Oshawa Group

The Oshawa Group was once a leading owner of supermarkets in Ontario, Canada. It was bought by Sobeys (via Empire Company Limited) in 1998. The company was based in Etobicoke and traded on the Toronto and Montreal stock exchanges.

Oshawa Group
IndustrySupermarket, Retail, Wholesale, Real estate
FateAcquired by Sobeys
Founded1957 (1957)
Defunct1998 (1998)
Headquarters302 The East Mall, Toronto, Ontario
Productsbakery, charcuterie, clothing, dairy, deli, frozen foods, gardening centre, general grocery, general merchandise, meat & poultry, pharmacy, photolab, produce, seafood, snacks, consumer goods

History

Founded in 1957 as Oshawa Wholesale Limited, the company grew from expansion in the 1960s to 1980s. It was renamed the Oshawa Group Limited in 1971. The company roots date back further to 1914 by founders Max Wolfe (1893ā€“1987) and Maurice Wolfe, who started the Ontario Produce Company and acquired Oshawa Wholesale in 1949 and later gave rise to Oshawa Group.[1][2]

Notable people

Through the life of the company it was run by the Wolfe family:

  • Max and Maurice Wolfe - the Lithuanian Jewish immigrants founded Oshawa Wholesalers in 1957 and Ontario Produce Co. in 1914
  • 1950sā€“1976 Ray D. Wolfe, President
  • Harvey Wolfe, President
  • Raphael Wolfe, President, CEO and Chair
  • Jonathan Wolfe, final President and COO

Retail units

Beginning in the 1960s, Oshawa Group acquired various retail chains and stores:

Non-retail units

Outside of retailing, Oshawa Group acquired various companies and real estate:

  • Field Fresh Farms (Dairy)
  • Dominion Mushroom Company 1963 - sold 1986

Oshawa Group also operated food services company SERCA Foodservices Incorporated.

  • Marchland Holdings Limited 1971
  • Baxter Estates 1975 - owned and managed apartment in Winnipeg and shopping centre in Calgary; sold 1978
  • Systems Construction Limited - modular home builder
  • Codville Distributors Limited 1972
  • Decarie Square shopping mall in Montreal 1976 - sold 1986

Decline

The retail scene changed in the 1990s, even as the Oshawa Group had begun re-focusing on core operations beginning in the 1980s. The entire operation was sold in 1998 to Sobeys and the Oshawa name disappeared from Canadian retailing.

See also

References

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