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Heinen’s Memories: 90 Years in review

Heinen’s Memories: 90 Years in review

The new year is an exciting time where we reflect on the year that has passed and look toward the future. At Heinen’s, we’re welcoming 2019 by doing just that, but rather than looking back on 2018, we’re looking all the way back to 1929 because 2019 is the year Heinen’s turns 90!

From 1929, when Joe Heinen opened a butcher shop in Shaker Heights to 2019 where third-generation brothers Jeff and Tom Heinen oversee 23 stores in Cleveland and Chicago, it’s safe to say Heinen’s has seen a lot of changes in nine decades.

Yet no matter how much we’ve grown, at our core, we’ve never changed. Even after 90 years, we continue to live by Joe Heinen’s mission of being a local, family-owned grocer who is committed to providing our community with the freshest foods and world-class customer service.

To kick off our year-long 90th Anniversary celebration, let’s travel through history and discover how Heinen’s got to where it is today!

Key Moments in Our History


At age 26, Joe Heinen opens a butcher shop on Kinsman Avenue, now renamed Chagrin Boulevard in Shaker Heights.


Joe Heinen opens Cleveland’s first grocery store across the street from the original butcher shop and opens two more locations on Taylor Road and Van Aken Boulevard.


Joe Heinen is named “Retailer of the Year” by the Retail Grocers Association.


Heinen’s Green Road locations open in 1959, hailed as the largest grocery store in the state of Ohio at more than 28,000 square feet.


Heinen’s opens its first warehouse, along with three new stores in Pepper Pike, Bay Village and Rocky River.


Jack Heinen is named “Retailer of the Year” by the Retail Grocers Association.


Heinen’s opens its second warehouse in Warrensville Heights, along with stores in Aurora, Mentor and Mayfield Village.


Heinen’s opens stores in Middleburg Heights, Willoughby, Bainbridge, Chardon and Twinsburg.


Jeff and Tom Heinen are named “Retailer of the Year” by the Retail Grocers Association.


Heinen’s opens stores in Brecksville, Avon, Hudson and Strongsville and a corporate office in Warrensville Heights.


Heinen’s opens its first out of state stores in the Chicago suburbs of Barrington, Glenview, Bannockburn and Lake Bluff.


Heinen’s opens it’s Downtown Cleveland location in the historic Cleveland Trust Building.


Heinen’s opens a new location in Chagrin Falls, along with a manufacturing facility in Warrensville Heights.


Heinen’s celebrates its 90th Anniversary and looks forward to the exciting future that lies ahead.

Heinen's Through the Years Timeline

Join us for our year-long celebration of Heinen’s 90th Anniversary by sharing your favorite stories on Instagram and Twitter using #HeinensMemories.

Heinen's Grocery Store

By Heinen's Grocery Store

In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

Recent Reviews

  1. I just turned 80 years old and when I was about 4 years old my mother would take me to your store on Taylor Rd. She would shop while I watched the donuts being made and also the peanut butter machine and I can’t forget the orange juice machine. I’ve been with you ever since.
    Green Rd., Lander Circle, and for the last few years I’ve gone to your Bainbridge store. My “own personal store” is at SOM and Wilson Mills. I do “share” it with friends.
    Thank you so much for many, many years of fine service and products. I have many more stories of my fine experiences with Heinen’s.
    All the best to you for continued successes.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to share your kind words and for your continued support of Heinen’s, Sharon. It is very much appreciated. With your permission, we would love to share your words with our other readers and followers. Thank you, again!

      1. I have very fond memories of going to Heinens with my mother at the Rocky River location. My favorite food item that my mother bought for me was a cinnamon, sugar strudel cake. I believe that it was made by Heinens bakery and it was a square shape but there had to be at least 2 inches of cinnamon/sugar topping and boy was it delicious. Please bring it back – I would love it!

        1. Hi Holly,

          Thank you for taking the time to share this fond memory with us. We will absolutely pass your feedback along to the Bakery Department here at Heinen’s.

