The Westview Shopping Center on Spokane’s north side opened in 1960 with a small grocery store and drug store. The story behind the 15,000-square-foot Sigman’s Foods at Central Avenue and G Street in Spokane tells the story of how Sigman’s Food Centers of Yakima bought Roy L. Stone’s foods stores back in 1946.
Born in Driggs, Idaho, in 1899, Stone was an assistant manager of a Skaggs drugstore in Oakland, California, in 1920. In only eight years, he built a 32-store chain of his own and sold that in 1928 to MacMarr stores, which made him a vice president over their 160 stores.
When MacMarr merged with Safeway stores in 1931, Stone left, moved to Spokane and started over with Stone’s Foods. He built seven stores in Spokane and several more around the region, which Sigman’s bought out and took over Stone’s office and warehouse at 114 W. Pacific Ave.
Lisle E. Sigman had started in the grocery business as a teen in Clarkston, Washington, in 1913. He later owned stores in Colfax, Pullman and Lewiston, Idaho. He founded Sigman stores in Yakima in 1939 and had eight stores in 1946, when he bought Stone’s chain in Spokane. The Sigman headquarters in Spokane was led by B.F. Sigman, J.O. Crane and C.R. Chambers. Sigman died in 1983 at the age of 87.
After Sigman bought him out, Stone wasn’t done. After taking a break from business for a few years, he started Low Cost Food Market in 1951 and added more stores later.
Stone’s poor health forced him to step back from the business in 1961 but in 1959, he had joined a partnership, Big C Stores Inc., which continued operating Low Cost Food Market stores and added more stores in Oregon and Idaho.
Stone died in 1973 at his winter home in Palm Desert, California.
By 1970, the store at 3330 W. Central Ave. became an IGA Foodliner store. The space was vacant in 1974 but became another discount market for several years. Empty again in 1987, the main space became a women’s health club, Women at Large, in the late 1980s. In the former drug store on the east end of the building, there were a series of beauty schools, including Cady’s School of Beauty, M’Lady School of Beauty and Mr. Jay’s Academy of Cosmetology. Since the early 1990s, the former grocery has housed the Spokane Faith Center church.