Emigration Market



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

The area of 13th South just west of Foothill Blvd. in Salt Lake is perhaps Utahís oldest road. I say that because it was the approximate path Utahís first settlers took as they made their way into the Salt Lake Valley. And on the corner of 13th South and 17th East is one of Salt Lakeís oldest businessesóEmigration Market.

During the cityís early years, the upper eastside existed as farmland and orchards. But by 1940, developers began to turn the area into residential housing.

For one developer, 13th South and 17th East seemed the perfect spot to build. He planned for a duplex but changed his mind after realizing a grocery store would likely be more profitable. The corner building became Wendellís Emigration Park Market.

For many years, the little store was a daily destination and a gathering place for folks living in the surrounding neighborhoods. Homemakers knew to visit Frank, the storeís butcher, when shopping for the freshest cuts of meat, and the produce was always fresh.

The storeís faÁade changed over the years and the square footage gradually expanded. In the 1960s, the store, which was then known as Emigration Market, was one of Salt Lakeís largest. Other small businesses opened on corners nearby to capture some of the storeís traffic.

But by the late 1990s, the once-popular corner market had lost some of its charm, and the current owner was looking to sell. And with larger chain stores dominating the industry, the prospect of finding a buyer looked grim.

Still, Emigration Market had its faithful following and many of them hated to see the long-time landmark and neighborhood shopping tradition come to an end. Among them were JT and Kimberly Martin, who had recently moved to the area. When the Martins learned that the store could likely close, they stepped in to save it, despite entering an industry dominated by supermarket giants. Tomorrow, Iíll tell you what they did for the market, and Iíll also tell you about an event this Saturday celebrating a revitalized 13th South.

For Zions Bank, Iím Fred Ball. Iím speaking on business.

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