A. T. Welch

Austin's Yesteryear Grocers Shoppe

This old shop is the realisation of Bill's dream to create an old grocer's shop of years gone by. Its purpose is to preserve the past and give pleasure, not only to those who remember the era, but also to younger generations, who find this glimpse into the past facinating.

The items span many years and were bought from old grocer's shops, antique shops and sales throughout the country. All items collected have been restored and are in working order. Some of the metal signs are over 100 years old. The large 'Oxo' sign was found in St Ives, Cornwall.

The old shop will take you back in time, to when self-service was unknown and pre-packaged and ready prepared foods were unheard of. The little drawers contained loose spices, root ginger, nutmegs, bicarbonate of soda and many other small items.

The grocer of yesteryear stocked corn, bran, washing soda, donkey stones, polishes, black lead and many other items which are no longer available.

A visit to the grocer was made weekly. Although the choice of foods offerred in those days was very limited compared with today's wide choice from all over the world, it was often time-consuming, as the majority of foods such as tea, sugar, butter, flour, dried fruits, biscuits etc., had to be weighed and packaged as required. People would leave their order, often to be delivered later by carrier bike.

During the Second World War food was rationed to be fair to all and customers had to register with a grocer, who would supply those items which were rationed like meat, sugar, fats, eggs and milk. Many items were packed in blue bags, some of which you can see in our shop. Everyone had a ration book and coupons were cut out each week for the goods bought. Many people who lived through this time, still talk about going for their 'rations' when they are doing their grocery shopping.

We hope that your enjoyment of our Yesteryear Shoppe will give you added pleasure during your visit to the historic town of Nantwich.