Neighbourhood Stores

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Neighbourhood Stores

“Go over to Bert’s and get me a package of bickies (biscuits). The ones made by Purity.”

Every town, village, city had or still may have their neighbourhood store which is an owner operated grocery store. I grew up, well for the first nine years of my life, in Creston South. Creston North was across the tickle.

There were two stores in our small town. One we called Bert’s and the other Doug’s. We would go to one or the other for our one cent candies or if we were fortunate enough to have a quarter we would buy a pepsi or a coke and a bag of chips or cheesies or was it cheezies.

Bert operated the store with his wife Bessie. Sometimes we called it Bessie’s. Bert had very little schooling. One day one of our neighbours sent one of her sons over to Bert’s to buy a box of biscuits. He returned with a box of tampax. Bert told him that it was a new type of biscuits that they had just bought.

Doug liked to drink and you weren’t sure, when you went there, if he would be drunk or sober. I recall one day, I went in to buy some candies and he called me doctor. That became my nickname. Doug would put a nail hole in an egg and suck out the contents. As young kids, we were very impressed.

My grandparents lived about a mile down the road and there was a store near them owned by a Mr. Hooper. It was called Nickie’s store. My grandmother would always have coins rolled up in a hanky or handkerchief . I always thought it spelled hankerchef. She kept it in the pocket of her apron. It as a rare occasion that Grandma Hooper didn’t wear her apron. She would unroll the hanky and give us a nickel to go to Nickie’s for a treat. She was an angel.

There were two larger stores owned by merchants. One was J.W.Wiscombe and the other was Reddys. They carried groceries,  dry goods and hardware.

We moved from Creston South To Manuel’s in 1958.  Twenty something flat tires later is another story. There were a few stores along the highway that were snack stops. I recall Banfield’s in Bay L’argent, Jack Beck’s and Day’s in Swift Current. There was a stop at a store in Goobie’s and a corner store in Bellevue. The Moorland’s in Whitbourne and Morgan’s in Seal Cove. There were a few others that I can’t remember. The trip took about eight hours before the Trans Canada was built and the Burin Highway was upgraded and paved. Now it takes about four.


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