1932, Walter closed his hardware store, and then spent many years working for the Diamond Match Co. at 2826 Q St.
Jim said that “the bank eventually took over the hardware store.” The store was replaced by the dental office of Dr. Paul Ehorn.
The McFalls resided at 2018 M St. (now Capitol Avenue) from about 1935 to 1938, but returned to live in East Sacramento in a home at 1035 40th St., across the street from their previous home in that area. Walter continued to own that home until the mid-1940s.
Research for this article revealed that Walter and Vera’s longtime residency in Sacramento dates back to before their time living in East Sacramento.
The 1920 U.S. Census recognizes Walter and Vera as residing in the capital city and notes that Walter was then a merchant in a hardware store.
Walter was residing in Sacramento by at least 1919 and operating Oakley’s hardware store at the aforementioned address of 910 J St., with Charles E. Trouse.
That store was established by Horace Lewis in about 1902, and named Oakley’s about four years later, when it was purchased by Paul Oakley.
Walter acquired his portion of the business directly from Oakley, who had partnered with Trouse, a former clerk and salesman with the Emigh-Winchell Hardware Co., in about 1918.
About six years later, Oakley’s became Trouse & Son hardware store and Walter began working as a clerk at Motor Carrier Terminals at 5th and I streets. And by April 1924, he was a resident of Red Bluff.
In returning to the topic of his schooling, Jim, who graduated from Sacramento High School in February 1942, spoke about one of his favorite topics – serving as the student body president of that school.
Among Jim’s old newspaper articles from his high school days is one, which, in part, reads: “By a sweeping majority, Jim Fall was elected president of the student body for the fall term (of the 1941-42 school year), last Friday. Jim McFall totaled 1,148 votes, winning from Nina Giordano and Don Yost.
“Other student body officers are Jac (sic) Stack, boys’ vice president; Janeth Calvert, girls’ vice president; Patty O’Connor, student body secretary; and Joe Goodwin, yell leader.”
Although it has been 73 years since he served as the school’s student body president, Jim said that position proved to be his greatest legacy.
“There are more people that remember me, not as a hero, but as the president of the (student body of the high) school than anything else I did,” Jim said.
Following high school years, Jim served his country during World War II.
Jim initially began serving in the Navy as a pilot, but he was eventually told by a doctor that he had an equilibrium issue that would permit him from flying at night.
Because of that situation, Jim made arrangements to join the Army Air Corps, and he began working on a bomber, but not as a pilot. His base was in the Galapagos Islands.
After the war ended, Jim returned to Sacramento, where he would eventually spend 35 years working for The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co./later known as AT&T California.
And with his wife, Pat, he began a family, and has two sons, Scott and Robert.
In concluding his meeting with this publication, Jim mentioned that he feels fortunate to have grown up as one of the kids of East Sacramento during the 1930s and 1940s.
“Everybody knew each other, and (the kids) didn’t really basically notice who you were and what you had or who your father was. It was fun.”

Sacramento’s historic Japantown area was home to Japanese newspaper offices

The Nichi Bei Times Sacramento office was located in the Taketa Building at 400 O St. The present tenants of the structure are Nisei Barbershop, Coico Medical and optometrists Ernest Takahashi, Kenneth Sakazaki, Kristen Sakamoto and Katrina Gallardo. Photo by Lance Armstrong
The Nichi Bei Times Sacramento office was located in the Taketa Building at 400 O St. The present tenants of the structure are Nisei Barbershop, Coico Medical and optometrists Ernest Takahashi, Kenneth Sakazaki, Kristen Sakamoto and Katrina Gallardo. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Nisei Barbershop is located in the Taketa Building at 1505 4th St. / Photo by Lance Armstrong
Nisei Barbershop is located in the Taketa Building at 1505 4th St. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is the final article of a 13-part series regarding historic Asian districts of Sacramento.

Sacramento’s historic Japantown, as previously mentioned in this series, certainly lived up to the “town” portion of its name, as it grew to include many establishments, including banks, grocery stores, fish markets, drugstores, tailor shops, shoe repair shops, laundries, furnishings stores, employment agencies, book and stationery stores, photography studios, printing shops, churches and even a motion picture theater.
And about 87 years before Valley Community Newspapers published its first newspaper, Pocket News, a Japanese newspaper office opened in the Japantown area.

