Thursday, August 1, 2019

Great-Grandpa John - a little history

I have been able to piece together some of the history of Accurate Promotions after listening in on lots of conversations between Matt and the human female (called Jen).

It sounds like the company was originally started by Jen's Grandfather, John back on 1982... which is about 3 lifetimes ago... so I can't even comprehend how long 37 years is!

It turns out that Great-Grandpa John was born right here in Grand Rapids and attended something called Creston High School, where they apparently taught him lots of things.
Great-Grandpa John joined a group that called themselves the 201st Military Police company in 1942 and went over to Europe for about three years. He came home with a couple of fancy ribbons and a flag that Matt keeps in his office.

When he got back from Europe Great-Grandpa John and his brother started a small grocery store here in Grand Rapids. "It was a small operation with no budget for advertising. My brother and I would take turns standing on the corner in our work aprons to let people know we were open!"

John and his brother sold the grocery story in 1953, and he went to work for the company that makes Karo Syrup. (I don't know what a Karo is... but supposedly it sells pretty well). Great-Grandpa was able to work from starting as a salesman all the way up to regional manager.

After working a food broker for a couple other companies, he decided to start selling embroidered patches to local motorcycle clubs. Which grew to classic and collector car clubs. From there they started selling to companies directly.
The business grew to include screen printing as well as embroidery and patches.

Great-Grandpa John was quoted as saying, "The secret to success in business is providing quality, service, and price.  If you provide the best of these to your customers, you will never have a major business problem".

Great-Grandpa John passed away at the age of 70 in 1991. But his daughter Michele (grandma Michele to me) took over the company and continued to run it.

Great-Grandpa John, in addition to the grocery store he started with his brother, and the embroidery company, also started a bicycle shop and an ice-cream parlor here in Grand Rapids.

It sounds like Great-Grandpa John was a great guy, and I wish I could have gotten to meet him.

That's pretty much the history as I know it for the beginnings of the company and Great-Granpa's story.

But that only gets us to the early 1990's... so I am sure there is more to come.
Stay tuned, and I'll see what information I can find about the "middle years".
Thanks for following along so far.


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