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Hendrik G. Meijer (1883-1964) | Heritage Hall, Hekman Library

Name: Hendrik G. Meijer (1883-1964)

Historical Note:

When Dutch immigrate, Hendrik G. Meijer first entered the United States he worked as mill worker, a cloth salesman, farmer, landlord and barber. When the Great Depression hit the United States, Meijer was offering rental space for a grocery store. When no one rented, he decided to start up his own grocery store. So began Meijer Thrifty Acres, a successful self-service grocery store. He also introduced the concept of a “discount” grocery store to western Michigan.

The store grew in popularity, expanding to dozens of locations in the Grand Rapids area by the 1950s. In the 1960s, Meijer combined grocery store goods with department store goods, creating a one-stop shopping experience. Under Henrik’s son, Frederik, Meijer Thrifty Acres became simply known as Meijer. Meijer, Inc. is now being ran by Hendrik’s grandsons, Hank and Doug Meijer.

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