The Story of Ed...


Every great story has a beginning. Ours starts with Ed’s birth. From an early age Ed showed a curiosity for life that would later turn entrepreneurial.

Early lessons

Ed Lowe was born on July 10, 1920, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where his father, Henry Lowe, had been raised. Five years later the young family moved to Marcellus, Michigan, his mother’s hometown. (Henry Lowe and Lulu Huber had originally met in Benton Harbor, Michigan, where they worked for the Baker-Vawter Co., which printed office supplies.)

In Marcellus Henry Lowe initially helped his father-in-law, Loren Huber, operate a butcher shop and grocery store, but later Henry opened his own grocery business. This made the fourth grocery in the small town, and to differentiate himself, Henry transformed a 1926 Chevy truck into a mobile store of sorts, equipping it with shelves and cupboard doors. Henry drove the truck around the county selling groceries to farmers and sometimes bartering for their butter and eggs, which he then sold to folks in town. Henry also tried his hand at a number of other retail operations including a bakery, shoe store and ice-cream parlor.

While young Ed Lowe learned lessons of determination and hard work from his father, he developed a strong sense of humor and love of fun from his mother. One of his favorite memories of Lulu was of her making pancakes for breakfast shaped like cows, elephants and dogs. After the meal, Ed and his mother would then engage in “pancake fights” in the kitchen — tossing overcooked pancakes made from leftover batter at each other.

In school, Ed struggled academically and had to repeat fourth grade. In his mind, he was a thinker rather than a student. “Studying is to follow the tracks of someone else,” he later wrote. “I like to examine things, solve problems and make imaginative projections.”

Yet even though his report card may have been lackluster, Ed became a voracious reader and enthusiastic writer — a habit he continued throughout his life. In fact, as an adult he wrote several books, dozens of short stories, a play and a series of poem books.