Black History: The Cut Rate Grocery On 6th Ave North
More than a century ago, as Ford workers were assembling Model Ts on North 5th Street, Creamette was producing thousands of boxes of pasta on North 1st Street and John Deere was shipping out trainloads of farm machinery from its Washington Avenue warehouse, a little grocery store/meat market was making a name for itself on 6th Avenue North.
In the Black-owned newspaper, the Twin City Star, Cut Rate Grocery billed itself as the “only colored meat market” in the entire city of Minneapolis, and it was located roughly where Be The Match currently has its headquarters–across the street from the Fulton taproom.
It doesn’t show up in searches of mainstream newspapers, but Cut Rate’s three proprietors, P.J. Buford, W.W. Humphrey and F.L. Jamison did advertise in the the Twin City Star.
A 1916 advertisement featured some of its prices: Hormel bacon for 17 cents a pound and 3 packages of Creamettes for 25 cents.
They offered delivery for orders over $1 and offered to do other types of light hauling.
Jamison sold his share of the business in the fall of 1916 to open his own meat market at 629 5th Avenue North–behind where The Fillmore currently stands.
Unfortunately, that’s all I could find of their story in online searches. The only year they advertised was 1916 and the Twin City Star folded in 1919, but it’s still interesting to envision these men operating their stores in the bustling era of manufacturing and warehousing here.
We have several more pages of neighborhood history in our Historic North Loop section.
By Mike Binkley, North Loop volunteer