Joe’s Market is a bustling convenience store offering grocery, snacks, pop, beer, wine , ice cream, deli and take-out. The deli menu includes pizza, sandwiches, grinders and sides, including french fries and onion rings. During the summer months, the walk-up ice cream window with an eating deck offers 24 flavors of ice cream in cones and sundaes. Additional services include:
- State of Michigan DNR services, with seasonal licenses
- Michigan Lotto and Lottery
- Western Union Money Services
- Print/Copy and Fax Services
- We accept Visa, Mastercard, and MI Bridge Cards
We feature a variety of Made In Michigan products and are happy to support our local businesses and farms with seasonal fruits and produce.
Don’t be surprised if the team at Joe’s remembers who you are or inquiries after you or your children. Our town moves at a different pace, a pace where folks have time to be neighborly and share a laugh or to. Our service-oriented and friendly staff take pride in getting to know our customers.
If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.
Well, you can probably get by without it for awhile anyway. Our little store has a little bit of everything, from fishing worms to motorcycle oil to Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup, greeting cards, and wood pellets. If we don’t sell, be sure to ask, if we have it for personal or business use, we’ll offer you some to get by or tell you where to go nearby to borrow or buy some from a neighbor.
We didn’t actually create our slogan, the customers said it first.
In 1983, Joe and Marsha Carrizales purchased the property and building and converted it into the store, opening in August 1983. Adam was 9 years old. Caring and friendship emerged as a cornerstone to the customer service provided by Joe and Marsha and still carried on today by their son, Adam and the team.
By June 1985, Joe had built a walk-in cooler system and Marsha invested into a new cash register (it was easy enough for a kid to run). It was during this time that our dog, Alex, made the 2 mile journey down Cedar Lake Road every day to play with the school kids at recess, then, plop down on the store’s back porch with yesterday’s old hot dogs before napping, and heading home to meet the high school bus drop-off at 3:30 pm.
We have ‘regulars’.
Over the years, a number of great friends stopped by the store frequently. We had the old-timers that came for coffee (Herb, Cliff, Melvin, Fast Eddy, Red, Neil) and the farmers that adjusted their tractor routes so they could pull in for a cold one. And while we have lost a great many friends over the years, they will remain with us always.
In 1989, the building was sided in blue and a new sign was commissioned. It took another year before the sign was hung in 1990. But that is not why we remember 1990 – and it wasn’t because it was the first year, Chris was away at college. 1990 was ‘hot’ because Joe’s started selling Hot Dogs! And a pay phone was installed (first pay phone in Palo) in the parking lot. Throughout the 1990s, the store continued to grow, offering frozen yogurt with those hot dogs. The property next door was eventually purchased to expand parking. The Post Office Contract was signed and expanded the community of friends coming in daily for their mail.
By the 10th Anniversary in 1993, the business was on a solid foundation and the heart of the store was its customers. Those first customers in 1983 were still stopping by for milk or beer and that first generation of youngsters that practiced their money counting at the counter had grown up (Cameron Hockenberry, Billy Haring, Doug Tasker, Stevie Walker, The Hopkins Boys, Popsicle Pete). Only to be replaced by a new a bunch of Palo Kids (Spencer Harwood, Teri Butler, BJ, those Dowsett kids, the Listerman girls) Over the years, things changed but always seemed to remain the same. Palo Joe’s was the place to stop by when you were out for a drive without much of an agenda. Everyone knew there would always be a smiling face there to greet you, if you were out for a Sunday drive after church (or just skipping church while your wife thought you were in the bathroom) or just coming in from mucking the barns (Dan).
Time Marches On…
In 2003, Joe’s Market Palo was getting ready to celebrate 20 Years. Marsha and Adam were running the store together for the most part. Adam was keeping busy with driving bus, coaching at the school, and being a volunteer fireman with Steve Walker. In 1983, when the store opened, a pack of cigarettes sold for $1 buck and in2003, the price was $3.75. The store was still selling cigarettes and eggs, and fishing worms and motorcycle oil.
Times were changing with the impact of technology and computers. Slowly, upgrades were installed from security cameras to scanners at the register, Joe’s was becoming sophisticated (scanners at the register!). Despite business changes, the highlights of the year remains the annual yard sale day (first Saturday in May!) and the annual Memorial Day Celebration and Parade. For generations, folks come to see one of the best little parades in the state in celebration of those who have served and this tradition continues every year, rain or shine.
Tragically, in February 2011, Marsha passed away unexpectedly, leaving the whole community a bit shook up. If Joe’s was the center of town, then Marsha was the heart. Together everyone pulled together and leaned on the good things.
New annual traditions were in the making as 2012 came to an end and 2013, 30th Anniversary year, was upon us. As Adam took over day-to-day operations of the store, the first Community Christmas Party was held in December with Santa Claus making a visit right in Palo to get all the wishes of all the children before Christmas Eve.
…And Things Are Still The Same
In 2013, the building is pretty much the same as it was all those years ago and Joe’s is pretty much the same too. The cornerstone of the business remains caring and friendship with exceptional customer service. A significant interior remodel was undertaken in 2015 to add an oven and prep area. This included adding an ice cream counter and deck that would be completed in 2016. A full take-out menu of pizza, sandwiches, and grinders was offered and immediately successful. Be sure to check out all the menu items names; you’ll see we kept it local.
Adam wanted to add a photo of one of the renovations, showing Joe and Shorty at work… well, we don’t have any photos of them working (LOL), but over the decades, these two have masterminded renovation after renovation to keep this old building up-to-date. We wouldn’t be here without their know-how and hard work!
We Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way
In 2018, there is a whole team at Joe’s these days, helping customers, making food orders, working inventory and supply. Each one of them welcomes customers, returning and new, young and old with a smile. We still have our regulars (you know who you are) and we have a new crop of young ones that will learn to count their money at our counter. We wouldn’t have it any other way.