Throwback Thursday | The Mission Street Markets

Throwback Thursday South Pasadena News
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | Model Grocery on Mission Street, South Pasadena (1937)

Today, we shop for groceries at Trader Joe’s, Vons, Pavilions, Bristol Farms, and Grassroots Natural Market. Back in the day, however, local residents frequented the A&P Market, Safeway (Alexander Building), and Model Grocery (Taylor Building) on Mission Street.

With the growing affordability of automobiles and increased traffic from Route 66 (1926-31 alignment) in South Pasadena, a drive thru market was also installed at the corner of Mission Street and Fairview Avenue (Mike and Anne’s restaurant today).

Throwback Thursday South Pasadena News
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | Produce section of Model Grocery, South Pasadena (1937)
Throwback Thursday South Pasadena News
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | Welch’s Grape Juice window display of Model Grocery, South Pasadena (1937)

Model Grocery was a popular market at 1022 Mission Street earning a reputation for personalized service that extended from its store to the surrounding neighborhood.

Throwback Thursday South Pasadena New
PHOTO: Pasadena Museum of History | Model Grocery delivery truck (1937)

Model Grocery claimed to be “one of the finest grocery establishments in the United States.” Their home delivery of quality store produce and other household items was second to none.

PHOTO: The Thomas Collection | Newspaper advertisement of Ashton’s Bakery, South Pasadena

Ashton’s Bakery was another retail food establishment located in the heart of South Pasadena’s business district at 1014 Mission Street. Ashton’s slogan, “The bakery that caused mother to stop baking” due to their famous split-top loaf of course.

PHOTO: The Thomas Collection | Container tin of Aileen’s Peanut Crisp, South Pasadena

Aileen’s Peanut Crisp was a yummy snack to roll up in a handkerchief and smuggle into the Rialto Theater.

PHOTO: The Thomas Collection | Newspaper advertisement of C.A. Fosselman’s Ice Cream, South Pasadena

Many residents still remember the saddest day in South Pasadena history when in 1974 Fosselman’s Ice Cream closed its South Pasadena store on 1515 Mission Street (the corner building on Fair Oaks and Mission was scheduled for demolition).

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY IS WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY RICK THOMAS

 

 

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Author Rick Thomas is the former museum curator and vice-chair of education for the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. He served on the South Pasadena Natural Resources Commission, helping to maintain a strict policy protecting the city’s great old-growth trees. Using touchstone photographs from his own collection—one of the San Gabriel Valley’s largest accumulations of historical images and artifacts—as well as national, state, and local historical archives, Thomas provides a window to his city’s past and an understanding of why its preservation is so important.

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