Nichibei Shimbun

The first Japanese newspaper office in that area was a branch office of the San Francisco newspaper, Nichibei Shimbun, or the Japanese American News.
That newspaper was first published on April 4, 1899, and its Sacramento branch opened at 1004 4th St. in about 1905.
Nichibei Shimbun was operated in San Francisco by its founder and editor, the Suibara, Niigata prefecture, Japan-born Kyutaro Abiko (1865-1936), who immigrated to America in 1885.
Prior to becoming involved with Nichibei Shimbun, Kyutaro operated a laundry and restaurant at separate times, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and assisted in the founding of the first Japanese Methodist Episcopal Church in San Francisco.
Kyutaro also purchased Soko Nihon Shimbun (San Francisco Japanese News) in 1897.
Two years later, that paper merged with another Japanese language newspaper, Hokubei Nippo (North American Daily), and the combining of those papers led to the aforementioned founding of Nichibei Shimbun.
The Sacramento office of Nichibei Shimbun had been relocated to 1225 3rd St. by 1907, at which time K. Yamasaki was that paper’s Sacramento editor and manager.
G. Kaihara took over the editorship of the paper’s Sacramento branch in 1908, and relocated the paper to 1216 3rd St. about a year later. Kaihara remained the paper’s editor until about 1915.
From about 1910 to about 1914, the Sacramento branch of Nichibei Shimbun had its office at 1216 3rd St.
The paper’s final Sacramento branch office, which was located at 1414 4th St., opened in about 1915.
Other editors at the publication’s Sacramento office were N.S. Sazitani (about 1916 to about 1920), Bunjiro Takeda (about 1920 to about 1933) and Frank J. Miyagawa (about 1933 to about 1941).
It was during Takeda’s editorship that Nichibei Shimbun began including an English section with its other pages.
According to the 1930 U.S. Census, Takeda, who was born in Japan on Jan. 1, 1885, immigrated to the United States 15 years earlier, and was able to speak English by 1930. He is listed in that census as a newspaper agent.
Takeda’s World War I draft registration card, which is dated Sept. 12, 1916, mentions him as then-working as a bookkeeper at the Japanese interpreters business of his cousin, M. Takatsuji, and Charles R. Vaughan at 1214 3rd St.
During that time in Takeda’s life, he was residing with Takatsuji and Vaughan at the aforementioned address of 1214 3rd St.
It is also noted in the 1930 census that Takeda was a short, stout man with half gray hair and brown eyes, and that he was not an American citizen.
News of the May 5, 1936 death of Kyutaro was received at the Sacramento branch of Nichibei Shimbun, and it was learned that his wife, Yona Abiko, would be taking over the paper.
The 1939 city directory recognizes Frank J. Miyagawa as residing at 1414 4th St. with his wife, Tayeko “Taye.”
Among Frank’s activities in Sacramento was judging entries in the Sacramento County Spring Flower Show at the State Fair grounds at Stockton Boulevard and Broadway on April 26 and 27, 1941.
Two months later, Frank was involved in collecting monetary donations from local Japanese residents for the United Service Organizations’ drive.
Well known in American history is the date of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.
A day later, The Bee published an article that included the following words: “The United States Treasury today directed the seizure of the business (sic) of all Japanese nationals in Sacramento and the Federal Bureau of Investigation began a systematic roundup of Japanese aliens.
“On the list were F.J. Miyagawa, 48, of 1414 Fourth Street, correspondent for the Japanese American newspaper in San Francisco, and Giichi Aoki, 66, proprietor of the Aoki Music Company at 1223 Fourth Street. They also were booked in the city jail on suspicion of being enemy aliens.”
It was not discovered during research for this article whether Miyagawa’s forced departure from Nichibei Shimbun’s Sacramento office marked the end of that office’s operation.
However, it was only a few months later when the Japanese evacuation caused the closure of the entire operations of the publication.

