Saturday, March 11, 2023

The Hen House Market – Store Review

 The Hen House Market celebrates 100 years.

Hens in a Hen House

Supermarkets have been around for a long time and there are numerous chains located in various areas and many cities throughout the country. Many of us are familiar with major chains such as Kroger,  Hy-Vee and Publix. 

The Hen House Market is one of 27 local markets throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. They are part of the Ball's Food Store group and Kansas City, Kansas is their hometown.

History of the Hen House – 1923-2023

A Kansas City supermarket called The Hen House

1923 – the first Hen House Market Opens

The Hen House Market was begun in 1923 by Mollie and Sidney Ball. Not being able to hire help, they did everything. Mollie ran the cash register and kept the books. Sidney did all the rest, from unloading the truck to stocking the shelves.

Their little store offered a monthly credit system and home delivery.


By 1934 the Balls were able to hire a couple of employees to help out. Then Sidney had a new idea – cash and carry – and opened a second store with this new concept and lower prices.

1941 – World War II Era

With so many working wives and mothers during World War II, Mollie Ball began to make take-home dinners to sell. Her meat loaf became famous throughout the neighborhood.


The Ball's opened Kansas City's first large-scale “supermarket” and customers loved it. 


By 1956, Mollie and Sidney's son Fred had graduated college and joined the business.


By 1965, Fred saw that rapid industry changes were occurring and prepared the company for expansion.


In 1973, Mollie and Sidney turned control of the Company over to their only son. Fred Ball became the second generation of family management.


The Ball Foods Company purchased two Kansas City markets called Hen House which had a citywide reputation for fresh poultry and seafood.


By the mid 1990s, Ball's Food Stores had grown to be the largest retail grocer in Kansas City.


Time for the third generation of Balls.  David Ball now continues the family tradition of providing great food at a great price.


Marking 100 years as Kansas City’s Local hometown Market 


The Hen House Market

Having moved to Kansas City just a few months ago, I was delighted to discover The Hen House Market. It has such friendly people and everything is arranged so nicely that it is a joy to shop there. 

Of the 27 stores under the Ball's Food Store corporate name, some are called The Hen House Market (9 locations across the Kansas City, Kansas area), and others go under the names Ball's Price Chopper, Payless Discount Foods and SunFresh Market.  Altogether, they employ 4,000 people they refer to as 'teammates'. 

Grandson David Ball states that as his grandfather Sidney said all those decades ago “Our grocery store is only as good as the people who work there.”

More Stores Reviewed on ReviewThisReviews

*Hen House website

*Store Review of The Hen House Market by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Very interesting review. I have lived in Kansas City in the past and was not aware of The Hen House Market. It must have been in another part of KC. I loved hearing the history of this market.

  2. I never heard of them until I moved here, Mary Beth. They are really nice stores, making grocery shopping a pleasure, which I've not been able to say in the past. LOL.

  3. What a great story and history! I admire their work ethic and how awesome that the couple was able to work together so well. If I had a Hen House Market I could go to, I would definitely shop there and support this impressive family.

    1. Thanks, Mouse. I really love the atmosphere at the Hen House Markets. So friendly and so helpful. The staff is very attentive so if you can't find something, they help you immediately. Customer service is very real here. An attribute often a rarity these days.

  4. What a wonderful, old fashioned American success story built on hard work, ethical values and respect for employees and customers alike! I wish there were a Hen House Market I could patronize here in the Boston area. Thanks for sharing the history of this wonderful third-generation family-owned and -run business!

    1. It's a great family-owned business, Margaret. Thanks for your visit.

  5. What a wonderful history of the American Dream. Sounds like a great place to shop with a family friendly atmosphere.

    1. I love family-owned businesses, Sam. Somehow, I think they try harder.

  6. It is so interesting to read the history of a store and how the family has managed it over generations. I have not heard of this store before but it sounds like a lovely place to do your shopping. If I ever travel to the US and visit the area I will know it's a great place to shop! :)

    1. It IS a great place to shop. Thanks for your visit to my review.

  7. To be around that long, they certainly did something right - and I like the motto of the grandfather re customers - places of business that focus on customer satisfaction stand heads above those who don't. The store has a fascinating, and long history!

  8. Sounds like a great place to shop. I'd rather spend my money on places that respect and admire the people they hire and for that family owned feeling than the big box places. Thanks for pointing these places out to me. Next time I get down to Texas I will look for them!

  9. Your Hen House Market sounds like a great place to grocery shop in Kansas City!


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