Cape Grocers Association

Reader Bob Reese loaned me a copy of Cape Girardeau’s 1956 Sesquicentennial booklet. It’s full of cool historical facts, but I find the advertisements as interesting as the editorial copy. This ad for the Cape Grocers Association – CGA – is a catalog of familiar names. (Click on it to make it easier to read.)

I tried to find out a little about the origin of the group, but didn’t find much. A March 18, 1959, Missourian story said the CGA was enlarging its warehouse at 1901 Independence by 8,000 square feet – an expansion of almost 60 per cent. The membership, the story said, was up to 60 locally-owned retail outlets in Cape, Scott and Bollinger counties in Missouri and Alexander county in Illinois. (On the same page is a photo of an unnamed school being erected near Dennis Scivally Park. It would become Alma Schrader School.)

A June 8, 1932, brief said that additional warehouse space had been leased by the Cape Grocers Association at 111 Water Street.The brief’s not all that interesting, but if you scroll to the left, you can see photos of the Bonus Army converging on Washington.

Fred Lynch had photos of the Water Street building being torn down on his blog.


33 Replies to “Cape Grocers Association”

  1. Before they moved “out on the highway” Esicars had a grocery store on Broadway -as I remember, next to the Missourian Bldg. I loved going there on a hot day to get a nice cold cream soda (in a BOTTLE of course – not a can!!) Anyone else remember this little store?

  2. Oh wow….so many of them I recognize. I was thinking about Child’s on Broadway, where Dr. Crow has his dental practice, but that was an IGA chain, so guess that doesn’t count. But they had the best ham salad around. I’ve never had anything like theirs, ever!! They made it themselves and it was awesome! And yes Linda, the best,good, old cream sodas DID come in a bottle. The grape and cream were my favs. Strawberry wasn’t too bad either.

  3. I remember walking from my grandparents’ house on S. Louisiana St. down to Vogel’s to buy candy! Even though we had our own grocery store, this was still great fun. After it closed, I believe the building (corner of S. West End Blvd and Bloomfield Rd) was used by Lynch’s Fire Protection.

  4. At Franklin School, our second grade teacher (Mrs. Allison) would tell whoever was taking the lunch money to the office each day, “Now don’t stop at Fischer’s Market!” And I remember the family shopping there sometimes, too.

  5. I remember Werner’s Market well! It was on the corner of Broadway and Henderson where the new SEMO dorms are now. I used to walk from our house on Park Ave. to Werner’s when my Mom didn’t have something she needed for a recipe or I wanted a treat! Another fond memory was stopping at Fischer’s on West End on the way to or from Franklin school.

  6. Does anyone know if it is possible to get a copy of the video of the Sesquicentennial production at Houck Field. Quite a show as I recall. Also, I remember seeing a film at the Broadway Theater about Cape Girardeau….probably in the early 50s. Suppose that film is around somewhere?

  7. Locally, IMHO the best flavored soda was Milde’s – made in Jackson. Child’s IGA did have the best Ham Salad and Chicken Salad!

  8. my mom went to work at child’s on broadway,then moved to the store at town plaza. that was a cool had a coffee shop.child’s made some good products. but all from scratch…but like the times things changed. gooey butter coffe cakes went from assembling all the two plastic bucket had the batter the other had the topping.if i am correct i have child’s original recipe for gooey butter calls for corn syrup..and lard?..LOL! blechle’s was near our house. he was about the close his business and was a grumpy old man by that time. i worked for him as kid. afisher’s was down the street.fisher’s used to advertise catfish from the ohio river. i asked them what was the difference? i was told the ohio was a cleaner river and fish didn’t taste like cat fish from the mississippi.fishers is now a islamic center. vandeven’s was a cool supermarket too. in st.louis almost every corner had a mom and pop store..confectionaires is what the locals call confectionaries
    and i agree keith milde made the best favored sodas..i prefered the black is sad esicar’s is closed

  9. I had a small grocery store on south Ellis St. in the mid 50’s and I went out to Cape Grocers a lot and bought merchandise for my store. I had worked at Blaylocks on Broadway in the early 50’s. Chester Blaylock was a god friend of mine. I was his meatcutter.
    Joe Whitright “45”

  10. I worked at Childs in the Town Plaza for COE. Still have the pay envelopes somewhere. Wasn’t 16 yet, just a month or two shy of it and the State caught him. Fined Mr Childs $100.00 dollars and he didn’t like that so I was let go. We had Chappell’s market around the corner from our house before Del Farms moved in. He was a nice man.

    1. then jesse you must have known my mom..when did you work for wasn’t child’s first name walker? my mom was hannah cotner.i had a older sister who worked in the coffee shop jenny..or virgina jones

      1. Yes, Mr. Child’s first name was Walker and his wife was Erma. They were best friends of my parents. Does anyone remember when they had their original store in a different location? It was destroyed in the tornado of 1949. It wasn’t an IGA then, just Child’s Grocery and they lived above the store.

  11. I worked at Schaaf’s Grocery at 1007 S. Sprigg Street all through high school (1959-1962). I worked after school and on Saturdays. I can’t remember Mr. Schaaf’s first name but everyone called
    him “Sheepie”. Very nice man!

  12. I remember both Schaaf’s and Cavaner’s. When my family lived on Locust, we went to Schaaf’s, where my Uncle Connie worked with “Sheepie.” When we moved a few blocks north on Pacific, I would walk to Cavaner’s.