Nichi Bei Times

Following the war, a new Japanese daily newspaper, Nichi Bei Times, was founded by former Nichibei Shimbun staff members, with the first edition of that paper being published on May 18, 1946.
Included among the founders of that newspaper was Kyutaro’s son, William Yasuo Akibo.
The paper was a daily publication for the majority of its years, and it was printed three days per week in Japanese and one day per week in English during its final three years of existence.
In about 1952, a branch office of Nichi Bei Times opened at 1226 4th St., at the former site of the photography studio of Kenneth Kuroko.
The editor at that branch of the paper was Noboru R. Shirai (1907-1985), who resided with his wife, Akiko May Shirai (1908-2004), at 431 Capitol Ave. (now Capitol Mall). The couple eventually lived in a home two blocks south of William Land Park.
In addition to his involvement with Nichi Bei Times, Noboru was interned at the Walerga and Tule Lake camps during World War II. And the latter experience led to his writing of the book, “Tule Lake: An Issei Memoir.”
Noboru, who emigrated from Japan in 1934 and was a member of the Japanese American Citizens League, remained the editor at the paper’s Sacramento branch for more than 20 years.
Because of the Capitol Mall redevelopment project, in about 1962, Nichi Bei’s Sacramento branch was relocated to the Taketa Building at the address of 400 O St., Suite 202.
The branch would remain at that location for many years, and Nichi Bei Times ceased operations in the fall of 2009, at which time it was Northern California’s oldest Japanese American newspaper.
Shortly after the closure of that paper, former Nichi Bei Times staff and contributing writers founded the Nichi Bei Weekly in San Francisco’s Japantown.

Nikkan Shinsekai

Another Bay Area Japanese newspaper, Nikkan Shinsekai (Japanese Daily New World), had a branch office in Sacramento.
According to a University of California, Berkeley library record, Nikkan Shinsekai was a daily newspaper, which was first published in Oakland in about 1896 or 1897.
The same document notes that the publication was relocated to San Francisco in September 1906.
In the 1907 San Francisco-Oakland directory, Nikkan Shinsekai is recognized as having its main office at Geary and Polk streets.
A Sacramento city directory, published the same year, includes a listing for the paper’s Sacramento branch at 224 ½ L St.
Additionally, the same listing refers to the publication’s Sacramento editor at that time as Sadazi Fudita.
The following year’s Sacramento city directory refers to R.T. Murakami as the paper’s local editor and manager.
By 1910, Nikkan Shinsekai, which was published in English and Japanese, was operating its Sacramento branch at 1313 3rd St. under the management of G. Washizu.
And from about 1911 to 1913, the Sacramento office of the paper was located at 224 M St. (now Capitol Mall), and in charge of that office during that time was H. Tanizawa.
The Sacramento branch ceased operations in 1913, and Nikkan Shinsekai was last published in 1932.

Arden Hills was training place of swimming dynasty

Former Carmichael resident Mike Burton was once Arden Hills’ best known swimmer. / Photo courtesy of Arden Hills
Former Carmichael resident Mike Burton was once Arden Hills’ best known swimmer. / Photo courtesy of Arden Hills
Many Olympic swimmers were trained in competitive swimming at the Arden Hills Swimming and Tennis Club. The photograph above shows one of the many swimming meets that was held at the club. / Photo courtesy of Arden Hills
Many Olympic swimmers were trained in competitive swimming at the Arden Hills Swimming and Tennis Club. The photograph above shows one of the many swimming meets that was held at the club. / Photo courtesy of Arden Hills

Note: This is the fifth article in a series about the Arden Hills wellness resort.

