3/27/08

Another Sibling Assigment Makeup--The Little Blue Store

The last sibling assignment I received was from Inland Empire Girl. Here was her assignment for us:

"Pick a local business in the Silver Valley during our growing up years. Share a story that happened to you while being at that business."

IEG wrote about "Stein's IGA" here, and Raymond Pert shared about "The Furniture Exchange" here.
As I pondered on this assignment, I decided to write about a store that is virtually lost in our convience store society. That would be the neighborhood grocery store.

I think once Circle K and Seven Eleven stores started sprouting up, it hurt the small, neighborhood grocery stores.

The Sunnyside area of Kellogg had such a grocery store when I was growing up.

Some people called it "The Little Blue Store".

Other people called it "Swanson's".

To my friend AV and her family, it was "Mina's".

This small grocery store was located on Mission Ave. Ray and Mina Swanson ran the store. As you have probably figured out by now, it was painted blue on the outside.

When you entered the front door, you turned to your right and the small area by the cash register was filled with all kinds of candy. This had good points and bad points. It was good, because you could see all the candy very easily. But, unfortunately, I knew kids who it was TOO convenient for, because they stole the candy without paying for it.

If you went to the left, the store had a small bar where neighbors would come in and have a cold beer with Ray Swanson. They also had a cooler filled with beer and soft drinks, and probably had some other common staples, such as dry goods, eggs, milk, butter, etc.
But my memory was the candy choices.

Here are a few things I remember buying at Swanson's store.

Maybe it will help you think of some of your favorite or not so favorite candy from your youth.

Candy cigarettes. They really didn't taste that great, but they sure seemed fun as a little kid. Then I remember when the bubblegum candy cigarettes were introduced. These were bubblegum wrapped in white paper that looked like cigarettes. They were covered in powdered sugar, so you could blow on them and the puffs of sugar looked like smoke.


Necco wafers were another favorite of mine. The black ones are my favorite.


When the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" came out, it started a whole new product line of candy treats. I think this was the beginning of movie product placement. Not only did we have bottle caps, but there was also the Willy Wonka Chocolate Bar, and the Gobstoppers.


Pop Rocks caused quite a sensation when they arrived on the candy shelf. It was so fun to fill your mouth with these little bits of candy that popped and crackled in your mouth, and made a loud sound.

Wax lips were more fun to wear than they were to eat. The taste was actually pretty gross.
And I never was too fond of the wax bottles filled with different liquid flavors.


Red licorice ropes were another favorite.

Sunflower seeds were a cheap treat. For a long time, you could get a small bag for 5 cents. Then they went up to 10 cents, which was still a bargain.

What one of your favorite candies when you were a kid?

Did you have a favorite store you purchased that candy from?

9 comments:

raymond pert said...

I always thought Swanson's was short for "cheap beer for Kellogg minors".

Jojo said...

Cool story! I just drove by my "neighborhood" grocery and old elementary school two weeks ago. I'm old enough that it was called penny candy! It was right by the door too. You listed most of my favorites... I loved the pink and white Neccos! And I felt adorable in my red lips "smoking" my "Luckys"!

Cedar Street Kid said...

Thanks for the memories. We had such a little store in Wallace called Al's little Grocery. Many fond memories of buying "Nickel Sticks",an ice cream bar for, you guessed it, one nickel. wow for the good old days. Pop was a dime, and twinkies, my personal favorite, were only a dime.Kid's Heaven!

John L. said...

Your blog brought back great memories for me. My grandparents lived down the alley from Swansons and all the grandkids would walk to the store and buy candy. I was very sad when it closed.

Inland Empire Girl said...

Ahhhh! nothing better than Neccos. For us the store was Walden's. Best place to stop on the way home from school. Also... we had Donnie's Market ( Donnie Rinaldi). I miss those little stores. They opened the small store by Barney's restaurant this week. It is a Smoke Shack. Boo Hiss!

raymond pert said...

Don's Market was first Jim's Market. Jim Vergobbi (or howevr you spell it). Donnie closed it when Idaho instituted the sales tax. Get out the cuss box.

I bought tons of baseball cards at Don's Market. Jo Wambolt was the chashier.

Dad spent a lot of time at Don's Market in the back where he and Pape Savage and other guys sat on milk crates and bought beer out of the walk in cooler and shot the breeze and played cards sometimes.

I think a lot of people shopped at Donnie's for meat.

Silver Valley Girl said...

RP--So, is that where you got your beer as a kid? I don't remember Don's Market at all. I kind of remember the outside of the building once it was closed, but that is all. I forgot Jim owned it first.

Jojo--Where was your neighborhood grocery store? It was a treat getting that penny candy, wasn't it?

CCK--Yes, you were rich back then when you had a dime!! Now those nickle sticks sound pretty darn good!!


IEG--I don't remember Walden's either. I remember the name, but not the store.

Silver Valley Girl said...

John--Yes, it was sad when it closed. It was such a great little store.

Jojo said...

I don't remember the name of the street. It was in Nampa on the way to school, Lakeview elementary.

Funny, in Meridian we had a Don's Market that is now a bicycle shop just a block from MGT. When I was very little, it was called "Hoppy's Corner". I remember shopping there with my mom and my grandparents.