A brief history of the Perry’s name change

09/10/2015

Perry’s Inverness Park Grocery—once related to a string of delis with the same name—has dropped the “Perry’s” moniker from its name and is now going by “Inverness Park Market.” Technically named “Perry’s Delicatessen #9,” the switch coincides with the 35th anniversary of the store, owned by Dan Thompson. He will soon file paperwork to make the change official. “I’m grateful to the community for supporting me,” said Mr. Thompson. Over the years, his store has evolved to include a produce section, a restaurant-style deli and, most recently, an indoor dining annex called Gather. Historically, the autonomous owners of Perry’s stores spread out over four counties—Marin, Sonoma, Lake and, at one point, Redding—operated as a quasi-cooperative. Owners purchased items in bulk at discount prices and distributed smaller, more manageable quantities to each other. But with the rise of big box stores such as Costco, companies like Coca-Cola started dealing less and less with smaller, local stores, and the familiar atmosphere between the Perry’s owners diminished. Nevertheless, Mr. Thompson praised the Perry’s ownership community. After the 1982 flood, other owners rushed in to provide workers and products, and the store reopened within three days. The ownership community was so tight-knit that Mr. Thompson reached out to Bob Schilling—the former owner, now in his 80s, of other Perry’s who Mr. Thompson called the “Godfather”—to ask his blessing for the name change. But Mr. Thompson won’t fault people for accidentally calling his store by its old name. “It’ll be hard for me even to answer the phone and not say ‘Perry’s’ anymore!” he said.