During its lengthy history, Arden Hills has been the training place of many fine athletes, including 10 Olympic swimmers.
Certainly, when many people think of Arden Hills’ history, they first think of swimmers Mark Spitz and Debbie Meyer, who were featured in the last article of this series.
But the history of this facility, which is located near the northwest corner of Fair Oaks Boulevard and Mission Avenue, extends well beyond those famous Olympians.
Overshadowed by Spitz’s Olympic accomplishments is Mike Burton, another well-known, former Olympic swimmer, who trained at Arden Hills.
But those who are familiar with Burton’s success as a swimmer know that he was once Arden Hills’ best known swimmer.
In fact, former Arden Hills swim coach Sherman Chavoor at one point claimed that Burton was this community’s best all-time swimmer.
But Burton, who graduated from El Camino High School in 1965, was not an instant success as a swimmer.
When he was 13 years old, Burton was riding his bicycle when he was hit by a furniture delivery truck and had a tendon severed below one of his knees and the ball joint of one of his hips pushed into his ribs.
Burton spent a month in the hospital and was laid up for about four months.
A year after doctors determined that he would likely never be able to compete in sports again, Burton opted to become a competitive swimmer.
When he was 15 years old, Burton began working with Chavoor at Arden Hills.
Initially struggling as a competitive swimmer, Burton was then unable to win competitions against the club’s female swimmers.
Burton’s determination to win, led him to constant improvements and eventual Olympic qualifications.
Prior to becoming an Olympian, in 1966, the then-5-foot-10-inch, 155-pound Burton joined weightlifter Tommy Kono as the only other local athlete to set a world record.
Burton would end that year having set two world records and one national record and being named the United Press International’s Swimmer of the Year and The Sacramento Union’s Athlete of the Year.
Burton, who would set many swimming records, resided in Carmichael before attending the University of California, Los Angeles on a swimming scholarship.
An article in the Aug. 14, 1967 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Burton had broken the world 1,500-meter mark in successive Amateur Athletic Union meets.
Like Spitz and Meyer, Burton was also a multiple, Olympic gold medalist.
Burton won two gold medals in the 1968 Summer Olympics and another gold medal in the 1972 Summer Games in Munich, West Germany.
Another big name in Arden Hills swimming history is Sue Pedersen.
Pedersen, who was born in Sacramento, was already being considered as a possible future Olympic swimmer when she was 13 years old.
At that time in her life, Pedersen, who was then attending St. Ignatius School at 3245 Arden Way and was a member of the Arden Hills Swim Club, had already set nine AAU Junior Olympics records.
She also won three AAU titles and three silver medals at the Pan American Games in 1967.
At the age of 14, Pedersen was among the Arden Hills swimmers to earn a spot on the 1968 Chavoor-coached U.S. Olympic women’s swim team.
During the 1968 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Los Angeles, Pedersen won the 100-meter freestyle finals in 59 seconds. And at the same time, she set a new U.S. record in that event.
Prior to Pedersen’s record setting mark, only four women had ever completed the event under one minute. One of those women was Arden Hills’ swimmer Erika Bricker, who was the 1967 titlist of the Pan American Games.
And while competing in those Olympics, Pedersen, who was then a student at Rio Americano High School, earned four medals – two golds and two silvers.
Furthermore, the Chavoor-coached women’s team won 65 percent of the medals won by the U.S. at the 1968 Olympics.
A downtown celebration was held in honor of the returning Olympians, who were residents of the Sacramento area at that time. They were: Pedersen (double gold and single silver medalist), Meyer (triple gold medalist), Burton (double gold medalist), John Ferris (double bronze medalist) and Vicki King (1,500-meter alternate).
During the celebratory event, Vice Mayor Albert Talkin said, “You have brought glory to Sacramento. We haven’t had anything like this since the Gold Rush. If people don’t know where Sacramento is now, they’ll never know.”
Other local residents who participated in the 1968 Olympics were U.S. kayak team crew members Cleve and Mike Livingston.
In presenting this story of Arden Hills’ Olympic swimmers, it is certainly important to name John Nelson, the club’s first Olympic medalist.
Nelson, who attended Yale University, earned a silver medal in the 1,500-meter freestyle event at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
In the 1968 Summer Olympics, Nelson was a teammate of Spitz on the gold medal winning, 4-by-200-meter freestyle relay team. And Nelson also earned a bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle.
Another former Arden Hills swimmer, Ellie Daniel, was a two-time Olympian and world record holder.
She competed in the 1968 Summer Games and earned a gold medal in the 4-by-100-medley relay, a silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly and a bronze medal in the 200-meter butterfly.
In 1972, Daniel competed in the Summer Olympics and received a bronze medal for her third place finish in the 200-meter butterfly.
Today, Daniel serves as a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
Among the other Olympic swimmers who trained at Arden Hills were Sacramento natives John Ferris (two bronze medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics; former world record holder) and Dave Fairbank (two gold medals at the 1972 Summer Games; former world record holder).
Arden Hills had no Olympic qualifiers for the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, and only one for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. That one qualifier was Jeff Float.
Although Float was denied an opportunity to compete in the Moscow Olympics due to the American boycott of those Games, he did qualify for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
During the latter named Olympics, Float, a former world champion swimmer, won a gold medal in the 4-by-200-meter freestyle relay.
Float, a graduate of Jesuit High School, has the notoriety of being the first legally deaf, American athlete to win an Olympic medal.
Another one of Float’s many accomplishments as a swimmer was winning a gold medal in all of the 10 events that he competed in at the 1977 World Games for the Deaf in Bucharest, Romania.
Altogether, Arden Hills-trained swimmers earned 32 Olympic medals, 22 of which were gold medals, and set more than 200 U.S. and world swimming records.

