5.28.2010

Little Green Store

Hopefully someone from the Inver Grove Heights area can comment here as I'm not positive on the history of this place. I had visited the Little Green Store a couple times. I thought I remember it being called the Green Store, but the faded sign reads 'Little Green'. Hopefully someone from the Inver Grove Heights area can comment here as I'm not positive on the history of this place. I had visited the Little Green Store a couple times twenty plus years ago, I had a friend that lived not far from here. I thought I remember it being called the 'Green Store', as the faded sign above the store reads 'Little Green'. I'm sure that must have been it and I just don't recall it correctly. However, this place must have changed ownership as the official sign, which is not pictured, now reads 'Heights Superette'. Anyone in IGH land know any additional history on the place or can you fill in the holes of my story?

7 comments:

Courtney Celley said...

I love finding old buildings, especially businesses. It's interesting to look at them and wonder what happened.

RickM said...

Think it was always officially called “Heights Superette”…Though if you grew up in and around the South Grove area it was colloquially known as “the Little Green Store” or just “Little Green”. This name did eventually get put on the sign and painted on the outside of the store too (“The Little Green Store”). I have really fond memories of this little, concrete box (not to be confused with the soul destroying Big Box Stores – which came later.) It was probably one of the very few viable businesses in Inver Grove in the 1960s…I went to South Grove Elementary school near the store (closed also now I think.) We were the sons and daughters of the South St. Paul Meat packers that bought houses in the area in the late fifties and early sixties….I remember you could get a 3-pack of comic books for a quarter (a Marvel, a Charlton and an Archie.) I remember a (seemingly) huge candy counter behind the clerk at the cash register where you could get baseball cards, football cards, hockey cars, Big Daddy Roth car stickers…any kind of bubblegum cards really, pixie sticks, penny candy…You could get a plastic model for a buck (I got Mr. Spock blasting a 3-headed snake once.)The models were over the ice cream freezer…Your mom would send you there for a half gallon of milk or a six pack of pop bottles…They had food too….I remember Mr. Jackson ran the place with his wife for years (Mrs. Jackson). It was literarily a Mom and Pop store…then later the Welch family owned and ran it. It must have been a huge undertaking but I don’t remember them every having much in the way of stock help… Years later (early 1990’s) I went back and I was shocked by how small the place suddenly seemed…The register clerk had just caught 2 kids ripping off that bubble gum that comes in long strips….I recall also a news story of some idiot crack head sticking the place up for $20.00 dollars not long before it closed too…But if you were a kid growing up in Inver Grove with a handful of change in your pocket…the place was fricking magical. …Yeah, its 1969… Creedence Clearwater or the Twins on the radio and I’m biking up to “Little Green” to score some comics to read in the shade…I’d go back in a heartbeat if I could…

Steve C said...

Now that is the kind of follow up story I was hoping for. Thank you for sharing Rick your story Rick.

Michael said...

It was such a wonderful store, the owner was very kind.
A bit TOO kind however, he let people run tabs, and not enough people paid back their tabs, and the place went bankrupt, so it had to be shut down.

Jimmer said...

I used to work at the Heights Superette (affectionately known as "The Little Green Store") in the early to mid Eighties during high school. The owners at that tome were Bob and Donna. The wife of the original owner, Marge Jackson, also worked there on a part-time basis and always had a happy attitude and literally whistled while she worked. Fantastic lady! She lived next door with her retired husband "Jackson". I did many jobs including stocking the shelves and the refrigerated items in the walk-in cooler which always made a big resounding "thud" when you closed the door. I can still hear it! I also fondly remember hauling wooden crates of glass-bottled soda from the shed behind the store. People used to bring in their empty eight-packs of soda and exchanged them for a new one. Ah! The good old days of a glass bottle of RC Cola! The basement of the building housed overstock and other dry goods. It even had a working range and oven down there along with a sink and counter. Marge used to tell me that she used to make Sunday dinners down there when she and "Jackson" owned the place before Bob and Donna. Bob and Donna were great to work for and were very kind to me. The sold the store in the late eighties. I feel fortunate to have worked in a true "Mom and Pop" store. Sadly, I drove by the old place this summer and discovered that it was over- grown with weeds and shuttered closed. We need more "Little Greens" in this world!

Chris H. said...

RickM's post was spot on. I went to South Grove Elementary and lived not terribly far in the Rolling Meadows (sometimes referred to as Rolling Ghettos) town home complex.

Little Green was where all my allowance went. They were my supplier of pop, pop rocks, snappers, and parachuting army men. The only place a kid could bring his allowance and feel absolutely rich when they left. Ah..the memories.

JanJ said...

WOW!! Used Google Maps and "went" back to "The Little Green Store" (that was the name everyone called it even though it was Heights Superette")& then poked around and ran into this blog. Memories galore come flooding back. Grew up on 72nd St. & went to South Grove Elem. School (now literally vanished from the earth; just dirt there now where once the school stood)just down from the store. But it's true... all you needed was a quarter in your pocket and magic happened there!! Us girls from the neighborhood would jump on our bikes, ride pretty much the whole way without touching the handle bars, drop the bikes and loose all track of time in that little place. Dilemmas abounded... get something cold like a Fudgesicle on a hot summer day or get my all time favorite, the (?)Mickey's Banana Flips ... truly a awesome thing to behold with overflowing banana filling in a "twinkie-like" cake that was shaped like a folded over taco. It was in a cellophane wrapper & rested on a cardboard card ... would take several minutes just to lick off every bit of the filling before taking your first bite, because no way did you want to miss any of it! I would give anything to have one of those again. As far as I know, they are no longer made ... sad, sad, sad! The Banana Flips, the "Black Cow" fudge-coated caramel suckers that seemed to last all day, Bonomo's Turkish Taffy, Nut Goodies, Old Dutch potato chips, your favorite glass bottled "Pop", Bazooka gum with the comics (best when it was fresh & didn't break your teeth)... I could go on & on. It seemed we'd spend at least an hour there just looking and deciding, 'cause a quarter went a long way! And the owners were just as sweet and patient as could be with us kids. In a heart beat .... there was no place us kids would rather head off to (OK.. well maybe Dairy Queen)then "the little green store" on a long, hot, summer day. Riding our bikes back home single-file, our arms flying in the air as we careened down the hill along Cleadis Way E and shouted to the girl behind us "Clear" so she also could shoot across the intersection at Cleve Ave E without slowing down .. great, great memories!