A Little Bit of Doud's Market History

Posted by Nicole Doud on

It's hard to imagine what life was like dating back to 1884. 138 years ago, brothers Patrick and James Doud, decided to open Doud's Bros grocery store. At the time, the location was on top of the now Starline Dock. In 1938, the Doud Bros. building caught on fire during the night. They had to relocate which is where Doud's Market now currently stands. Patrick Doud decided to branch off on his own and begin building houses on Mackinac Island. He built several beautiful homes that are still present today. A few to name are: the governor's summer residence, Market Street Inn, Windermere Hotel addition, Stoneciffe and several homes along the bluffs. James' son, Francis took over the grocery store eventually. He had two children and his son Stephen Doud ran the store after Francis. Stephen had two children as well, and now his son, Andrew, owns and operates Doud's Market. 
Through the years, the name of the store has changed. It was called Doud Bros and Doud's Mercantile. Andrew renamed the store Doud's Market in 2007 when he took ownership. The winter of 2006-07 the store was closed for the entire winter for a complete renovation. This took a lot of planning ahead for island residents, but the community was understanding and supporting Andrew during this big renovation process. 
Now fifteen years later, Andrew has three boys of his own. They are just beginning to find a love for the market just like their father, grandfather and great-grandfather had. Louis, eight years old enjoys throwing cardboard down the shute and helping stock shelves. He plans to work at the store on a regular basis this summer. His brother, Thomas, six years old, likes to help in any way he can. You may see the two of them working side-by-side this summer at the market! John, three years old, still has a few more years until he can have 'a shift' at the market, but he does enjoy checking in on his older brothers and running the aisles! 
Andrew remembers doing the same tasks his boys are starting to do now. He hopes the family tradition of supporting the Mackinac Island community continues on for many, many years to come. 
Naturally, things change over the years. However, on Mackinac Island it is like stepping back into time. This is the same at Doud's Market. The way groceries are sent over to the island and then brought to the store remains the same. There are always more steps involved getting product to the destination on Mackinac Island. The horse and dray pick up the items off the freight boat on the dock and then travel to the market where each box is unloaded off the dray and then down the 'shute' which is located on the side of the Doud's Market building. The boxes slide down the shute and into the basement where products are stored or they go directly into the market on the shelves. 
You would find Andrew's grandfather, Francis, and father, Stephen cutting meat for the fresh meat case. Still today, there is fresh meat as well as a deli, produce, pre-made salads and entrees, beer, wine, liquor, specialty foods, and regular grocery items. 
Andrew, fourth generation, is proud to continue running America's Oldest Grocery Store and to show his son's what it takes to run a year-round business on Mackinac Island.  Andrew strives to carry on the legacy his great-uncle and great-grandfather started back in 1884.