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BKF and My Parents Grocery Store

December 8, 2021

I grew up working in my parents’ grocery store. Lark foods was a small neighborhood store near Harding and Sumner Streets in Indianapolis. It was open from 7 AM until 11 PM, and for several summers, I spent most of my day and night there. My liberation came when I bought a Kawasaki 100 with my own money. I was fifteen and ½ years old. It was legal to ride a motorcycle with a learner’s permit back then. Go figure. I was free! I could sleep in or leave early!

My Parents Grocery and Cafeteria 

My mom operated a small luncheonette attached to my parents’ grocery store. One thing the grocery and the cafeteria had in common, besides the Clark family, was Bar Keepers Friend. Dad used BKF in the store, mom used it in the restaurant, BKF always had a place on the grocery store shelves, and we never ran out of BKF at home. I grew up using Bar Keepers Friend.

30 Cents an Hour 

I worked at the store (for 30 cents an hour until I got a raise to 75 cents an hour when I was 15). That was in the mid-1960s. Today BKF has more than a dozen products, not counting Institutional products, but in 1965 BKF Powder Cleanser was the sole product. It didn’t matter because, at least in my family, we used it for almost everything.

Dad cleaned the metal coolers and freezers in the store. We washed countertops, grocery shelves, and window glass. Mom cleaned the stainless-steel steamer tray in the cafeteria, the metal legs on tables and chairs, and food stains on everything. I had the lovely privilege of using BKF to scrub the cafeteria bathroom. We used BKF all over our home as well.

I Believe! 

Occasionally, organizations approach me about writing blogs for them. I’m very selective about who I will write for and what I’ll write about. I’ve politely turned down several offers. For me to write for a company or about a product, I must believe in their product, appreciate their culture, and it’s gotta be fun. When Bar Keepers Friend approached me, there was no question. I’ve been using the product longer than most. I knew people on the team and enjoyed working with them, and I get to have some fun. For example, have you read, Cleaning Santa’s Sleigh with BKF? 

How Long Have You Used BKF? 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been using BKF for 60 years or are a new first-time user because either way, you’ll keep coming back. Like we say, “Once Tried, Always Used.” Mom and Dad bought the store in 1963, so I can document that I’ve been using BKF at least since then, 58 years. Can anybody reading this post beat my number? Do you remember your grandparents using BKF? If so, please leave us a comment and share how long you’ve been using BKF. Here’s to another 58 years of cleaning, shining, and polishing with BKF.

  About the Author

Randy Clark is a speaker, coach, and author. He publishes a weekly blog at Randy Clark Randy is passionate about social media, leadership development, and flower gardening. He’s a beer geek and on weekends (after COVID-19) he can be found fronting the Rock & Roll band Under the Radar. He’s the proud father of two educators; he has four amazing grandchildren and a wife who dedicates her time to helping others. Randy is the author of the Amazon bestseller The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management.



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