Can you guess which Edina grocery store this is?
Be the first to name the store correctly and you will win a shirt featuring the Edina Mill or the Edina Theater. Winner must collect the prize by coming to the Edina History Museum during regular museum hours (or pay shipping.) Winner will be selected on Monday.
To even the playing field for newcomers, we'll also pick a winner from the list of anyone who guesses, right or wrong. So give it a shot... as Publisher's Clearing House so famously says, "You can't win if you don't enter." Submit your guess by commenting here or on our Facebook page. One entry per person. Winners picked on Tuesday, May 21st.
Happy Friday, everyone! I'm going grocery shopping....
On Mondays, I post comments submitted from readers and add a few thoughts of my own.
1. Ray's Dairy Store
Paige commented on Photo Friday: Ray's Dairy Store, 3907 W. 54th Street, 1959, My memory from the early 70's was the rotating chicken roasting in the window.
In response for requests on what other businesses to feature, I received this email: REALLY enjoy the blog. At some point you should do something on 50th and France and old merchants. There was Marty's barbershop...where they had....PLAYBOYS. Big deal when you're 11. Red Barn. Le Petit Cafe'. Gim Loong. Fanny Farmer. A Christian Science reading room. And then the apartments ABOVE the strip where General Sports was.
Anyone remember any of these businesses? I'll see what I find in the collection, which is incomplete for commercial buildings but still has some gems as you've seen from past editions of Photo Friday. Stay tuned....
In the mean time, check out Joe Sullivan's article in the city's quarterly newsletter About Town on the YMCA. I know he's written one on Marty's barbershop, but I couldn't find the story online. Here's a past Photo Friday on Fanny Farmer.
2. Docken's Store (Brookside, Browndale and more)
Daniel Grobani wrote following the post on The corner store: Docken's family served Brookside neighborhood: Great research! Great write-up! Great post!
Normally I view complimentary emails with some suspicion that they're spam. I never approve them for the blog because they usually link to some fraudulent web site. (For example, here's one that I'm sure must be: I have viewed so many blog post but yours are different. I like to ask how you composed your articles for it really leaves an excellent impression on me.) Besides the odd wording, it doesn't reference anything specific in the blog or Edina.
But I know Daniel (despite never meeting him). He's the out-of-state researcher who set this whole research project into motion with his questions about the Brookside neighborhood. The topic is near and dear to the heart of St. Louis Park HIstorical Society trustee Jeanne Anderson, who even created a whole web site The Brookside Timeline devoted to the neighborhood. She agreed to do the legwork and inspired me to do some online research. Together we looked through our files and compared notes. Daniel found more stuff online.
We have had a flurry of emails going back and forth about this and other topics that include:
For example, I found newspaper articles on real estate developers George Dartt and Frank Mackey (Streets bear their names in the Browndale neighborhood.)
Mackey, a Londoner, built the famous Leamington Hotel before turning his attention to developing in Edina. His wife was a Minneapolis woman whose parties and outings both at home and in London made Society column headlines. (See image at left from Feb. 6, 1910 story in the Minneapolis Tribune, via ProQuest news service.)
Given the city's current effort to identify and name neighborhoods, I am now hooked into finding out more. Thank you to Daniel and Jeanne for their contributions!
3. Biltmore Drive-in
Rick commented on Photo Friday: Biltmore Drive-in, 5001 Vernon Ave, 1959: Wow.... I remember the old Biltmore Motel off of Vernon but this was before my time!
A look through old phone books would probably confirm my hunch that the quaint drive-in didn't last that long. Our visitors typically reminisce about favorite childhood haunts, and not a one has mentioned the drive-in. I can see never hearing about an insurance company or investment firm. (No disrespect intended; they're just not places a child remembers.) But a drive-in? That sells malts and rootbeer floats? It seems strange that I have never heard about it.
4. Growing Up in Edina, 1970s memories
Brad Taplin emailed that the blog prompted a number of memories: I attended Cornelia, and Edina East and West, through the 1970s. I remember the Hedberg and Sons sand pits being a great place to off-road with my banana bike, long before mountain biking was popular.
I also remember one of my first restaurant jobs, washing dishes at Marc's Big Boy in about 1978 (now the Tavern), and other jobs at whatever TJ's was called, Roche Bobois, Karmelkorn, the YMCA, and York Steak House... all to pay for roller skating at Saints, for gas and car parts, for skiing at Hyland Hills, and for movies at the Southdale Cinema.
The best thing about Cornelia for me was math teacher Jim Fesenmeier, who realized when I was in about third grade that I needed glasses and wasn't just slow. I cried when I could finally see the blackboard and understood division.