  13. Steven, Blaylocks was on west Broadway just west of where that street that went off at an angle, it might have been Normal st. Later, after Chet Blaylock closed his store the building became occupied bt a small radio station. I don’t recall the call letters. I did swing by there a few times on Sunday when I would be out delivering special delivery mail from the post office where I worked at the time before I transferred to Florida and I would sing with Deon Johnson & Carolyn, his wife and her dad Clinton Lincoln and my wife. We had a church program for the pentecostal church on Mill St. hill. Deons dad, A.J. Johnson was the pastor and was one swell guy!
    Joe Whitright “45”

  14. As I remember it, the CGA organization was an attempt to “fend off” the supermarket chains. The CGA folk worked together to get better wholesale prices. And thanks for the G & R Market, which I’d totally forgotten, probably because it went out of business shortly after we moved “north” on Pacific.

  15. Ken,
    Ask Carolyn Dillingham Seabaugh to send me her e-mail address. She and I were classmates for years, I was glad to see her message, and would enjoy conversing with her.
    Thank you,

  16. I started working at Ward’s Big Star at 14 years old with John Baker. We made $.50 an hour. They also mad what was called ham salad at first. They sliced all the lunch meats at the stores then. All the end pieces were saved. Later they would cook it some, grind it up with some ham pieces and ad pickle relish and salad dressing. Later the Gov. made them change the name as it became known as sandwich spread. It was delicious on toast. Wish I had some now.

  17. The name Cavaner’s Market on Sprigg St. sure brought a rush of childhood memories. My sisters and I walked several blocks from home with Mom’s list and our little red wagon. The kid in me swears Cavaner’s had the best Oreo cookies ever made. 🙂 Lemons and dill pickles were the “must” to have in the Summertime for all of us kids in the neighborhood.
    Thanks for the memories!!

  18. My comments are directed to Joe Whitwright regarding his employment at Blaylock’s Market on Broadway in the early 50’s. Chester Blaylock was my father and I spent my preshool and early after school years in the 50’s at the store since my Mother worked there also. I’m trying to recall seeing you. I do remember Clyde who worked there. As to the CGA Association location, I recall in the late 40’s or early 50’s going down to the Water St location to pick up groceries and watching men unload boxes from boats docked at the riverfront and taking them into the warehouse. Water St was really a busy location in those days.

  19. Childs on Broadway also had the best pork chops and dressing too! I also loved the ham salad. Have never found another like it! After my dad died, my mom and I often dined on the food from Child’s deli! It was great.

  20. Yes, Linda King, I remember Chet’s kids being in and out of the store. I was there when the Korean war was declared and was afraid I may have to go back in the navy but I had gotten married in 1949 and iur first daughter was born in August of 50 which is probably why I was spared going back in. I believe the Clyde you mentioned was Clyde Byrd, a really nice guy who lived over on Bloomfield road.
    Joe Whitright

  21. I worked my senior year (1968/1969),for Walker Childs in the COE program when it was located at Town Plaza. Hard work and a lot of fun.
    I also worked for Art and Ronnie Fischer, the fall of 1970 to the summer of 1971. I worked as the delivery driver for them and really enjoyed working for the Fischer family. Pleasant memories.

  22. stephen my mom worked at child’s IGA both on broadway and in town plaza was a deluxe place for the time with a coffee shop. hannah was her name

  23. I remember CGA. My parents owned Park Avenue Grocery at the corner of Park and Merriweather. If I recall correctly, the sold it in 1954 or 1955. I went with my mother to pick up cases of canned goods at CGA. We also picked up fresh produce at Cauble and Field. I believe CGA was located on Independence across from the old Central High (the one we attended). Cauble and Field was at the East end of William Street near the old Frisco freight depot.
    My job in the grocery was to sort out all those empty soda bottles so they were returned to the bottler they came from. When I started doing that, I could hardly lift one of the wooden soda cases with 24 empty bottles.
    I also recall that my parents sold groceries on credit and would deliver them.

  24. Grew up in my Dad’s grocery store, Popp’s Superette on Cape Rock. I stocked shelves and bagged and checked and delivered my whole childhood. Made many trips to the CGA warehouse on Independence. Got in trouble a few times tracing the hand trucks and other rolling carts! Also used Cobble and Fields to get fresh fruit and vegetables. Good memories all.

  25. Sorry to be so late to the party, but I’ve just found this website. Chester Blaylock was my uncle (Linda King who commented above is my cousin) and I remember his store on North Missouri Street after moving from the Broadway location.

    Many afternoons on the way home from Franklin school I stopped at Child’s and read comic books for as long as I dared. The comics and magazines were on the back side of the office and out of sight and mind pretty much. I also remember when I was 7 or 8 going down to Child’s in my bare feet with a quarter Dad gave me to buy him a pack of cigarettes. The pennies of change I could use to buy bubblegum.
    Didn’t Fischers advertise “Fresh Tennessee River Catfish”? I remember the same explanation that it was better and safer than Mississippi River fish.

    I’m also recalling a store on the north side of Independence between Minnesota and Sunset that we used to stop at and get candy sometimes, but I can’t remember its name

    1. Mother would park me in the comic book section when she went shopping at Childs’s. She could have taken a week to load up her cart, and I wouldn’t have minded a bit. Regular comics were a dime, and the big, special ones were a quarter.

      Dad’s favorite was Scrooge McDuck, so I’d always try to bring one of those home when a fresh one came out.

  26. What was the name of the grocery store on West End Blvd? Its where the Muslim center was at one time.

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