Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bygone Business: Davey's Market

In the days before supermarkets, Rochester had small grocery stores scattered all over town. One of these was Davey's Market, located at 1012 North Main St., corner of Lysander. The 60x90 foot store was built during the fall of 1945 and winter of 1946, and held its grand opening celebration in February 1946. Proprietor Thomas E. Davey offered a food locker department with a meat processing section that included a rendering room, smokehouse, and a room for picking and dressing of fowl. There were 624 frozen food lockers available for rent by customers.

Davey and his wife had bought out the former George Cook market in early 1945 and immediately began plans to build a modern store. The Daveys eventually sold the store and retired from business, but the new owner decided to retain the Davey name because it was by then well known in Rochester. Davey's operated until the mid-1960s, by which time the supermarkets had sounded the death knell for small town grocery stores. A furniture store succeeded Davey's in the building at 1012 N. Main, and a variety of other businesses followed after that. The structure was most recently the home of the Rochester Elks Club.

I grew up in the neighborhood near Davey's Market, and my clearest memory of the store is the small freezer case just inside the front door which held the "push-up" freezer pops. I remember being treated to the freezer pops on a number of occasions as a small child. I have no idea what else the store might have sold!

This advertisement for Davey's Market is from a March 1946 newspaper.

1 comment:

  1. We used to have hamburgers for Sunday night supper (dinner being at noon on Sunday), and my mother would send me down the street to Davey's to pick up 2 pounds of ground beef. It came to 98 cents, or $1.02 with tax. At 9 or 10, I felt very grown-up to be entrusted with this. One week I forgot to take the pennies with me. I'm sure the checker, who saw me every week and knew who my mother was, was amused by my panicked promise to get the rest of the money and by how fast I returned, out of breath from running, to settle my 2-cent debt.