Quick Lunch sign is a reminder of earlier times on Broadway

 The old, neon “Quick Lunch” sign still exists above an old restaurant building at 513 Broadway. / Photo by Lance Armstrong
The old, neon “Quick Lunch” sign still exists above an old restaurant building at 513 Broadway. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Many people who are familiar with the western end of Broadway recall seeing an old, small, neon sign above a building at 513 Broadway. And for those who enjoy local history, that sign, which reads, “Quick Lunch,” is a cherished part of the community.
Additionally, the small building, on which the post of the sign is affixed, also adds character to the area.
For those who have grown fond of seeing the Quick Lunch sign and building along Broadway, the following historical summary of the site should be of interest.
At different times during the history of this Broadway site, various restaurants have operated at 513 Broadway.
A city building inspector’s card, dated Jan. 23, 1929, notes that Louis A. Rouppet, Sr. (1881-1957), then-owner of a structure at Y Street (today’s Broadway), was granted a permit to have the building’s kitchen enlarged.
In about 1930, Louis, Sr. who was a native of Savoy, France, opened an eatery at that location.
Research into Louis, Sr.’s earlier work history revealed that he had prior experience in the restaurant industry.
Louis, Sr., who had a wife named Emilie Rouppet, a daughter named Aimee C. Rouppet and sons named Louis A. Rouppet, Jr., Paul Rouppet and John Rouppet began working as a cook in Sacramento as early as 1914. His places of employment included Peerless Café at 1117 9th St. and Hotel Sacramento at 1107 10th St.
From about 1922 to about 1924, Louis, Sr. operated his own restaurant at 1005 11th St., and in at least 1925, he owned an eatery at 929 2nd St.
As for the restaurant at 513 Broadway, the earliest discovered reference to the name Quick Lunch was found in a legal notice, which includes the following words: “July 31, 1941. To whom it may concern: Notice is hereby given that fifteen days after the date posted, the undersigned (Louis, Sr.) proposes to sell alcoholic beverages at these premises, described as follows: Quick Lunch, 513 Broadway, Sacramento.”
The notice also mentions that the proposed alcoholic beer license was for the sale for “beer only.”
Quick Lunch’s next proprietor was Dora M. Allen, who resided at 1114 Yale St., which is located between Broadway and X Street and 10th Street and Riverside Boulevard, near the old city cemetery. Allen, who purchased the business in 1946, advertised her restaurant as serving “home-cooked food.”
A building inspector’s card, dated Dec. 10, 1946, notes that Electric Sign Service, a neon products business at 1315 17th St., was hired to place the aforementioned “Quick Lunch” sign at 513 Broadway.
Although Louis Rouppet sold the eatery to Allen, he remained the building’s owner and retained his home at the rear of 513 Y St. Rouppet had those sleeping quarters added to the already existing structure in 1940.
Apparently, the building’s sleeping quarters were once also available to employees of the business, as is indicated in an advertisement, which appeared in the March 5, 1941 edition of The Sacramento Bee, as follows: “Inexperienced young girl to work in small lunch room. Board, small wages. 513 Broadway.”
By 1949, the restaurant was under the ownership of James Sisto, who resided with his wife, Elsie, at 805 F St.
During the Sisto era of Quick Lunch, the restaurant had the misfortune of being ransacked and burglarized of a watch valued at $105 and $30 from its vending machines.
Although it was reported in The Bee that a 22-year-old local parolee, who had served two years in prison for burglary, admitted to the robbery about a month later, it was not discovered during research for this article if the watch or money was returned.