When I emailed Brad for permission to post his stories, I told him that glasses changed my view of the world too. In third grade, I couldn't read the big E at the top of the eye chart. When I got glasses, I was surprised that trees had individual leaves instead of the big green cloud on a stick that appeared in the typical elementary school drawings. (I often wonder if Impressionistic painters weren't revolutionary as much as they were near-sighted.)
I like to hear from readers. Do you have a question about Edina history? Does this post prompt any memories? Please comment here or email me.
Does anyone remember National Tea Company? Despite its misleading name in the city phone directory, it sold more than tea and wisely chose to advertise that fact by putting "food stores" on its building. The full-fledged grocery store was one of several in a national chain based in Chicago. For more on the company, see the Encyclopedia of Chicago web site.
National opened in Edina in the later 1940s, and apparently remodeled based on the differences in the two photos. The chain struggled after being bought out by a Canadian company in the 1960s, and the Edina store was one of the casualties.
The site at 3945 West 50th Street is now a Lunds grocery store, which was originally just across the street. Some long-time residents will remember that Lunds opened in 1942 as a Hove's supermarket. For more on Lunds history, see the Lunds & Byerly's web site.
"The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different." —Aldous Huxley
As new Southdale owners are re-envisioning the retail mix of business at the mall, they're considering adding a grocery store. That surprised some museum visitors, who wondered whether shoppers really would buy a cart full of groceries when they come to a mall for things like Ugg boots, down comforters or a new pair of eyeglasses.
Southdale, in fact, opened in 1956 with a 30,000-square-foot Red Owl, which was then the largest grocery in the Upper Midwest. By 1950s standards, this store was huge. Keep in mind that this was 1956, years before huge warehouse-style Rainbow and Cub Foods came on the scene.
Here is the boxed cereal section. Pretty impressive even by today's super store standards.
The store was located on the Dayton's (now Macy's) side of the mall (north end). Here's an interior shot.
Here's an exterior view showing its location compared to Dayton's, as well as how those truckloads of cereal and other items got into the store.
And another image showing how the groceries got out. Shoppers also had the option of a "Pick Up Station," where (museum visitors tell me) groceries came out on a conveyor and store employees loaded them into your waiting car. (You may have noticed a Pick Up Station sign in the photo of the interior.)
Mrs. Shopper, just as Southdale developer Victor Gruen envisioned in the 1950s brochure below, could spend a cold January morning in the indoor comfort of a shopping center that duplicated the services of a traditional downtown, including No. 5 : "Buy the family groceries." Brochure is part of Edina Historical Society's Southdale collection.
Red Owl moved out of the mall in 1973, just across the street on York Avenue. One of the Edina municipal liquor stores, which was located next to Red Owl inside the mall, moved out at the same time to the neighboring address.
The stand alone grocery store would later be torn down and replaced by Cub Foods.
I haven't yet found any documentation on why Red Owl left Southdale. The city apparently opted to own its liquor store property rather than paying rent, perhaps Red Owl executives shared the same view. (See story on liquor store history by Joe Sullivan in the City of Edina's Spring 2005 About Business publication.)
Will a new grocery store succeed at Southdale? Will it bring in more traffic and business to other stores in the mall? Although history can help inform decisions, retail is constantly reinvented and what is old is new again. People with better marketing skills than I will ultimately make that decision.
Despite all the uncertainties, I do know one thing: two big bunches of celery will not sell for 25 cents, the price seen in the last photo.
This time of year many Edinans head for warmer climates to golf, walk along the beach, get a little sun and open a grocery store.
OK, that last one probably only applies to one man, Jerry Paulsen, founder of Jerry's Foods in Edina.
While most people like to relax on vacation, Jerry worked during four of his winter vacations to get a supermarket built on the island.
Having wintered at the popular "snowbird" getaway for 10 years, Jerry had long seen a need for a grocery store in the area. Little did he realize that building one would take so long and meet with so much resistance.
The public, which questioned in 1983 whether the new store would change the island's character, recently named the Jerry's "Best Grocery Store on the Island." The 27,000 square foot supermarket had many features unique to the area but similar to Jerry's other stores in Minnesota. News articles went into great detail about the unheard of practice of drive-up parcel pickup.
Jerry's in Sanibel, in turn, has many features unheard of in Minnesota. The store is built on stilts 13 feet above ground level because of frequent flooding by tropical storms. Although more expensive than the typical waterproofing construction, the stilts offer the side benefit of underground parking.
The out-of-state location can sell wine, which is prohibited in Minnesota. And it does offer a sizable section of tanning aids and snacks than the Edina store - for those folks who do golf, walk along the beach and relax during their vacations.
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Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
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