Businesses early in Shreveport-Bossier’s history

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An article in the August 4, 1932 issue of The Bossier Banner proclaimed ‘The Red Rock Grocery is Name of New Store.’”

“How many of you remember that as you used to walk along the six hundred block on Commerce Street, in Shreveport, a rock, painted red, was to be noted lying on the sidewalk?  It was in front of what was then known as the Red Rock Saloon.  For a long time the old rock has been missing from its occustomed [sic] place, but now it is to come into use again.”

“The owner of the old red rock has just given it to Mr. S. Willer, former Benton merchant who for some years has now been residing in Shreveport, and who is this week to open a grocery and feed store on Commerce Street; and the old rock is not only to mark his front but to give his store its name—‘The Red Rock Grocery.’  There may be some degree of sentiment in all this—we don’t know.  But it is safe to say there is advertising value in the suggestion, and it is well to carry it out.”

“Mr. Willer’s location is next door to the popular firm of Roos Brothers.  For the present he will operate only a grocery store and quite likely add dry goods later on.  We are pleased to make known his selected location to his many Bossier Parish friends, and invite their attention to his advertisement appearing in this issue.”

In its August 18, 1932 issue The Banner announced the operation of another local business in a column titled “The Flower Pot Grows.”

“It is with pleasure we learned some days ago that the business of ‘The Flower Pot,’ a cold drink stand on Barksdale Boulevard, Bossier City, continues to grow.  Its popular proprietor is Miss Norma Thayer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Thayer, of Bossier City—and she is to be congratulated over her success.  When she opened her little place of business some months ago we doubt if she dreamt it would so soon grow to its present proportions.  But now the crowds come—and go—and then come again.  She has had to enlarge a bit, add new summer-time comforts and more things to sell to meet the demand of her patrons.”

It is an acceptable and agreeable place to stop for refreshments, especially if one likes good home-made Ice Cream.  Look for the big array of colored lights on your right as you drive out—about five blocks from the Traffic Bridge—and have your fill at popular prices.”

The following week Norma Thayer “requested that her Bossier Parish friends be thanked through the Banner for their exceptional volume of trade.  She is pleased to report to them that her business continues to grow—thanks to their thirst.”

“That good old Home-Made ICE CREAM that first made The Flower Pot popular with many is still featured.  Cakes, candies and cigarettes are also sold, as is Root Beer and other summer-time popular drinks.  A good radio going early and late—and a shady nook in which to cool off.”

“On your right as you drive out, about five blocks from the Traffic Bridge—and Miss Thayer says stop by and try out her refreshments—and call often.”

“And Again: Thanks to one and all.”

Learning about old businesses is always interesting so visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center to find out more about these and other early businesses of Shreveport/Bossier.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us