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Let’s go vintage shopping…for groceries!

Well, it had to happen eventually. I have gotten a “real job”, as people call it.
That is a second job for me, as I do consider this website to be a real job, at least I try to treat it as such. I know a lot of vintage dealers who do the same.
They tend to have the best sites.

This new, additional venture, will get me out of the house 15-20 hours a week and help my family with a reliable paycheck. I adore vintage selling, but it ebbs and flows in peculiar ways. Thus is the life of selling online.
As a bonus, instead of just working from home alone every day, I’ll get out of the house and talk to real live people…IN PERSON!

But fear not, lovers of vintage clothing, accessories, jewelry, and housewares!

This site will keep rolling on, and the insane amount of vintage items I have yet to list will keep coming. And what is this new venture? Why it’s groceries!
Grocery-Illustration

But wait…aren’t I a graphic designer with a keen eye and retro flair?
Yes!

But after working in the soul sucking graphics profession on and off since The Rachael Haircut was popular (that’s 1996 for the newer vinties), I’ve decided to take a break from it for all but a few clients.

The new job is in the exciting field of groceries!
Yeah, I’m a checkout girl. But hey, I like food! I like packaging! And 30 years of playing Tetris has made me extra good at bagging groceries.

During the training, I was in “grocery class” with several other new employees. As the team leader was telling us about how to smile and talk to people, I may have mentally wandered off a few times. This isn’t my first trip to the job rodeo, but there were a few high school kids to whom it was. I just called high schoolers kids. Sigh…

It turns out, the store I’m working for was first established in 1938. Packaged goods were becoming popular, and more people were moving to urban areas that didn’t afford them land for gardens, livestock and chickens. Instead, you would take a walk to your neighborhood store for your foods.
I have this image from my archives, of a downtown grocery store in my hometown. It is stocked with brands you can still find,such as Kraft, PET canned milk, Rainbo bread, Ritz crackers, Kellogg’s cereal, and Campbell’s soup. The produce selection is more seasonal and local than we have today. Back then, many items were behind the counter, and you asked the clerk to fill your order. He may have even calculated the total manually, with math!
grocery store

In the 40s grocery stores were becoming the norm, though still smaller than the mega markets we have today. Smaller towns may still have these buildings intact, though the store is long gone. They were the place to get the local gossip, for kids to hang out, and for the housewife to get items independently, as her husband had often taken the family car to work. And, according to my Granny, you dressed to go to the store. By dressed she meant you put on a nicer dress than you did your housework in. You most certainly didn’t go in your pajama pants and house shoes!
Grocery-40s

By the 50s stores were getting bigger, and the modern woman had more products than ever to choose from. Even fashion marketing would set their images in the grocery isles. These two gals are discussing how fabulous they look in their smart fall outfits.
Grocery-50s-Gossip

There you are…see? She looks great in her full skirt cotton day dress, and her daughter is lovely in a full skirted dress and pigtails.
Grocery-Mother-Daughter

These gals are equally stylish, in smart suit dresses and sensible heels. The cloche-inspired hat on the girl to the left is wonderful!
Grocery-Gathering-Women

The modern market was in full swing in the 60s and 70s, offering more than just groceries. The shopper could buy household goods, medicines, and all the other great items she needed to run her home.
Grocery-Merchandise

I dig every bit of this picture…from the sunflower yellow slim skirt and matching jacket, the scarf collar patterned blouse she has under the jacket, and the pumpkin orange gloves and hat. I’d carry that black patent leather box purse in a heartbeat! Plus, coffee. Even before the Starbucks revolution there was oodles of ways to get your caffeine fix.
Vintage-Grocery-Coffee-Dept

I’m mostly sharing this for the Mid Century Modern interior. I’d wrestle a bear for those wall disks and tubular pendant lights. The smart lady of the 60s, shown here in her little black dress, could choose her cut of meat in a brightly lit modern slice of heaven.
Grocery-Mid-Century

Into the 70s the supermarket was the norm, and many local, smaller grocers had been put out of business by the gleaming, chrome coated markets.
Grocery-70s

This new job isn’t my first time to report for grocery duty. In fact, it’s my third. The first time was in the very late 80s. I wore jelly bracelets and black jeans to work and looked awesome!
Early in my initial 2-year stint, I had the glorious task of handling glass soda bottle returns. Plastic 2-liter bottles were a brand new thing, with only a few flavors available in them. People still bought their soda in 8-pack cartons with the metal cap tops you needed a “church key” or bottle opener for. It was SO much better. Colder, still made with real sugar, and there were some great local bottling companies. The big one in our town was Double Cola. So syrupy and delicious.
Grocery-Glass-Soda-Bottles
As a bonus, if you sucked all the air out of a glass bottle, you could then get the bottle to suck your lip in with the reversed pressure.
That’s some good pre-internet entertainment there, folks!