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"Thomas P. Raley" September 2004
Placerville has many firsts -- but this one may not be as well known ... in 1935 Thomas P. Raley started the shopping store we all are familiar with ...Raley’s! It is told that he leveled an empty lot -- corner of Highway 49 and Highway 50 -- and began advertising his store as the "nation's first drive-in market". Thomas Raley pioneered the nation’s first self-service meat counter stocked with prepackaged meats!
Raley's continued its growth throughout the 1950s as new and large supermarkets were the norm, and at least one combination food and drug store was opened.
Thomas Raley's only child, Joyce Raley Teel, officially joined the Raley’s organization in 1985. Thomas Raley reportedly died from complications from a stroke he suffered in November 1989, he was 88 years old. Still family owned, Joyce Raley Teel continues today as the sole owner of Raley’s, carrying out the tradition and vision first established by her father—to offer fine meats and produce, sparkling clean stores and friendly service.
Raley’s has since grown to include approximately 16,200 employees and 134 stores in Northern California, Nevada and New Mexico. Today, the Raley’s Family of Fine Stores includes Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source. Raley’s is the fifth largest private company in the greater Sacramento region, and ranks number 18 among all supermarket chains in the United States.
Well what has happened to the original site -- lot at the corner of Highway 49 and Highway 50 -- ? Coldwell Banker has had this lot for years!
Coldwell Banker111 Main StreetHistoric Placerville
Source:1st photo courtesy of the El Dorado County MuseumSacramento Magazine, October 2003