“Retail Reflections #2”


Try as I might, I couldn’t find a picture of Vito’s, the first grocery store I remember. So instead I am using a picture of me in the car getting ready to go shopping. (That blur is my brother, and I have tried to be consistent to not post pictures of living people to preserve their privacy as much as I can.)

In 1950 we moved into the first home that my parents owned, a Cape two bedroom with a big yard in a new neighborhood filled with other young families in their first homes. We did all our grocery shopping at Vito’s, a tiny by today’s standards market a couple of miles from our home. We had one car and my dad drove it to work, so my mom relied on him or a neighbor to go to the store. Vito’s had everything we needed, including a butcher and a meat locker where we stored the frozen meat from a hog given us by my father’s senior partner each year. Mostly we stored a bazillion packages of sausage!

His stepson opened a variety store complete with soda fountain in the adjoining building. That store, which filled a niche no neighborhood store seems able to fill today, carried everything else we needed. Shoelaces, pencils, writing tablets, games, toys, balloons, birthday presents and so on.

And for the rest we had hand me downs and the Sears Catalog,

12 thoughts on ““Retail Reflections #2”

    1. I have a picture of the whole car in my February 23, 2017 post called Mystery Car. You can look at it by scrolling down the Archive list on the right of my site. Please let me know if you can tell what it is.


  1. My first shop was no big supermarket. Just a little shop run by a Chinese family in a rural town. I remember their name was Sennen or something like that. I never did catch the spelling and I was never sure if it was the name of the store, the owner, or the whole family. 🤔


      1. Ours was “Missa Chin”. I know the man’s name was Henry Chin and the business had some name along those lines, but we only ever said, “We goin’ out a’ Missa Chin” (I’ve Anglicized that as best as possible, but close enough haha).


  2. I can remember when the little town of 800 people I grew up in had a grocery store, a doctor’s office, a pharmacy, a department store and several other businesses. Now people have to drive 15-20 miles for all of these things.


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