Stubbs’ Pak-A-Snak

Photos by James D. McKeown III, courtesy Steven McKeownThere has been a monster thread on the Facebook group Growing Up in Cape Girardeau about the businesses in the 1600 block of Independence. I wrote about the Pak-A-Snak, Fire Station No. 2, the Donut Drive-In, the Sunset Barber Shop and the Pink Pony Lounge in 2010.

Reader Steve McKeown sent me a bunch of scans of family photos his dad had taken way back when. From time to time, I go looking through them. This time I saw a shot of the front of the Pak-A-Snak after a windstorm had blown through town.

How do you spell that?

Photos by James D. McKeown III, courtesy Steven McKeownVarious people on Facebook came up with all kinds of variations of the name of what was probably Cape’s first convenience store. It’s a little fuzzy when I blow it up, but the sign on the building says Stubbs’ Pak-A-Snak. That’s also the spelling The Missourian used in several business briefs.

Second floor added in 1966

Pak-a-Snak 03-31-2010Frony’s business column in the August 18, 1966, Missourian said that construction is underway on a second floor to Stubbs’ Pak-A-Snak Market, 1606 Independence, this to be occupied by the Jack and Jill Play School, now in a dwelling at 1600 Independence and operated by Mrs. Marjorie George.

That means that Steve’s photo was taken before 1966. This one was taken in 2010.

Farrows opened Pak-A-Snak in 1933

The Missourian reported in January 13, 1960 that “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Farrow have purchased Farrow’s Superette at 1830 Bloomfield from Herman Schmittze …. Mr. and Mrs. Farrow sold the market 10 years ago to Mr. and Mrs. Al Schoen.

“Mr. and Mrs. Farrow have been in the grocery business since 1933 when the built Cape’s first drive-in grocery store, the Pak-A-Snak, now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Porter Stubbs. The Farrows now own the Snappy Sak-It on Highway 61, which they built and they will continue its operation.

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It’s a painless way for you to help me keep the computer running and the gas tank filled to bring you these stories.

19 Replies to “Stubbs’ Pak-A-Snak”

  1. This was a great little store. During the 1960s, when my family lived on Themis Street two blocks directly behind Pak-A-Snak, the store was a regular destination for quick reprovisioning. (I would make the short hike over the hill and through the Thelenius Winery grounds.) I recall it as literally packed with all kinds of things, probably more so than most convenience stores today.

  2. My daughter Stacy went to nursery school above it in the late 60’s. There she developed a real hatred for Mac and Cheese which continues until today. The Pac-A-Snak was always a stop for quick items and candy!….the store had roll up garage type doors in the front which in the summer time gave the store a very open look like an outdoor market. Cool place with a great name.

  3. Oh, what memories does this post bring. Looking back into the ’50’s, it seems that the Pak-A-Snak was my second home. My brother Tucker and I went daily it seems and there was no candy that wouldn’t tempt me. The box of candy cigarettes was a sign of the times I suppose, but the paper with the dots of candy affixed was a favorite. Just as exciting was walking past the haunted winery on the way. Thanks, Ken, for this memory on a dreary day.

  4. We lived in the 1700 block of Independence, and Pak-A-Snak was where we purchased lunch meat. Mom would send me there for three slices of this and six slices of that. I don’t remember every buying anything in multiples of 4 even though that was the number of people in our family. The penny candy selection was a child’s dream. 10 cents would buy enough sugar for a dandy stomach ache.

    1. Sally I think we were neighbors we lived a few doors from you my sisters were Brenda and Glenda.

  5. A blast from the past. Went there for penny candy and lunch meat…Porter Stubbs was a real character. One of our neighbors was a nosy, gossipy woman and every time she went in the store, Porter would haul out a can labeled “bullshit spray” and start spraying it.

  6. We lived in the 1700 block of Whitener Street and it seemed like a daily visit to the Pak-A-Snak was a must. We didn’t get a lot of candy from there but many a can of Campbell’s soups was bought along with others of life’s necessities. The Donut Drive-In across the street was a frequent stop on Sunday mornings before church. Their peach and apricot fried pies were to die for!

  7. The correct possessive is with the apostrophe after the s.
    When my uncle (Porter Stubbs)retired he sold the building to the Georges of Broadway Prescription fame and the Pak a Snak was closed and converted to expand the play school.
    Interestingly, I worked at both the Pak a Snak on weekends (1960 to 1964) and drove the delivery car for the prescription shop in the summer of 1964.

  8. Okay, come on Jane. You must reveal the name of the nosy neighbor who was the cause of the famous spray. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t our mom.

  9. Interesting references to Thelenius Winery. I recall the rumors that it had been a station on the Underground Railroad and that wine was made there (or liquor stored there) during Prohibition and the house was thus haunted. I wonder if any of that was true?

  10. Our dad went to church Sunday on a regular basis, but he made the trip to the Donut Drive-In even more so. How many calories do we suppose were in one of the jelly-filled long johns? Moreover, what WAS that red filling?

  11. The best was to go at dinner from the high school and get a big soda that was $.10 at Stubb’s and then go across the street and buy a dozen day old donuts for $.25. I would pay ten time that much not to get what we got then. Couldn’t be beat.

  12. Living in the 1500 block of Whitener, at one time most of my weekly “allowance” was dedicated to the pinball machine at the Pak a Snack. At a nickel a game, survival (winning more games) required knowing how to shake it just just enough to avoid tilting. THOSE were the days!

  13. I remember these well as the first Quick Shops of our days.
    How did they relate to the Stubbs Beer Garden on Broadway next to the IGA?
    That was owned by Thad Stubbs I believe, I’m sure they had to be related. I remember the fish pond in the garden that was spring fed.

  14. If I remember right, when I was in the 6th grade at Franklin Grade School, we were allowed to go the the Pak-A-Snak and eat at the lunch counter in the east end of the building. Always had chili. Not sure if this was part of P-A-S or if it was a seperate business. Anyone else remember this? Walter, the dots on the paper were a favorite. They also sold pea shooters.

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