The following information was tracked down through a combination of our fantastic local library Polk Directories, the Marquette Regional History Center, and from customers who have shopped here for many years.
But FIRST, rumor (on good authority) has it that White’s was the first store in the Upper Peninsula to be issued a liquor license after prohibition ended in 1933 (April 10, 1933 Michigan ratified). We are still looking for proof.
1910-1915 Tim Duquette-Grocer
1916-1937 Rustenhoven’s Neighborhood Grocery Store
Rustenhoven’s also had a saloon turned grocer during prohibition located at 2234 N. Presque Isle. Old photos of the building show it was a well kept store with a beautiful front porch. No photos were found for the Third St. location.
1938-1939 McGeorge’s Food Market
1941-1943 Park Avenue Beauty Shop
Owned by Leafa Liberty. Great name!
1944-1946 Bittner’s Grocery
Looks like the Bittner family had a few local businesses in Marquette including vehicles (wagons & carriages), farm implements and harnesses. All of them were listed on 3rd street.
1947-1965 White’s Store
Owned by Mr. Almet White and Mrs. Elva White. They are listed as confectioners, and suspected to be the people who originally made White’s the candy store people remember frequenting. They also carried several other items. There also seems to be an early 60’s second location in a Harvey location run by son William & Ilene White. Not sure how long that was around.
1966-1979 White’s Store
Owned by Paul and William White, sons of Almet & Elva.
Their ad read “Groceries, Magazines & Smokers articles, Liquor, Beer & Authentic Old Country Wine Cellar. Open from 8am-11pm daily.” Paul has been in to visit us many times.
1980-1987 White’s Party Store
Owned by Jack and Bev Hill.
1987-2010 White’s Party Store
Owned by Mike & Kris Willard. The Willard’s did a great deal of work to the building and really changed the store into what it is to date. They focused on expanding the store into a one stop party store, and expanded the wine, beer & liquor selection. They also introduced the only local store to sell beer and wine making supplies. The Willard’s also focused on customer service as a priority, along with providing lots of special ordering and tracking down products for customers.
* It is important to note here that Mike Willard brought Bell’s beer to Marquette. He used to meet Larry Bell at the Mackinac Bridge to pick up the beer & sell it at White’s. Thanks Mike!
2010-present White’s Party Store
Owned by Mac & his wife Jamie Strand. Taking the lead from the Willard’s, White’s continues to expand specialty beers focusing on Belgian beer, Michigan beer, small craft brews, fine wines, a great variety of spirits, home brewing supplies, and customer service at the center.