USA BABY, a leading specialty retailer of infant and children’s furniture and accessories, has selected Fred Meyer of Battle Creek, Michigan as the 2005 winner of the prestigious Alan S. Levine Founder’s Award.
The award is presented to the franchise store owner who has contributed the most to the success and growth of the franchise system through dedication, teamwork and commitment, as determined by ballots cast from other franchise owners throughout the United States and Mexico. “It’s a great honor to be chosen by my peers for such an award,” Fred exclaimed. “I’ve always enjoyed working with USA BABY, and am thankful to my wife for allowing me to participate in an extended capacity.”
Fred and his wife, Patty, are the owners of the USA BABY store at 72 North Avenue in downtown Battle Creek, at the intersection of McCamly and North Avenue. He attributes his 15 years of success as a franchisee to service, first and foremost. “Our motto is: ‘Where Service Counts,’” he said. “We treat you like family.”
The Battle Creek USA BABY store has a very unusual history, unknown to many of their present-day customers. In 1947, Fred’s father opened a store in Battle Creek, selling religious articles and greeting cards. Then, around 1950, he was offered a line of toys that sold extremely well, which he combined into the established business. Years later, in the 1970s, he expanded the toy business, and began to include hobbies and collectible dolls.
But, the mid-80s saw some challenges, because of increased competition from large national corporations. It was during this time that Fred took over the store and diversified it even further to include more collectibles and educational lines. By 1986, he had added several lines of baby furniture, opening the way for the USA BABY franchise, which has been their most successful move since 1990.
Fred has always been supportive and active in the Battle Creek community. He has served seven years and is past Chair of the Battle Creek Community Foundation. He is Chairman of the North Pointe Woods Board, Chairman of the SOHMAT Board, serves on the DDA (Downtown Development Authority) Board, the Community Alliance Board, and is actively involved with the “ANYbodies Playground” project.
Regarding his local USA BABY store, Fred commented, “We love what we do, and want to continue with good quality products for our local families.” He added, “We have a strong name, and want to continue that way. We have a great crew working here that does a fantastic job to meet the needs of our customers!”
Fred believes that being involved with the system is also important. He says if USA BABY is successful corporately, our store will be successful, as well. He currently serves as Chairman of the USA BABY Advisory Board, helping to provide guidelines for corporate decisions and policies. He stated, “USA BABY is number one in a lot of areas. Our goal is to double in numbers – from the current 70 stores to 150 or more.”
“I think the USA BABY system as a whole is very cutting edge,” Fred commented. Fred has seen USA BABY grow from a startup franchise organization into one of America’s leading franchisors. And, Fred is excited about the future growth potential that he sees for USA BABY.
For store information, call the USA BABY store at (269) 963-2768, or call USA BABY headquarters at (800) 323‑4108, or visit USABABY.com.
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