Brighouse Grocery – The Red & White Store

In the days before the big grocery store and market chains completely took over the food sales business, Richmond was served by several family owned and operated stores. The stores were conveniently located in the areas in which most of their customers lived and usually offered phone orders and free delivery. Brighouse Grocery was located, as its name suggests, in Brighouse on the corner of No.3 Road and Granville Avenue.

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The original Brighouse Grocery store was built By Josiah Stirton in 1918 and was located at the intersection of No. 3 Road and General Currie Road. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1984 17 83)

The original Brighouse Grocery was built by Josiah Stirton around 1918 and was located at the corner of No.3 Road and General Currie Road. It operated there for several years, but moved to the Granville – No.3 Road building after it was built.

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The Brighouse Grocery Red & White Store, ca. 1955. The location was very convenient for customers arriving by tram, the tracks can be seen on the right.(City of Richmond Archives photograph 1993 29 2)

The new store, near the new Town Hall and the BC Electric Railway’s Brighouse Station was a far better location and the business thrived there for many years.

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Paul Meyer and children Michael and Heather in front of his store. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1993 29 1)

In 1949 the store was purchased and operated by the Meyer family, Paul and Bertha, who became part of the Red & White chain of independent grocery stores.

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As advertised in Life Magazine, the Red & White Grocery “Trainload Sale” offered great bargains on canned food. Bertha and Paul Meyer stand in their store, ca. 1955. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1993 29 3)

The Meyers owned the Brighouse Grocery Red & White Store from 1949 to 1963 offering telephone orders and free delivery.

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A smiling Bertha Meyer stocks the shelves at the Brighouse Grocery Store, ca. 1958. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1993 29 5)

The variety of items offered by the store made one-stop shopping a reality in what would be considered a tiny space by today’s standards.

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Bertha and Paul Meyer stand in the produce section of the Brighouse Grocery, ca. 1955. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1993 29 4)

Everything from cake mixes to produce and meat was available. If  riding the tram or driving to the store was not practical, your order could be phoned in and delivered for free, a service only now being offered by many of the big grocery chains of today.

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Brighouse Grocery in the sixties after the removal of the Interurban Tram tracks. (City of Richmond Archives photograph 1984 17 82)

The Interurban Tram, which would rattle the stock on the shelves when it went by, was missed by the store when the tram service was discontinued in 1958. Brighouse Station was just around the corner from the store and the reduction in business hurt the store’s bottom line. The store operated until about 1974 as the Brighouse Market. Well known photographer P.C. Lee opened his business there after it closed down.

Today most grocery purchases are made at one of the big supermarket chains or at one of the markets that specialize in produce sales, but many people have fond memories of the small neighborhood grocery stores of yesterday, run by local people who knew their customers by name.

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