On Nov. 22, 1950, a day prior to Thanksgiving, The Bee ran the following advertisement: “Turkey dinners, $1, with all the trimmings. We bake our own pies. Quick Lunch, 513 Broadway.”
The eatery’s next proprietor was Phyllis C. LeCastro, who acquired the business in about 1951.
From June 1 through Oct. 16, 1954, the restaurant site, with its 18 counter seats, was vacant and advertised for rent in The Bee.
Quick Lunch was purchased by Okla and Dana E. Wright in about November 1954.
About a year later, the old, 14-foot by 20-foot corrugated iron Quick Lunch building was torn down and its materials were placed for sale to the public.
A new, 16-foot by 40-foot building was constructed, and made available for lease in December 1955.
In about 1956, Bernard E. Swope, who resided with his wife, Barbara, at 1614 G St., Apt. 1, opened Bar-Bee Lunch restaurant at the 513 Broadway building.
A year later, John B. and Jeane Sells acquired the dining spot and began running their own restaurant, which they called The Quick Lunch.
In 1959, while The Quick Lunch was still in operation on Broadway, a Quick Lunch restaurant opened at the former site of Eugene I. Jensen’s business, Gene’s Coffee Shop, at 1413 21st St.
The 21st Street Quick Lunch, which was originally owned by Aldo and Joan Bellettini, who resided at 2019 I St., remained in business for an entire decade.
This 21st Street business was owned by Joan Achor in 1960 and Andrew and Helen Mackis from 1961 to at least 1965.
While under the management of Leo Tagawa in 1966 and 1967, the 21st Street eatery was known as Leo’s Quick Lunch.
Tagawa was replaced as manager in 1967 by Geraldine M. Budmark, as Tagawa became a chef at El Rancho Bowl at 900 West Capitol Ave. in West Sacramento.
The 21st Street Quick Lunch closed in 1969, and today, the 21st Street site is home to Jalapeño’s restaurant, which opened in 2001.
In continuing with the history of 513 Broadway, Lucille Satos became the proprietor of The Quick Lunch in 1966, and she remained the restaurant’s owner until 1969, when Budmark purchased the business.
Later proprietors of this eatery were Ruby D. Wendt, who purchased the business in 1973, and Dan Y. and Lilly Chan, who became the restaurant’s owners in 1979.
The Quick Lunch remained in business until about 1992.
During its latter Quick Lunch years, the eatery was known as Kim’s Quick Lunch Vietnamese Restaurant.
Other eateries that later operated at that site were Arandas (Mexican food), Edokko Japanese Noodle Restaurant & Kitchen, Sim’s Diner, Sim’s Soul Food and Curtis’s Hole in the Wall.

10th Street Japanese area established more than a half-century ago

These dolls are among the many Japanese items available at Sakura Gifts. / Photo by Lance Armstrong
These dolls are among the many Japanese items available at Sakura Gifts. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Asian XII Photo 0 Pocket residents Chloe and Christine Chang hold a bowl of beef noodle soup at Taiwan Best Mart. The business, which opened in June 2012, operates in the former site of the Japanese run L & M Co. / Photo by Lance Armstrong
Asian XII Photo 0 Pocket residents Chloe and Christine Chang hold a bowl of beef noodle soup at Taiwan Best Mart. The business, which opened in June 2012, operates in the former site of the Japanese run L & M Co. / Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part 12 in a series regarding historic Asian districts of Sacramento.

Japanese history in Sacramento includes a Japanese section that was established in the vicinity of 10th Street, between T and W streets, during the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Several of the businesses that have occupied addresses in that area were referred to in the previous article of this series.
The histories of various other addresses in that area are presented, as follows:

2219 10th St.

