Food & Nutrition

This Is What Food Shopping Looked Like 100 Years Ago

Starting over

vintage grocery storeCourtesy Anne Stanbrook/Reminisce

“Borrowing $ 700 from her father around 1936, after going through a divorce, my mother opened a grocery store in the Rosedale Park neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan. It was called the Rosedale Fenkell Market. That’s mom, above left, with her sister Olga Brunette. Mom got help from Olga, along with my younger brother, Nicky, and me, ages 10 and 12. With the four of us working, we built up the business, and the store did well in the affluent area,” says Anne Stanbrook of San Clement, California. Their grocery store is not equal to a supermarket, because there is a difference between the two.

Fresh is best

vintage grocery storeCourtesy Harold Martin/Reminisce

“That’s my future wife, Priscilla, in 1947, sprinkling water on fruits and vegetables at a busy produce stand she’s tending with a young co-worker in York, Pennsylvania,” says Harold Martin of Lititz, Pennsylvania. “Prices like those aren’t often seen today!” Costco is one store with good prices. See what Costco looked like when it first opened.

Coupon queen

Vintage groceryCourtesy Kappy Bowers/Reminisce

“In the mid-1940s, Ann Cox Williams was the original extreme couponer. Through savvy shopping and adherence to a budget, the Atlanta housewife saved money and earned 15 minutes of fame in the process. After an Atlanta newspaper published a story about her, Life magazine ran a feature on Ann’s uncanny budgeting prowess in November 1947. She fed a family of four, plus a cat, on a mere $ 12.50 a week,” recalls her daughter Kappy Bowers of Lithonia, Georgia.

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