Kansas City MKT & GRO aka Merigold Meats

Yesterday’s post was about the Gong Company, a Chinese-owned grocery store in Merigold.  Next door was what we assumed to be a separate store, although the sign is definitely revealing a connection.  I am going way out on a limb here, and this is total speculation, but then I have been known to draw some conclusions on shakier data than this.  I also always point out that I am connecting a theory, not stating it as fact.

Under the Merigold Meats sign, which is what led us to think it was a different store, is visible Kansas City Mkt & Gro.  The Gong family store sold “fancy groceries and Kansas City meats” according to the ad in the 1937 Fidelis.  Based on the scale just visible inside the window and the older less visible sign, I think this was part of the Gong family store, housing the meat market section.  It looks like the scale now only holds file folders rather than weighing foods.  Given that there are almost no meat markets anywhere anymore (the kind where a butcher cut the meat from a side of beef in a freezer in the back), it would stand to reason that the meat market is no longer a viable business in a small Delta town.  What we observed in Shelby and Clarksdale is the ubiquitous “pick 5” for $17.99–although where it originates is not identified.

Love the screen door–should have kept flies out of the market on those hot summer days in the Delta.  The door handle style was common on doors in the part of Texas where I grew up, and were usually advertisements for Mrs. Baird’s bread, made in Fort Worth and Abilene.  Those had a small sign attached to the right of the handle with the Mrs. Baird’s name.  The smell of baking bread permeated South Treadaway in Abilene, only blocks from my cousin’s house.  One only had to step out of the back door and it was almost like being in Mrs. Baird’s kitchen. As you entered Fort Worth, you drove past the Mrs. Baird’s bakery, and in the early years, the smell of bread was stronger than the exhaust fumes from cars.  The bakery was demolished several years ago to make way for a new freeway, and the bakery in Abilene closed a short while ago.  Like this meat market, relics of the past.

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5 Responses to Kansas City MKT & GRO aka Merigold Meats

  1. debbie says:

    Whoa, green tile is beautiful, looks like in great shap. Caftsmanship,

  2. Suzassippi says:

    It is, isn’t it? The tile was what drew my eye in the first place.

  3. gary wun says:

    The store between the Gong’s Store and the Kansas City Meats was my Grandfather’s store…J.N.Wun store. He was a merchant just like the Gong’s.I believe he opened the store in the late 30’s. He closed the store in the mid to early 70’s. The family lived in the store until Granddad bought a house on the South end of Merigold on Highway 61 in the early 50’s (second house next door to Johnny and Cackie Meyers, facing the Railroad tracks. There are some apartments, or were, on the other side of the property) The Gong’s were very good friends of our family. Granddad died in 1981, and Grandma died in 1984.

    • Suzassissippi says:

      Thank you for providing this additional information. Was the store also a grocery store, or did he provide other merchandise?

      • gary wun says:

        He sold groceries. As I remember the store had 3 aisles, there was a meat counter where he cut meat and cold cuts, produce section, dairy and freezer for icecream, beer cooler and the Coca Cola ice box. Typical mom and pop store.

        I dont believe the Gongs ever ran the “Merigold/KC Meat Market” when it was open. I remember back in the early 60’s when all three stores were open, not sure why I never really ventured over that way, but Keith and Sonya Gong and I would play when we visited. However I think the Gong’s bought the property that was my Grandfather’s store when he retired, so it is possible he bought the other property when they closed too.

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