Our History | Dorothy Lane Market


Rooted in providing great food, supporting the local community, and providing excellent customer service, the story of Dorothy Lane Market begins.


Our Story Begins

Calvin D. Mayne worked in the wholesale produce business in Dayton, Ohio.

Calvin began courting widow Vera Jane Pacey who owned a small fruit stand at the Central Market House. The two were married later that year.


Serving Our Country

Calvin deployed to Japan with the U.S. Army, eventually holding the rank of Captain, Military Intelligence.


Our Family Grows

Calvin & Vera Mayne's son Norman is born. Calvin goes into business with Tom Hildebrand to open M&H Liberty Market.


A New Friendship

Calvin befriends Frank Sakada and the two begin conversations about opening a store together.


The Fruit Stand

On August 12, Calvin & Frank open the doors to Dorothy Lane Market, a fruit stand at the corner of Far Hills and Dorothy Lane.

Calvin dissolves partnership at M&H Liberty Market.


Shifting Focus

Vera closes her fruit stand at the Central Market House.


As Dorothy Lane Market gains international attention, building a commendable reputation, we look to strengthen our local ties establishing the Good Neighbor Program.



Fire hits building adjacent to DLM causing much damage to store. As a result, the "lean-to" was remodeled.


First Brick & Mortar Store

Customer and businessman Mr. Talbott agrees to build a 10,000-square foot grocery store with Calvin and Frank as the tenants. They relocate to where DLM Oakwood stands today.


Serving Our Community

Vera spearheads initiative to launch Good Neighbor Program as a way for DLM to give back to the community.


Internationally Recognized

Parking lot in front of DLM is converted to store space, adding additional 4,000 square feet. Sales soar.

Progressive Grocer profiles DLM, sparking much international attention. Calvin and Frank speak at the National Association of Retail Grocers.

NCR incorporates the DLM story in their national Modern Merchandising Methods seminars. This takes Calvin, Vera, & Norman around the world for speaking opportunities.


Visiting Washington

Calvin presents to the House of Parliament on the topic of modern merchandising practiced at DLM.


Dorothy Lane Market continues to evolve. This decade may reflect some challenges, but Dorothy Lane Market pushes forward with guidance and perseverance.


A New Location

(or as early as 1959) Frank Sakada and Calvin D. Mayne amicably part ways as Frank pursues other business opportunities.

Dorothy Lane Market Page Manor opens on Airway Road at former Albers location.


Trying Something New

Calvin experiments in investing in two large-store format locations, separate from DLM, in Cincinnati and Dayton. Neither proves to be successful.


Norman Steps Up

Calvin suffers a severe stroke and his son Norman begins to play a larger role with DLM.


Tragedy Strikes

(May) DLM files Chapter 11 bankruptcy; a sad day in DLM history amid the devastating effects of Calvin's stroke.

(June) With attorney Jack Pickrel's guidance, Norman and DLM establish a 10-year plan of arrangement to pay creditors 100 cents on the dollar, which is unheard of. Creditors agree to let family retain ownership.


First Payment

(December) First payment to creditors is made and continues over the years until paid off early.


In the wake of mourning a great loss, Dorothy Lane Market makes strides to improve the Oakwood location and introduces the iconic Killer Brownie®.


DLM's founding father, Calvin D. Mayne, passes away with grocers from around the world coming to mourn. His wife Vera assumes role as president.


A New Leaf

DLM emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, paying all creditors in full nearly two years ahead of schedule.

DLM opens a second location in the Hills and Dales Shopping Center, but closes six months later. Focus shifts to making the experience at one store as best as possible, a decision that paves the way for DLM's future.


New Building, New Friendships

DLM Oakwood undergoes a major remodel.

DLM begins its relationship with Brentlinger's Farm Market providing us sweet corn every summer. Although we have many relationships with local farming families that we are proud of, this one is the longest-standing. Calvin previously worked with Brentlinger's Farm Market earlier in his career.


A New Treat

Around this time is when we first started baking the iconic Killer Brownie® in the basement of DLM Oakwood.


Creating a better experience for both our associates and customers of all ages, Dorothy Lane Market launches key programs that we proudly champion to this day.


Taking Care of Our Family

DLM shares financial information with associates and adds bonus incentive based on profit-sharing.


Our Own Space

DLM buys the building in Oakwood, which it occupies to this very day.


All Natural

DLM begins its relationship with Coleman Natural Beef.


The DLM Kids' Club was born

Bringing a dash of fun to the grocery shopping experience, look for DLM Kids’ Club perks around our stores as well as events throughout the year.


It’s an exciting time for Dorothy Lane Market as we open the Washington Square location and make advancements to provide the best food for our customers.


A Fresh Perspective

DLM opens a second location at Washington Square.

The gourmet revolution at DLM reaches new heights when Calvin Mayne, DLM President, re-joined DLM full-time. "He's developed relationships with farmers, meat suppliers, and artisan cheesemakers across the world. It doesn't hurt that he speaks multiple languages," Norman Mayne says of his son.


Doing the Right Thing

Under Jack Gridley's leadership, the Meat department makes a commitment to proteins free of antibiotics/hormones/ steroids, fed a vegetarian diet, and raised in strict accordance to animal welfare standards. It's not only the right thing to do, but the meats taste better, too.


A Time-Honored Technique

DLM launches Artisan Bread program, baking bread fully from scratch in the European tradition.


Innovation & Technology

DorothyLane.com launches.

DLM ceases traditional advertising and launched Club DLM to reward customers and receives national attention for its loyalty program.


DLM launches Food & Wine Show.

Featuring an assortment of exquisite wines and exceptional fare, the DLM Food & Wine Show is an event unlike any other.


Sharing Our Love of Food

The School of Cooking moves next to DLM Washington Square.


Excitement continues to build as we open our store in Springboro, dedicate space for the DLM Bakehouse, and kick off another great event!


DLM Springboro opens.

In 2002, we were excited to open our beautiful new store in Springboro! It was the culmination of years of planning and inspiration from our company mission “to make our customers happy.” Everyone in the DLM Family played a part in bringing this newest vision of DLM to reality. It was a labor of love by those who had built a great career doing wonderful things at the company for 10, 25, and even 50+ years!


Rising to the Occasion

As our dedication to the Made Right Here mentally and our Artisan Bread Program grow, we proudly open the DLM Bakehouse behind DLM Washington Square.


First Spring Fling Pastry Show

DLM Pâtisserie is world-class, infusing our Bakery case seven days a week with creations that truly are as good as they look. We looked to celebrate and give customers a chance to meet the talented chefs behind these marvelous sweets, so entered the Spring Fling Pastry Show.

© 2024 Dorothy Lane Market | Terms and Conditions