Here it is.... (drum roll please)...the famous Ray's Dairy Store.
If you didn't grow up in the neighborhood, you might not have even heard the name much less have ventured inside. But any kid within walking distance of the store (3907 W. 54th Street) knew Ray's was the place to go for candy. I had heard about the store from several people as we prepared our "Growing Up in Edina" exhibit, now on display.
Jeff Thompson wrote: "I grew up in the sixties near 60th and France Avenue and our "corner store" was Ray's Dairy Store on 54th Street just west of France. It was operated by Ray (Carlstedt) and his wife Dorothy. I remember Ray always seemed fond of us kids but his wife did not seem very happy whenever we came in. Ray was a small man but his wife was a rather large woman who with one look told us we had better behave while in the store. They lived in an apartment above the store. The building still stands today as a craft or needle point shop."
Sherry Ott also fondly remembered biking to the store. "Ray's Dairy Store on 54th and France had the best selection of penny candy in town. If you were lucky, you might hear the sounds of Ray's daughter, Susanne, playing piano upstairs." Bob Herman also included Ray's among his happy childhood memories.
Children's author and illustrator Nancy Carlson turned her childhood memory of shoplifting a candy bar from Ray's into a picture book, Arnie and the Stolen Markers. Although Arnie steals markers instead of candy, Nancy said her drawings of the store with its myriad choices of penny candy are true to what she remembers of Ray's.
The book is out of print, but is part of a display on Nancy Carlson as part of the "Growing Up in Edina" exhibit.
For more on Nancy's childhood in Edina, see previous blog post here or check out her web site.
Of course, Ray's sold more than just candy. Parents also picked up necessities at the little market between trips to the larger grocery stores in town.
What businesses would you like to see featured on Photo Friday? Supply an address, if possible, to make look-up easier. We don't have photos of every business, but if we do, I'll post the photo on a future Friday. Make your wishes known by commenting here or emailing me.
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