Friday, May 27, 2011

Radford Brothers Grocery

1000 North Main Street

In the early 1970's, and with less than half the population there is now, you might be surprised to know there were at least 4 major grocery stores in town.  Two were located at Gables Shopping Center (see an earlier Post about Gables), another store was Kroger located on South Main Street where the Tech Bookstore now operates, and then there was Radford Brothers which was at the site of the now YMCA Thrift Store.

A banker friend of mine once quipped that it should have been called the National Bank of Radford Brothers because they were so customer-friendly they would let you go in and write a personal check for cash.  Heck, I remember doing that myself when I was a poor college student and there was no such thing as an ATM.

Radford Brothers had the real feel of a "mom and pop" store and their prices were some of the most competitive in town.  I have fond memories of shopping there, even returning soda bottles for a few pennies apiece.  My roommate and I existed on Kraft Mac & Cheese (yeah, in the blue box) and it cost something like 29 cents a box.

Radford  Brothers later became Wades Supermarket before being sold to the YMCA.

Anyone else have memories of shopping here?

8 comments:

  1. After A & P downtown closed (next to Western Auto), it was the only place my mom ever shopped, well...maybe a quick trip to Bluegrass Market. My Aunt Berneda lived across the road to the right of the laundramat.

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    1. your Aunt Berneda cut my hair for years..SHORT. My other had her hair done there regularly and occasionally took me with her to get a "trim." Berneda gave my mother a kitten that grew into a yellow cat that was just plain MEAN, but I loved him. Oh yea, My dad owned Radford Bros with his brother Cricket. I was "Hank's" daughter (youngest of the two). My dad loved Blacksburg nd he Virginia Tech students who he thought of as "kids trying their best." ED and Ray Allen and of course Eddie Akers,were all great guys who were in management positions...they were always kind to me. My dad brought me bent cans and opened packages and it kept me going until my husband graduated from Tech. Then I bought baby gifts with Green Stamps!! I saved them for years! Hank taught me how to make good biscuits..(it is all about the flour from Big Spring Mill in Elliston) and he ordered foods from countries no one knew existed then, the foreign students loved him. He paid for man a college semester or a church redecorations. He taught me that I was so lucky to live in a tow where there were lots of different people..not all the same. I believed him. HE taught me not to fear Russia or communism and to stand up for what is right and know it was my responsibility to take care of those who were poor. I miss him. He never thought money was the measure of a man. He died in 1993. John E. (Hank) Radford https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/john-e-radford_81307383

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  2. Oh, and WHO can forget S & H Green Stamps from Radford Brothers. It was always my job to lick and stick the stamps and count up the books collected so we could go to Roanoke and pick out our free gift.

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  3. In the early '70s I always shopped at Radford Brothers or Mick or Mack (south end of Gables Shopping Center). Radford Brothers had excellent meats and produce and they cash my paychecks from Doc Roberts.

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  4. Speaking of poor...I kited so many checks, some at R Bros but most of them at BGMarket I became a scientist of kiting. Couldn't do that today, too much technology. If the Chinese ever figure out how to shut down the internet, the first thing 'll do is kite a check, just for old times.

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  5. still speaking of poor.... After spending all our money on food at Radford Bros, we would go into the bathroom at the gas station next door a cop a couple rolls of toilet paper

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  6. Well, i actually worked there in the late 70's. i had the good fortune to also live behind the place at mcdonald street apts. anyone remember the manager, E.D.? it was a nice place to work. probably too laid back. it certainly would be nice to work somewhere like that now.

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  7. Well, i actually worked there in the late 70's. i had the good fortune to also live behind the place at mcdonald street apts. anyone remember the manager, E.D.? it was a nice place to work. probably too laid back. it certainly would be nice to work somewhere like that now.

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