Vintage Grocery Stores Photos That Will Have You Feeling Nostalgic


How Things Were

Most shoppers nowadays take retailers for granted. The impersonal bright lights and food-filled sterile aisles. While the recipe for grocery stores has remained consistent over the years, pricing and appearances have altered dramatically.

Take a look at some old photographs of supermarkets. They’ll likely show you how much time progressed or bring back memories.

Northland Food

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In the 1970s, Northland Food was a popular grocery store. Shoppers enjoyed acquiring their goods, which included everything from cereal to veggies. Things appear to be drastically different; for example, the cash registers are massive and mechanical instead of the computerized cash registers we have today.

The counters are a cream hue that was highly popular in the 1970s. There were also massive scales to measure any goods that customers desired or required.

Cheap Prices

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In the 1940s, the Grand Grocery Company opened its doors. This was a site where folks could acquire any locally grown produce they wanted at a fair price.

In the 1940s, pricing was unbelievable; oranges for a mere 1c? We all know it’s due to inflation, but image seeing such costs now at a supermarket.

Hanging Out At Ralph’s

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In the 1940s, Ralph’s was a prominent grocery shop chain. A society developed outside the parking lot, where drivers gathered to chill out and show off their automobiles. After work, they’d spend a few hours relaxing there before returning home to their spouses.

However, we’re sure they’d use the reason of needing to get groceries at Ralph’s to avoid getting in trouble.

Efficient Shopping

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Here’s a look at what it was like to shop at a U-Pak Kmart during the 1970s. You’d wander down the aisles, picking up whatever you wanted and save 35% on goods that are just as nice as the name-brand versions.

At these supermarkets, you could check out your items yourself, which is much better than what Amazon Go Stores are doing.


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With all of this mayonnaise, it’s possible that the corporation had some agreement with them. Could it be that Cozart’s grocery store was situated where mayonnaise is very popular among Americans?

It wouldn’t shock us if the bread section were directly next to it. Or is it possible that they liked egg salad more?

Better Oranges 

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Sunny Store’s proprietors were pleased with their orange supply. They sold these oranges as “health” oranges that could make juice. Sunkist Oranges were also marketed as having a 2 percent higher vitamin C content!

We’re confident this supermarket had an agreement with the brand as well.

Promoting Vegetables

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This is a picture of a shop window advertising their delicious potatoes. Keep in mind that acquiring decent local vegetables in the 1940s was much more complicated than today. Finding a dependable provider was therefore essential for a healthy lifestyle.

There’s even advertising for a cobbler on the window, which you’d never see nowadays. The mascot owl of the Store is also displayed on the window.

Multiple Items

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A woman looks at toothbrushes in a supermarket store in this image. Getting various items from a grocery store was unthinkable in the 1940s, but nowadays, practically anything can be obtained from a supermarket.

This business could have been the beginning of a user’s ability to shop for all their requirements in one location.


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In the 1930s, a butcher stands confidently behind his counter. It’s strange to see him dressed in what appears to be formal attire compared to what we’d see today on a butcher. It was all about how sophisticated you appeared in the 1930s.

To successfully sell his goods, this butcher needs to look his finest – at least in the era depicted in the image.


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This photo portrays an evening rush at a supermarket in the 40s. Clerks endlessly check out items and ring up their registers while the line seemingly never ends. Above the row of registers is a sign that reads “as seen in life.”

This means that the stores must have advertised their products and promotions in magazines of the same name.

Off Shopping

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This photo shows two young boys without a parent in sight. Their mother is probably off hunting deals or looking for the manager to ask about a product. The older brother is charged with looking after his young sibling sitting in the shopping cart.

This could have been one of the first instances of a child sitting in a shopping cart. Nowadays, we see mothers putting their young children in their carts all the time.

Family Business

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A lot of big franchises today started out as family businesses in the early twentieth century. Here’s a father/son business that started on the small side that stocked anything a customer might need.

These small businesses helped out hundreds of local patrons before there were too many big-name companies.


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Here’s a photo from the 1950s where a woman stands in the cracker aisle looking down at her toddler. It’s easy to tell which era the photo was taken from the way the mother is dressed – she’s got the iconic 50s hair and short-sleeved sweater.

What’s even stranger is the number of crackers that are on the shelves. They must have some cracker-loving customers.

Catching Up

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In the 50s, the dads of the neighborhood were meeting up at Ralph’s. They were showing off their cars. While they were doing that, the neighborhood mothers were running into each other at the supermarket a few blocks down.

They’d talk about the local gossip while picking out their weekly shopping to take home to their families.