The L & M Co. relocated from Japantown to 2219 10th St. in 1959.
Originally known as L & M Cyclery, the store, which opened in about 1926, was later expanded to include other items such as electric appliances and sporting goods.
The 1927 city directory lists the Japanese-born Shuzo Nishijima (1889-1979) as the business’s owner, at 1215 4th St.
Following the internment, Shuzo reestablished his store in its previous location with the assistance of his son, Kanji Nishijima (1922-2008), who would later become the business’s sole owner.
L & M Co. remained in business on 10th Street until as late as 2002.
The present tenant at 2219 10th St. is Taiwan Best Mart.
The business, which is owned by Pocket area resident Luke Chang, carries frozen foods and offers a hot food menu that allows customers opportunities to try certain items before buying them from the store’s frozen foods section.
In speaking about her father’s business, Chloe Chang, who works in the store and attends C.K. McClatchy High School, said, “We’ve been open since June 2012 and before that we were having a private company, selling the same goods for over 12 years. And we sell the same stuff (and use) the same recipes. It’s just now we’re in an actual shop. We sell Taiwanese specialty food here. We have frozen food, as well as a hot menu and a deli.”
Another employee of the store is Chloe’s sister, Christine Chang, who graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 2008.

2221 10th St

Another former Japantown business, Royal Florist, was relocated from 1316 4th St. in Japantown to 2221 10th St. in about 1958.
The roots of that florist date back to about 1925, when the City Floral Shop was established at 1209 3rd St.
T. Fujimoto operated a florist at that site from about 1928 to about 1929.
During research for this chapter, the earliest reference to the name, Royal Florist, was located in the 1930 city directory.
It was about that time when Kidio Nikaido began operating a florist at the same address.
Roy M. Nikaido was a partner in the business by the following year and was the business’s sole owner by 1936.
In about 1938, Royal Florist was relocated to 1316 4th St.
Although Roy M. Nakaido was evacuated from Sacramento, along with many other Japanese, in 1942, he returned to operate Royal Florist in its former 4th Street location following World War II.
In about 1956, Roy T. Higashino became the proprietor of Royal Florist.
And as previously mentioned, the florist was relocated to 2221 10th St. in about 1958.
Higashino sold Royal Florist to Ken Furuta in about 1979, and Furuta eventually sold the shop to Al Kakishiba, who owned the business for about six months.
Lynda Tanaka, whose great-grandparents were the first of her family to come to America from Japan, acquired the business from Kakishiba in 1992, and renamed it Royal Louis Florist, in partial tribute to Louis Florist, a now defunct Sacramento business that she also owned.

2223 10th St.

Prior to World War II, George K. Nishihara operated a grocery store at 3994 2nd St. And he returned from the internment to establish a variety store at the former location of A& J Liquor Store at 1319 4th St.
In about 1948, Nishihara relocated his business to 1217 4th St., where it was known as Lion 5 & 10 Cent Store.
Due to redevelopment in Japantown, Nishara moved his store to 2223 10th St. in 1959, and the business then became known as Lion Variety.
Nishihara’s store was replaced by Hiroko Arimoto’s business, Sakura Gifts, in about 1971.
Nobuko Saiki Pang, who is a native of Tokyo, began working in the store in 1984 and has owned the business since 2002.
This Japanese gift store’s offerings include tea sets, dishes, dolls, change purses, food boxes, origami, incense, candles, festival clothing and shoes.
In speaking about the festival clothing that her store offers, Pang said, “In the summertime, we have (the Japanese Food and Cultural Bazaar) at the Buddhist church (at 2401 Riverside Blvd.) with dancing, so they have to wear (festival clothing for performances).”
Another feature of Sakura Gifts is its Japanese language book rental service, which was established in 2001.

2224 10th St.

