Do you remember neighborhood grocery stores in Midtown?

One of Midtown's early local grocery stores was Martin's Market at 1507 W. 47th, seen here in 1940.

One of Midtown’s early local grocery stores was Martin’s Market at 1507 W. 47th, seen here in 1940.

Decades ago, Midtown Kansas City had a grocery store in almost every neighborhood. Before the advent of large chain “super markets,” grocery stores were often literally mom and pop businesses. They grew up along streetcar lines and within walking distance of Midtown residential areas.

This map shows all of the groceries within Midtown boundaries in 1949, based on a Kansas City Star newspaper advertisement in May of that year.

The Valentine neighborhood had several small markets in 1940, both on Broadway and Summit Street (which later became Southwest Trafficway).

Sol's Market at 3305 Summit Street in 1940.

Sol’s Market at 3305 Summit Street in 1940.

The Manheim Park,  neighborhood had an A & P market at 4625 Troost.



In Volker, residents could walk or ride the streetcar to a Kroger store at 1423 W. 39th.


As part of our Uncovering History Project, the Midtown KC Post is taking a look at the 1940 tax assessment photos of each block in Midtown. 

Would you like us to focus on your block next week? Send us an email.

 Our new book, Kansas City’s Historic Midtown Neighborhoods, is available now. Let us know if you want us to come to your neighborhood association or organization’s meeting to share what we’ve learned about Midtown neighborhood history and tell your members how they can help preserve Midtown history. Order the book 


  1. Luann Heshion says:

    In 1936, we lived one block from Martin’s Market. My brother and I would be given a penny, each, and would walk up to Martin’s to buy candy. My brother, Bob, who was older, would buy one “banana b-b-bat” – (a rectangle of hard taffy, on a stick).
    I always got cinnamon squares – as my penny warranted two cinnamon squares. They were squares of hard, red, cinnamon candy – dusted with sugar. So, I learned, early, that the best buy, was 2 for 1. I learned to love cinnamon squares !!!

  2. Rob Hamby says:

    When I lived at 4307 Warwick in 1971, the building at 43rd and Oak was a grocery. I don’t remember the name. I don’t believe I see it on the map.

  3. John Williams says:

    The market at 43rd and Oak (NW corner) was the J&G Market. It was a great little store with a quality meat department. It served a very diverse neighborhood – older folks who’d lived there for many years, and students from UMKC and the KC Art Institute. The owners and employees treated all their customers like family, and like family, we were fiercely loyal to J&G.

    • Raymond Riggs says:

      I worked at J & G Market in the late 80s. That was quite a fun neighborhood to live in. We had a very eclectic customer base. I would say a good 85% of our customers were walk-ins from the neighborhood. I really have fond memories from my time working there.

  4. Frank (Jim) McGinley says:

    There used to be a small grocery store at 51st and main called Wieners. Had a screen door with a bell on the door when you opened it. Next door to country club pharmacy. On the other side was Pauls Deli. He had short history version on posters all around the ceiling. Excellent sweet rolls. My first legal beer.

  5. Daniel Reyes says:

    There was a small grocery store on 41st street and Holly in the sixties when I was growing up,.I do not remember the name of store

  6. There is an old building at 41st and Oak that appears to have been a grocery. Does anybody have any info on that ?

  7. Scherry Hill says:

    Trying to figure out the name of the grocery store on 25th and Brooklyn in KCMO in 1985

  8. The A&P store building at 4625 Troost is still there and in business as a True Value store. Hardly any change from the picture above.

  9. Jim B. says:

    Does anyone remember the old Main Street Supermarket locates just west of the intersection of 43st and Main St.?on the east side of Main St. at 43 st. Was a pizza parlor. Both buildings were bombed one night in the early 70’s. Anyone remember this?

    • Jim Brandes says:

      In the late 1950’s, there was a small grocery store on the West side of Gilliam Rd. just off 34st and next door to Berbiglia Liquors. Believe the name was Milhams Market. It was eventually closed and replaced by a bar known as Arabian Nights. As a kid, mom would send me to the store and pick-up bread, milk, etc. for the family.

  10. Does anyone remember the grocery store on the northeast corner of 33rd and Woodland ? It was across the street from the Ivanhoe Drug store. My parents always referred to the grocery store as “Lew’s” I guess because that was the guy’s name that owned it. This was in the mid to late 50’s.

    • Daniel Reyes says:

      There was a small grocerystore on 41st street and Holly in the sixties when I was growing up ,I do not remember name of store

  11. Keith Parks says:

    There was a store on the SW corner of 35th and Woodland called “Blaine’s”. As a little kid I’d walk about 2 blocks to get stuff for my mom to make dinner

  12. Daniel Reyes says:

    There was a small grocery store at 41st street and Hollywhen I was growing up in the sixties ,I do not remember the name of the store

  13. M. Williams says:

    My great grandparents had a grocery store at 4000 Wayne, in 1920. I sure wish I could find out the name and get a picture of it. The property is a park now. Thanks you!

  14. Sandy Thomson says:

    There was a small mom and pop market on Broadway about 33 rd street called Purity market. I lived on Central right behind the Westport Arms and we used to walk up there to get groceries. It wasn’t too far from Jack Frost Doughnuts that was in the VFW building on the west side of Broadway. Best warm doughnuts I ever had and they were only 5 cents! Yum!

  15. Dose anyone remember Broadmoor’s Super market on Main between 48th & 49th St. It was accross the Street from E.C. White Grade School. As I lgrew up at 4910 Wyandotte and frequented the store a lot, and I knew Mr. Horratwitzz one of the Owners. Also I have written a story of my experience and shnanigans of delivering KC Star & Time Newspapers in 1951-54, to Apartments & Homes of over 1100 customers in a 40 square block area South from Brush creek. I’m looking for other’s who had similar route experience’s and any pictures of the pickup trucks with the open added back platform under a canopy roof for my story!

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