Updated with new photos. A big thanks to Carrol Mauro and Chris Treadway. November 12, 2020
Recently someone asked about when 7-Eleven came to Montclair. Which was about 1958.
I thought I would go back a little farther and tell you about the first store in Montclair.
A bit of history…
In 1925 a man named Otto Schuneman bought land on Thorn Road and built a store. His store was a combination fountain and grocery store with a service station in front. The address was 281 Thorn Road.
Thanks to Chris Treadway I now have a photo of the first store via the Montclarion.
The original building is still standing behind the 7-11 store.
Mr. Schuneman leased the store to E.G. Nickerson of 408 Florence Ave (now 5800 Florence Terrace)in 1926 and Captain Baldwin in 1928.
Funk’s Grocery – 1930-1940
In March of 1930, Davis L. Funk leased the store from Schuneman and bought out his remaining stock. Mr. Funk had owned a couple other stores in Oakland.
He called his store Funk’s Grocery and Montclair Grocery.
The Funk family lived at 5677 Thornhill in the mid to late 30s to early 40s.
In the early 1960s the Montclair Presbyterian Church next door bought the house from the owners.
My ex-husband and I worked for the church from 1983- 1987 and we got to live in the house.
Note – Montclair Presbyterian Church (MPC) was formed in March of 1930 as was the Montclair Library http://oaklandlibrary.org/events/montclair-branch/come-celebrate-montclair-librarys-85th-anniversary-us .
Montclair Food Center 1940-1957
In 1940 Funk took on a partner his son-law Malcom “Scotty” Hodge the husband of his daughter Lenore and the store was re-named the Montclair Food Center.
Funk and Hodge ran the store together until Funk died in 1949 his home behind the store on Grisborne Avenue.
Hodge and his wife continued until 1957 when they couldn’t work out a new lease with the owner Otto Schuneman. My thought is…it was because he could make more money leasing it to Speedee Mart
When the store closed down in 1957 it was the last one in Montclair that had maintained a credit and delivery service. Montclair Food Center was more than just a store to many of the customers of 20 years or more.
By 1957 Montclair was also changing. Payless Grocery Store (soon to be Luckys) and LaSalle Avenue Market were located in the business district and soon a new Safeway would be built.
Min-a-Mart and Speedee Mart 1958-1966?
A Min-a-Mart opened in a about 1958.
In about 1959 the store was leased by Speedee Mart Corporation.
In 1964 the parent company of the 7-Eleven Stores bought all the Speedee Mart franchises in California.
They began slowly changing the name to 7-Eleven (7-11)