BREAKING: Red Apple sells, new name will be Concrete MarketFresh

By Jason Miller

After 72 years, the Upper Valley’s landmark grocery store changed hands on Sept. 21.

Albert’s Red Apple Market, owned and operated under a handful of other names by the Frank family of Concrete, has sold to Kirby Co.

Former co-owner Richard Frank said the decision was years in the making. “We looked for a buyer for four years, looking for someone who would be good for the community and good for the employees. That’s why we’ve been negotiating with them for more than a year,” he said.

Frank and his brother, Mike, took over the family business in 2007. Their father, Albert Frank, started the grocery store in 1948 and called it Van Horn Service, located in Van Horn, east of Concrete. During the ensuing decades, it moved into town and then to its present location in Grasmere in 1974.

Kirby Co. CEO David Kirby said the only initial major changes to the Red Apple building will be new refrigeration units and a name change to Concrete MarketFresh. Beyond that, they’ll take things slowly and methodically. With six other stores in southwest Washington and Oregon, “we really focus on smaller communities; that’s where we’re comfortable,” he said. “We try to become a good neighbor in those areas, working with the local population. We let our employees lead the way, and we’ll take it one step at a time.”

Kirby marveled at the Franks’ tenure in the business. “We don’t take that legacy lightly. We feel a strong obligation not to mess that up,” he said.

A full-length feature article on the Frank family’s business legacy and its passing to new owners will be published in the October issue of Concrete Herald.

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