The address, 2224 10th St., dates back to the late 1950s.
A city building inspector’s card, dated Nov. 20, 1958, notes that the Pacific Neon Co. at 719 12th St. had been contracted to place a sign for the business, Miyakawa Real Estate, at 2224 10th St.
The 1959 through 1962-63 city directories recognize the building as then being home to Western Pioneer Insurance. And according to the 1963-64 city directory, the Ace Realty Company was then operating at the same location.
By 1965, the building was vacant.
In about 1966, Fred S. Tanihara opened the Kami Shop, a beauty shop at 2224 10th St.
Tanihara, who then living at 2011 10th St., was among the various Japanese residents of the area at that time.
Peggy K. Saika, who began operating the Kami Shop from its inception, was recognized in city directories as the business’s owner from 1967 to 1975.
Clarence R. Saika has been the proprietor of the Kami Shop since 1976, and Margie Fukushima is the business’s longtime manager.

2230 10th St.

The address of 2230 10th St. dates back to as early as 1896, when a Southern Pacific Co. employee named Wilhelm “William” Braunlin was residing in a home at that site.
In late 1958 or early 1959, the Japantown business, New Eagle Drug Co., relocated to a store space inside a then-new structure at the address of 2230 10th St.
A city building inspector’s card, dated Oct. 22, 1958, refers to the Pacific Neon Co.’s creation of a “New Eagle Drug” sign for 2230 10th St.
The predecessor of that business was the Eagle Drug Co., which was founded in about 1912 at 1215 4th St. (a then-future location of the L & M Company) in Japantown.
The company was owned by the Japanese-born T. Miyakawa, who then resided at 1210 3rd St.
The New Eagle Drug Co., which was last owned by Takuhei Iseri, remained in business until as late as 1962 and was replaced by the Japanese confectionery store, Osaka-Ya, in 1963.
In 2013, a long 50th anniversary banner was placed inside the store behind its sales counter.
However, that anniversary represents only the business’s 10th Street years.
Research for this article revealed that a business named Osakaya Confectionery was operating at 1217 3rd St. as early as 1927.
City directories for the years, 1929 and 1930, recognize Yasujiro Wakashino as the business’s proprietor.
Shizuma Shikasho was the owner of Osakaya Confectionery from about 1931 to about 1933, and Wakashino was the proprietor again from about 1934 to about 1942.
For at least the final year of the business, just prior to the internment, Shikasho was employed as a candy maker at Osakaya Confectionery.
Following World War II, in about 1947, Shikasho opened Osakaya Rice Cake bakery/food products business at 300 P St.
By 1949, Shikasho had moved his business to 1318 4th St. in Japantown.
Shikasho continued to operate Osakaya Rice Cake at that address until about 1962.
The business was acquired by the Sacramento-born Kenji (Sato) Nakatani (1929-2009) and his Japanese-born wife, Asako Nakatani (1925-1990), and relocated to 2230 10th St., where it became known simply as Osaka-Ya.
Kenji and Asako’s daughter, Linda Nakatani, said that Osaka-Ya was relocated to its present location of 2215 10th St. in 1997.
Like many people who are familiar with Osaka-Ya, Joey Loueks, one of the business’s employees, is quick to speak about the store’s popular handmade Japanese confections, mochi and manju.
“[Mochi and manju are] very popular,” Loueks said. “(Los Angeles) is another big place where they sell mochi and manju, and people come up here (to Osaka-Ya) from there and tell me like nobody can beat this place.”
Furthermore, the business’s continuously sends its products to various places in and outside of California.
Loueks said that in addition to Osaka-Ya’s Japanese pastries, the business also serves hot food on Saturdays and Sundays.
And Loueks added that the business is also a grocery store with “all different types of snacks imported from Japan.”
From April to the end of October or November each year, Osaka-Ya sells shaved ice, with homemade syrup. And because of the popularity of that treat, during summer months, long lines have been known to form from the business’s outdoor shaved ice window.
Linda Nakatani, a 1979 John F. Kennedy High School graduate who began helping at the store during her childhood, expressed her appreciation for her parents’ efforts with the business.
“I’m really proud of what’s going on at that store,” Linda said. “I’m really glad what my mom and dad left.”
As for the featured address of 2230 10th St., Wireless World, a MetroPCS prepaid wireless service business, has been operating at that site since about 2006.