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