Buschs Fresh FoodsBusch’s Fresh Food Market recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. In an interview on AnnArbor.com, Doug Busch, founder of Busch’s Fresh Food Market, reminisced that he started in his father’s Clinton, Michigan store sorting bottles. Busch noted that his father’s store only carried distilled water for ironing clothes, not the bottled type people now purchase for drinking.

Innovation and selection has marked Busch’s Fresh Food Market. Doug has seen dramatic changes in the way food retailing has changed. Variety is king at Busch’s: growing from 10,000 items to a selection of 40,000 items. Their stores range in size from 26,000 square feet to 51,000 square feet enabling them to offer such a wide variety of products.

Even with that staggering number, Busch’s doesn’t focus strictly on national brands. They’re well known for their specialty items. It’s not the amount of a particular item but the depth of the brands offered. The focus has switched from the dry and canned goods to prepared foods and produce. Local, organic and natural foods have also gained a spot on their shelves.

When Charlie Mattis and Doug Busch opened J&C family foods in Saline and Clinton, Michigan, Busch’s laid their foundation in 1975. When Mattis discontinued with the partnership, and it was then that J&C became Busch’s which later became southeast Michigan’s largest supermarket chain. The company’s headquarters are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Busch’s is closely associated with Spartan wholesale affiliate and the production facility uses only the ingredients of finest quality from those affiliates to create their Busch’s items for Kitchen and Bakery. Store Equipment and Design Magazine has recognized Busch’s as one of the best in the industry. Busch’s newer stores also include café areas where customers can sample gourmet foods from Busch’s Kitchen while sipping fresh brewed coffee.

Busch’s offers local produce and did so before it became fashionable. They also keep on staff a butcher to cut meat according to customer’s choice and only sell choice instead of select which is a lower grade. Growth of the chain has stalled as Michigan’s economy is suffering. Opening a 16th store has been shelved for better timing. Even so, Busch’s doesn’t plan to expand outside of the state or even outside of a day’s drive of Ann Arbor since Doug sees lots of opportunity in southeast Michigan.

Headquarters: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Number of Stores: 15
Annual Revenue: unknown
Number of Employees: 1,500
Geography: Southeast Michigan
Special Services: Bakery, Cafe

Busch’s Fresh Food Market


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