Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ABC Wednesday - J is for Joe's

Picture this: I'm driving the Buick on SE 82nd, thinking about the hopefully interesting photos I had stopped here and there to take already, wondering what else I might see that would lead to my pulling into a driveway at some business, turning around, parking, whatever it took to get the shot I'd just noticed.

Well, that wasn't all I was doing. I was on my way to PetSmart to get Duncan's prescription dog food, and I was paying attention to the traffic, too. Once I loaded the cases of canned food into a couple of rolling suitcases and stashed them in the back seat of the Buick, I pulled out and headed for the Fred Meyer catty-cornered from Johnson Creek Crossing, the shopping center that holds PetSmart, Home Depot, and ... oh, boy, Joe's! Quickly I changed my direction and got this photo for today's ABC post. Picture me satisfied.

From their Web site: About Joe's
Joe's originated in 1952 when a young Army Air Corps pilot, Edward M. Orkney, returned from WWII and purchased a consignment of 2,000 army surplus sleeping bags for $1.50 each, which he sold at a modest profit from the back of his station wagon in Portland, Oregon.

Orkney continued to sell his surplus goods, first out of a tent, and later from a permanent location in a building on Vancouver Avenue in north Portland. By 1956 this store had grown to become a destination for bargain hunters looking for fun and unique products.

The selection at Joe's evolved over the years. Name brand sports and automotive products became the store's primary offerings. Orkney passed away in 1976, just prior to the chain's expansion throughout Oregon and into Washington.

Today, it's easy to see that Joe's has come a long, long way from such humble beginnings. Becoming the Northwest's premier destination for sports & outdoor gear, as well as top quality roof racks and other accessories for your car, truck or SUV, Joe's is a first-class store for the serious outdoor enthusiast. Highly trained technicians in Joe's Sport Services shop do quality repairs, install racks, and rent winter and summer sports equipment. And nowhere is the difference more evident from the early days than in the brands you find at Joe's. You recognize these brands as the best in the business, offering the ultimate in quality and performance.

Our Mission
To exceed customer expectations by offering passionate service, the best brands and a specialty selection of products, while supporting the community where we live and work.
Joe's is proud to provide ongoing support to deserving, non-profit organizations including:
March of Dimes
American Red Cross
Boys and Girls Club
Komen Race for the Cure
Salvation Army
The Nature Conservancy

I wonder if the roof shape represents Joe's tent days?

When Mama and I first moved to Portland in June, 2006, Joe's was known as G.I. Joe's. I found this on Wikipedia about the name change: In March 2007, the company announced that it was dropping the "G. I." from its name, as the old name did not accurately reflect its product line. In particular, the chain had not sold military surplus in many years. The name change took effect on April 1, 2007.

Be sure to go to Mrs. Nesbitt's Place for loads of other ABC Wednesday blogs! If I understand the new guidelines properly, you should look at her Comments for Wednesday to find links to them. Of course, she's in England, so please take that into consideration and go back if it's not ready yet. Thanks!


brian said...

Nice photo, and history to go along with it! I've never heard of 'Joe's', but i know a Joe or two that I should send your post to today... =)

Andrea said...

Joe' my husband would love to visit there. We seem to turn into stores like that along with Home Depot's and Lowes.

Great "J" post

George Townboy said...

Love the photo and the story!

AVCR8TEUR said...

I love shopping at army surplus stores and I'm sure Joe's is not different. Great find for a J in your community. To me, Joe's roof looks like mountains.

Anonymous said...

Joe's sounds like the kind of place we used to have simply called "the Navy store" that sold everything from Navy knives to pots and pans. Itis long gone now. Nice Photography.

Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio

John said...

Great story, nice post for ABC.

Ida said...

Exciting place. Nice J. :)

DeeMom said...

Joe’s looks like a place I could spend lots of time just poking about..Great information as well

ellen b said...

Well done! I'm in Washington right now for Easter, etc. There's a Joe's one exit down the freeway from me. I was wondering about the G.I. part so thanks for the history! Hey did you notice you also got a jeep like vehicle parked at Joe's in your shot?

Denton said...

I enjoyed your description of events leading to your photo. But most of all I enjoyed picturing you satisfied.

dot said...

Looks like a fun place to shop.

Paulie said...

Our (GI) Joe's in Vancouver doesn't have that kind of roof. About 6 years ago I was looking for a pedometer and I was shocked to find out they didn't carry them. It was GI Joe's back then. . . Good entry -- I never thought about it and walked right past it when I went to Craft Warehouse for my card makin' supplies.

Anne-Berit said...

Great story and picture.Good J-post:o)

Diana said...

I see a Jeep in front of Joe's too.

Chris said...

We have Friedman's Army Surplus here. Great story.

Neva said...

This is cute! We don't have Joe's here!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's too bad they went bankrupt! I'm gonna miss shopping there. When they first arrived in Lynnwood, WA. I liked the fact they were called "G.I. Joe's."
I guess the "G.I." part had some allure to me.
Now, i'm gonna HATE shopping at Sports Authority or the like....or maybe just not spend on big box.
The new branding was just a stupid marketing-dept thing to me. Should saved the money and kept the "G.I." part.

mauG27 in Seattle.

Lynette said...

I didn't grow up here, but if I had I'm certain I would have shopped at GI Joe's. Thanks for visiting, mauG27 in Seattle.