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Altin Grocery

Acrylic and mixed media on birch cradleboard

12 x 16″

ALTIN’S Grocery was a perfect place to stop on North Railway on the way home from school activities or a day of shopping downtown.

My mom use to complain that the store was too expensive, but I remember the owner as being a kind person with a friendly smile.

The feature I loved most about the store was it reminded me of the store on “The Little House on the Prairies” The shop owner had various central displays in the middle of the store. The special goods on sale for the week were featured in stacks up three levels high. I was scared to bump anything with my backpack for fear the whole of the table’s contents would topple over onto the floor.

It was also a place to see real Hutterites. You could see them in the store, up close and personal. You could examine their dress and listen to their German accent. The shop owner of Altin’s did a lot of business with the colonies. I would jingle my few pennies in my shorts, drag my fingers over the tops of the wood shelving in the center isle and listen to the conversation between the colony boss and the owner.

After I had heard enough, I would finally decide on the penny candy of choice—blue whales, because nobody in their right mind would choose anything else—pay for my treat and make my way home to the eight hundred block on Balmoral Street.

Historical photo courtesy of the Esplanade Archives

Additional information

Dimensions 12 × 16 in