When Stacie Carrow-Baldwin’s grandfather lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he worked at an A&P market. In 1966, he moved to Farwell and opened Carrow’s Supermarket. Eventually, Stacie’s father and uncle purchased the store. When her uncle left to pursue other ventures, her father became the sole owner. Although her father still technically owns the store, Stacie, her husband, her brother and her sister-in-law are the ones who actually run the family business, which is now celebrating its 50th anniversary.
At its peak operational time during the summer, the establishment employs approximately 60 people. They have a large bakery, a produce section and a butcher at the deli. Anything you could ever ask for, Stacie makes sure Carrow’s Supermarket finds a way to carry it for you. A portion of the clientele changes from season to season, but it’s the kind of friendly place that knows its regulars by name. In a recent interview, Stacie told CBS a little more about Carrow’s history and she revealed just how far she would go for her customers.
“DTE Energy is a very good company
and one of the main reasons we’ve been able to
make it through some difficult times.”
How did your business find its footing within your community?
“When my grandfather started it, we were located right in the town of Farwell, and he didn’t have very many employees. In 1977, they moved the location and built it where it is now, about a mile and a half outside of town. I’m not really sure what year it was, maybe about 10 years later, we added on a little bit more, making it a 1,700 square-foot store. There are no other grocery stores in Farwell, so we don’t really have any competition. You have to drive about 45 minutes to get to one of the big box stores, so we’re pretty fortunate.”
Did you always have pride in running your business?
“I just kind of fell into it. I’ve been here since I was 13 years old. I did have other jobs, but my father wanted me back, so I quit and came back to work here. I’ve pretty much been here since I was 20 or 21 and I still enjoy it. I enjoy coming to work everyday. Well, maybe not everyday. But all jokes aside, I do have pride in what I do and I love doing it.”
You mentioned that Carrow’s is a small grocery store that has managed to survive through these tough times. As a DTE Energy customer, how has DTE Energy helped you through the years?
“We’ve been with them as long as I can remember. They keep my heat going so that’s a very good thing. I just get my gas through them. They offer us great rates and I have never had any complaints. If we have a problem, they come right out and fix it. DTE Energy is a very good company, and one of the main reasons we’ve been able to make it through some difficult times.”
One of the most remarkable things we’ve heard about your store is that you will do anything for your customers. Is this true? Could you provide some examples of what you’ve done?
“We offer a wide selection for such a small store. We have phonecard services for people to pay their cell phone bills. We offer Western Union, and we were recently asked if we could fill jugs of water — there are a lot of cottages around this area — so we bought a Culligan machine so people can fill their water here. We also offer stamps, so people don’t have to go to the post office. If people come here looking for something, we don’t want to have to send them someplace else. For instance, I’ve had a number of people talk to me about their gluten allergies, so we now have a gluten-free section in the store. We will bend over backwards to keep our customers happy. We appreciate our community, and we enjoy doing all we can to support them and we are very grateful that they support us in return.”
Support a local Detroit business and your fellow business owner:
Address: 2545 W. Cadillac Drive, Farwell, MI 48622
Facebook: Carrow’s Supermarket
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visit CBS Small Business Pulse Detroit.