The saga of the Goodwins’ 75 years

Nov 11, 2021 | Crestline

By Mary-Justine Lanyon

Hot on the heels of the special supplement – titled “Goodwin Gazette” – that appeared with the Nov. 4 issue of this newspaper, Mike Johnstone, vice president of Goodwin & Son’s Market, shared additional stories about the family and all they have created over the past 75 years with members of the Crestline-Lake Gregory Rotary Club.

“My great-grandfather and grandfather loved fishing,” Johnstone said. “They would come up to Lake Gregory. They decided to save their money and make a store happen.”

In 1945 his great-grandfather started talking to the owner of the shop where Lake Drive Hardware currently is. He was able to purchase the store, which included living quarters where the entire family lived together.

Actually, Johnstone said, his great-grandmother was on the mountain before his great-grandfather came up. Her father was a chef and a good customer at the restaurant where he worked as a member of the Club San Moritz.

“He hosted them for her eighth-grade graduation,” Johnstone said.

Eventually Johnstone’s ancestors built the building where the Oak Trunk was. The left-hand side, he said, “was Grandma Chess’ department store. Then they expanded the grocery store into that space.”

Johnstone’s grandfather, George Goodwin Jr., started serving a community meal on a day he picked in December.

“He set up a buffet in the front of the store and lined the aisles with tables and chairs. He did this for 15 years or so.”

The Goodwins were in that store until 1984. Meanwhile, George Goodwin Jr. had purchased the property at the corner of Lake and Lake Gregory Drive. He would rent out the property, Johnstone said, until George Jr.’s sons, David and Martin, suggested building a bigger store on the property. “My grandfather didn’t want to,” Johnstone said, “but my uncles pushed him.”

What started as a 2,000-square-foot store evolved into the 42,000-square-foot store folks shop in today.
“My great-grandfather always wanted to get into the food business,” Johnstone said, “because he knew it was stable.”

He added that his grandfather was all about conservation, which led him to purchase a 7,000-acre ranch where they put up 3,000 tons of alfalfa hay every year and raise Black Angus cattle.

In 2017, the Goodwin family purchased what has become their general store near the ranch. There they process freshly killed beef. The butcher is part of the Wiggins family, from whom they bought the store.

The Goodwin family has also opened organic markets in Riverside and Redlands.

“We’re looking at the Redlands concept as something we can duplicate,” Johnstone said. “We feel small-format stores will be the wave of the future as people order online and have their food delivered. We feel we can do well with perishables, organics, a coffee/juice bar and aged beef.

“We hope people will get in the habit of shopping daily, picking up fresh produce and daily specials.”

As for that empty space where the Oak Trunk was, Johnstone said they are considering ideas for it and would welcome ideas from residents. “It’s such a central location, we want to make sure it will benefit the community.”

Anyone who missed getting the “Goodwin Gazette” can pick up a copy at Goodwin & Son’s Market.

Congratulations to the entire Goodwin family on 75 years of serving the community.



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