Tuesday, July 7, 2009

G & M Variety Store, St. Joseph, Michigan

The G & M Variety Store in downtown St. Joseph is my favorite store in town.

Every time I enter G & M I am reminded of the S.S. Kresge's store in Westborn Mall, Dearborn, Michigan. S.S. Kresge's no longer exists of course but as a child I used to spend a lot of time there. It was the "Dime Store", as we called it. In my child's mind, I couldn't imagine why anyone would shop anywhere else! They had a little bit of everything in that store... clothing, housewares, stationary and greeting cards, toys, curtains, bed and bath linens, tools, perfume, cleaning products, costume jewelry, pets (goldfish, turtles, parakeets), and even a soda fountain!

G & M is slightly smaller than I remember S.S. Kresge's being. They don't have pets or a soda fountain, but they have everything else plus a nice selection of souvenirs! The very best part for me is the old wooden floor. Kresge's used to have that too. It takes me back to a simpler time when a variety store was a place you browse the aisles and fill a small but useful shopping cart and not have to spend a fortune.

Make no mistake, G & M is not a "dollar store". Their merchandise is a step above the typical stuff you find at a "dollar store". And it's organized and nicely displayed. The people at the registers (there are two of them) are friendly and helpful. The window displays are pure clutter but done in a cute way. And they carry a little bit of everything!

Run out of embroidery thread? They have it! Need to pick up a greeting card on the cheap? Theirs are all $.69! Want to spend a day organizing your desk? They have a wide variety of office supplies including file folders and holders! You say your child lost one of their shoes? No problem. You can buy shoes at G & M too!

G & M Variety draws me like a magnet whenever I'm in town. And when I have guests, I always take them there too!

3 comments:

  1. I think I would like to visit G&M for the experience and memories. There was a Kresge and Neisner's on Michigan Ave. before Westborn was built and I loved going in those two stores. Thansk Jasia!

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  2. You are right, Jasia, that G&M is a wonderful store; I remember going in it as a child with my grandmother whenever we would visit St. Joe from East Detroit. At that time (here is a little more history for you) the store was larger and included the building immediately next door (which is now Edgewater Gifts). You still entered G&M the same but, once inside, you could slip into the other side of the store by walking DOWN a sloping walkway. That part of the store was filled with seasonal items - Christmas decorations, gardening items, Halloween items, etc.

    G&M was also the place that my mother had her first job after graduating from St. Joe High in 1943. She was the cashier in the office (the office is still upstairs and can be seen if you look UP while in the store; you will see the office staff still there looking down on the shoppers. Every day, after work, she walked the 1 1/2 blocks to the bank with the money bag to deposit the day's receipts. Can you imagine anyone doing that now!

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  3. Oh Waleria, I'd love for you to come see it (and me) here in St Joe!

    Cheryl, How cool that you have family history attached to that store. I'm going to look up the next time I'm there!

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