Feb. 23, 2018 – West Bend, WI – As word filters around West Bend about the news surrounding Ries’ Sausage Plus there was a day when a small corner grocery was the buzz of activity in town.
Long before Piggly Wiggly, Pick ‘n Save, Sentry, Red Owl, Kohl’s Food Store and A&P – West Bend was home to a number of mom-and-pop groceries and food marts set up in the downtown and on quiet street corners.
In the 1930s there was the Perry-Page Grocery store on Seventh Avenue and Chestnut. It was run by Ida Page and Rev. Perry. That corner building, 403 S. 7th Ave., was home to Roffler Styling.
National Tea was the National Food Store located on Main St. just south of the West Bend Theatre; Edward Schmidt was the manager. National Tea later moved to N. Main St., just south of the brewery and Gene Stark was manager.
In the 1930s and 1940s Held Food Mart had three stores in West Bend. Harvey Held ran the store at 241 N. Main St.; it was in the Gonring Building where Grasshopper Restaurant is currently located. Another Held’s was at 121 S. Main St.; the current home of Ted Newman Signs. Held and Kirsch was also a local store.
Richard Krueger owned a little neighborhood grocery called the West Side Cash Store; it was on the southwest corner of 10th and Cedar St.
Flitter’s Queen’s Quality Grocery, 1270 Chestnut St., was on the northeast corner of Silverbrook and Chestnut where Tyberg Dental Clinic is located.
Kash N Karry was at 1411 W. Washington St. just to the west of Myrhum Patten Funeral Home, where West Bend Furniture and Design currently stands.
Otten’s Store was at 1805 Barton Ave. in what’s currently Small Town Bait & Tackle. The Otten family ran the store and the last member of the family business was Gene Otten.
Schuster’s Grocery, 1779 Barton Ave., was run by Tom Schuster; the store was across from the Gadow Roller Mills. Xpressions bead and yarn store is in the old grocery.
George Carbon’s IGA was across from the Washington House. The grocery was the old Central Hotel run by BC Ziegler’s father.
Winter Grocery was on the southwest corner of Oak and Main St. was a store started by Flora Huber who later added a little lunch room. Later the business was run by Bill Hess.
Henry E. Peters had a store in the 500 block of Hickory across from Winkler’s Office City. William Peters had a huge mercantile store in the same location.
Wegener’s Red Bell Market was a store on Hickory St. east of Sixth Avenue. It was run by Reuben Wegener. “Reuben would fill telephone orders for my mother,” said Kevin O’Meara.
Heipp General Store was at Fifth Avenue and Walnut. A photo shows Fred Heipp at the reigns with his dog Putzy. The horse was named Nancy and she served as the delivery horse for Heipp General Store since she was 6 years old.
At age 38, Nancy collapsed on the street and was unable to get up without help. Heipp retired Nancy and replaced her with a younger horse called Babe.
“Fritz Heipp delivered ice to our home for our refrigerators, before the electric models,” said Peg Ziegler.
The Heipp General Store was later home to Mehring’s Fishery, John’s Photography, and is currently Hometown Talents & Treasures.
Researchers at the Washington County Historical Society helped cobble together this partial list of grocery stores in West Bend.