Fred Wolferman, Inc. Records (KC0205)
In 1888, the Wolferman family bought the stock of a bankrupt grocery store in Kansas City thereby putting young Fred Wolferman in business. Remembering his mother's fine cooking, Fred adopted the slogan, "Good Things to Eat." Quality became the standard. In the early years, each store boasted a bakery, and by 1928 they also made their own sausages. Wolferman's used a private label on approximately 275 items at the height of their success. The concept of a large, diversified line of quality products gave them a unique position as the gourmet grocer in Kansas City.
Three generations of the Wolferman family have operated four stores and six restaurants in Kansas City, as well as stores in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. In 1972, Wolferman's ceased operation of its wholesale division and its grocery stores. George L. Peck, then vice-president, stated, "We realize that our type of quality grocery business is virtually extinct. The changing times have led to a trend toward larger supermarkets." Later in the same year, the bakery reopened and has continued to make their "Original English Muffins," which made the Wolferman name famous nationwide. October 1982 brought Wolferman's back into grocery retailing with the opening of a new store in Fairway, Kansas. Following the resurgence of the downtown area, Wolferman's opened a restaurant near the Barney Allis Plaza.
The records, from the Fred Wolferman, Inc. files contain photographs, menus, newspaper clippings, an accounting ledger, a scrapbook, and three phonograph records. The bulk of the collection consists of advertisements and sample correspondence. 1897-1972.
© WHMC-KC, University of Missouri
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Western Historical Manuscript Collection-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu