Heidelberg Historical Society

The Grocers of Heidelberg

Posted on Thursday, 16th April 2020 by Janine Rizzetti

From our Facebook Page 20 March 2019

As we face the empty supermarket shelves, there’s something to say for the good old fashioned grocer behind the counter, complete with a chair for the shopper to rest her weary legs Here’s Mr Frank Jones in his shop at 182 Burgundy Street Heidelberg in the 1930s. His father started the business selling dairy produce in the mid-1920s and it continued trading as a grocers shop until c.1960.

The building is still there,now a nail salon.On the side there is a ghost sign advertising…I think Bushells??

Looking at the street directories from the 20th century, it is striking how many small grocery shops competed in a strip shopping centre. So let’s go back to the 1930s, when Mr Jones had his grocer shop at 182 Burgundy Street. Who were the other grocers in Burgundy Street?

Well, there was the grocery chain Moran and Cato down the road at No. 138 beside the lane with the mural today.

Further down the north side of the road there was Emery Brothers, at number 94 on the corner of Cape and Burgundy Street, where All’antico is now.

Crossing back to the south side of Burgundy Street there was Winsor grocery in the 1899 building on the corner of Hawdon and Burgundy, now occupied by a tax office. Even today it still has a sliding door that gives away its origin as a grocery store.

But would any of the four grocers in Burgundy Street have had toilet paper??? Well, it wouldn’t have been on the shelves. Apparently until the 1950s it was kept under the counter and sold discretely in pharmacies and newsagents.

So, during the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2019 you wouldn’t have been able to find 20-packs there either!

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