18 thoughts on “NE Sandy Boulevard, circa 1936

  1. Henry Ford said about the Model T that “any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”

    This shopkeeper could have modified that to “any customer can purchase any brand that he wants so long as it is Heinz”.

  2. Could this have been a promotional display? I find it hard to believe that a grocery store could survive on one brand alone, especially back in those days when selection wasn’t as great as it is today 🙂

  3. especially amusing it is all heinz, as sunny jim apparently had its own house brand (sunny jim, natch). i find their jars and cans at many estate sales. have a jar for ‘pure washington strawberry preserves’ on the windowsill with flowers in it right now!

    i knew sunny jim was a name for seattle-based pacific food products, but didn’t know they had their own stores….

  4. also find the name amusing – aussie neighbor only called us kids that when we bad. ‘lissen sonny jim, stop mucking about with tha barbie before you get blown ter kingdom come!’

    not sure many australians would buy stuff saddled with a whiff of disapproval!

  5. Can anyone find any early photos of Mr. Fred Meyer? The age of the man in 1936 seems a bit old for this, but it makes me wonder if this photo might not be Mr. Fred Meyer in his Hollywood store. I think the appearance is similar.

  6. “Sunny Jim” must have made the rounds in those days. My husband (90 yrs old) said his dad always called him Sunny Jim. His name is Wayne. They did live in Seattle.

  7. I don’t think I realized that Fred Meyer’s brother Henry “Harry” Meyer was also a big name in the development of the local grocery business in Portland and beyond. He was the general manager of the store shown in the Archives photo. The store opened on 5 Aug 1933 at the 4059 NE Sandy Blvd. address. It was known as the “Sunny Jim Market” whose motto was “Always a Saving.” This address is across the street (west side of 41st) from the store run by his brother Fred, the store that became the “new” Fred Meyer (the bldg. still exists for the time being) in 1949. The building that housed the market is still there and houses several different small businesses. Before 1933 I think this building served as an earlier location of the Paul Schatz furniture store (which moved to a new building further north on NE 41st).

    The opening of Sunny Jim’s in Hollywood was a gala event according to the Oregonian’s fulsome coverage. The store stayed open for 15 hours and played host to 5,000 customers inside the store and outside on the sidewalks and street. Total attendance at the celebration was a reported 60,000. A local band (Al Pearce and His Gang) played on a stage as part of a short live program broadcast by KGW radio.

    Harry Meyer went to serve as president of the Piggly Wiggly chain, chairman of the board of Fred Meyer Inc., and helped develop a lot of other shopping centers around this metro region. His dates are 1896-1967. The man behind the counter in the Archives photo is definitely not Fred or Harry Meyer. I imagine the later development of the Fred Meyer Hollywood store made Sunny Jim’s redundant.

  8. Maybe ten or fifteen year earlier and those vinegar bottles would have been the the ones with the little handles on the side. I bet the Heinz rep liked this guy.

  9. There is a good biography of Mr. Fred Meyer available to read. If I remember right he didn’t talk to his brother/brothers for the last part of his life.

  10. While looking for the biography D. Johnson mentioned (so far without success) I found a Wikipedia article that says he was born Fritz Grubmeyer, in Germany. Another immigrant success story!

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