A Look at Our Rich History
On February 1st, 1969, Mervin and Jared Mason purchased their first franchised store from Red Owl Corporation. The store, located at 923 9th Street, was the first Red Owl franchise in Green Bay. Three years later, on February 1st, 1971, they purchased another Red Owl franchise in De Pere. Merv and Jared then incorporated from a partnership into the MEJ Corporation. The market was quickly changing, however, and with the introduction in 1980 of Cub Foods and in 1982 of Copps Food Center, Merv and Jared knew that their once large stores were small compared with these retailing giants. In 1985 they sold the De Pere store and decided to focus their collective efforts on the 9th Street store.In 1988, SuperValu Corporation purchased Red Owl and became the supplier to Mason Brothers. In 1989, anticipating changing consumer tastes and demands, Mason Brothers implemented a full service deli department to cater to customers away from home eating habits. Merv and Jared also completely purchased the real estate and building for the 9th Street location. Currently, Mason Brothers is one of the smallest grocery retailers in the Green Bay area, but still provides many services to the community. Today, Mason Bros. Red Owl is the only surviving original Red Owl brand store in the U.S.
In 2008 Jared Mason Jr. decided to join the family business after graduating college from UW-Madison. Thus began a significant remodeling process for the current store, which is still underway today. In 2009 Mason Bros. implemented state-of-the-art registers and inventory tracking systems. Next, a new parking lot and new frozen food coolers from Zero Zone were added.
In 2010, Justin Mason joined Red Owl as head deli manager. Even more remodels would happen in this year. A new meat and new produce case were purchased along with new, energy efficient coolers from Zero Zone for dairy. The 2009 frozen food remodel was so popular, that in 2010 an additional aisle of frozen food was added to the store.
Perhaps nothing in the history of the 9th Street location was as significant a change as the decor remodel that happened in 2012. New paint, new drywall and a completely new look was added to the store. Furthermore, brand new shelving was installed in November of 2012. The new shelving allowed Mason Bros. to stock about 15 to 20 percent more items for sale.
In 2020 all backroom compressor systems were updated and in 2021 a new, larger meat section was added to the store.
Visit Wikipedia to learn more about the history and founding of the Red Owl Corporation.