  2. Greetings and congratulations on 90 years of service to the community. In Sunday’s Plain Dealer you requested your customers share their favorite Heinen’s store. Our favorite store is your store in Middleburg Heights. I do not know how long we have been shopping at the store but it seems like forever. Your store employees are the best. Mary, who is a cashier, works the floor with samples and anything else the store requires her to do, always has a smile and a greeting for the customers. Carol, who is everywhere, is the same. My fish monger, Peggy, lets me know what the catch of the day is and where it came from. They all are the best. It’s hard to pick a best one out of the three, it’s impossible, all are great, and deserve special recognition, not only from me, but also from Heinen,s. Please let them know they are appreciated. The unique quality of the selection of your store will not be matched by any other chain.Thank you.

    1. What a wonderful memory, Lawrence! Thank you for taking the time to share with us. We will be sure to pass your positive feedback along to our Middleburg location. With you permission, we would love to share your words with our other readers and followers. Thank you, again!

  3. Great presentation! I have shopped at Heinen’s since they opened the Mayfield Village location and now shop at Heinen’s in Aurora. Whichever store I happened to stop at, the quality of your products as well as your employees is always consistently topnotch. If I have an issue with anything, it is handled with the highest level of ethical treatment. Our son worked packing bags and stocking shelves his senior year of high school at the Mayfield Village store and he was treated very well. Thank you for 90 years – please do all you can to stay viable in the grocery market. It’s much appreciated!

    1. Hi Luanne- Thank you for taking the time to share this positive message with us. Thank you also for your continued support of Heinen’s. It is very much appreciated. With your permission, we would love to share your words with our other readers and followers. Thank you, again!

  4. I was glad to see the year the Bay store opened as my mother no longer made the trip to the A and P in Rocky River as she had done from the time I was a little girl. By 1960 I was married, living in Lakewood and had my last child so the new Rocky River store was “my store” until my husband retired. We lived 16 years in Arizona but are now back in Avon Lake where the Avon Heinen’s is my favorite place to shop. At 92 I no longer need to cook dinners where we are now living but do get your soups and salads for lunches as well as other needs. They are easy and delicious. The staff at any of the stores are always so helpful if I have a question. Thanks for being here all these years. One of our sons-in-law worked for a time at the Rocky River store along with Marty Flynn. They were friends growing up.

    1. What a wonderful memory, Betty. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us and for your continued support of Heinen’s. With your permission, we would love to share your words with our other readers and followers.

  5. I have enjoyed shopping at Heinen’s since the 1950’s. (Might have been the late 40’s at Shaker Square). The cleanliness, freshness of the produce, and so many other features of Heinen’s keep me coming back. Hard to say which is my favorite store as I have shopped the Green Road store the most, but also very much liked the Mayfield store when I lived in that area. This is my 90th year as well so as we share celebration of our 90 years I wish you continued success.. Keep on going strong – you are doing a great job of keeping us supplied with good food.

    1. Hi Frances- Thank you for reaching out to share this wonderful memory with us. With your permission, we would love to share this memory with our other readers and followers. We would refer to you as Frances O to ensure your privacy.

  6. Happy 90th anniversary Heinens! I have been going to the Pepper Pike Heinens for 34 years…since I was 10 years old! I remember when I won a loge at the Lake County Captains game for my family. My kids were around 2 and 5 years old. My husband joked that I didn’t win it; I just shop too much at Heinens! One other memory is when they put the wrong groceries in my car. I did not know until I got home and put my child down for a nap. Heinens not only delivered my groceries with a smile, but also brought me flowers to apologize. That was over 15 years ago. I cannot say enough about the kind employees at Heinens. They have seen myself grow up and now my kids. Going to Heinens is like going to my neighborhood store where everyone knows your name, family, and even my boring “turkey off the bone” weekly order! Nicest, friendliest, informed team at Heinens!

  7. Happy 90th Anniversary Heinens’!! I missed going to your stores while I was living in multiple states. But I remember, in the 80’s, when my brother was getting married and his future wife wanted something special added to their cake when being passed out to those who attended. The Chef at the time, wasn’t sure what to do. Being a Food scientist I suggest making a Raspberry Melba Sauce for them. I could not find a raspberry jelly anywhere. There was Heinens’ to the rescue w/ Raspberry jam so I could create a Raspberry Melba Sauce and drizzled it on all the cake pieces cut for the wedding. Everyone loved it. Thank you for being such a Great Store. Now back in the area, you are my “Go to” store

    1. Hi Terry, What a fun story! The Raspberry Melba Sauce sounds delicious! Thank you for shopping with us. We are thankful to have you as a customer.

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