By Lowell Swanson, edited by Tim Lyman
John Feuz was kind enough to allow us to scan many photos and documents relating to his family’s history in SW Portland. We’ll be rolling some of those out here over the next several weeks.
Those of you familiar with John and the Feuz family know them for their long time ownership of both the old and the “new” John’s Market.
John Feuz, Sr. purchased James Sullivan’s meat market, located in the building currently housing Sacred Money Studios, December 1, 1922. John initially leased the building from Realtor Ben Reisland, but later purchased it.
John was 28 years old, had been in this country for eight years, and made his home with the Ulrich Gabriel family. Originally trained as a butcher in his native Switzerland he came to America in 1914 where he had little chance to practice his trade. He spent most of that time working and delivering for local dairies. In the Multnomah area, he worked for Ulrich Gabriel and Henry Tannler.
On June 20, 1923, he married Anna Gabriel and now had a full time partner and wife.
The front of the store was for his retail business and the back for the wholesale business. By advertising and word of mouth, he worked to increase his deliveries. He sold meat to the Oregon Electric Railway and began developing a large wholesale business as well as his retail deliveries. He expanded his smoke house to two stories and kept his sausage making business in the basement where he also smoked his ham.
He was apparently the only such market in the entire southwest area. His advertisements would read: “John’s Meat Market, Your Ideal Meating Place” or “Meat at John’s.”
In 1932 John started selling groceries as a member of the United Grocers group.
In 1958 the new store at the current location opened. The store stayed in the family, under the management of John’s son David, until 1984.
For the complete history of John’s Market, and much more on the Feuz family, see our Summer 2005 newsletter.