The Store celebrates 50 years
Fraziers work as a team
By Joyce Fox
You can find almost anything you want, and most everything you need someplace in The Store. And if you don't, it probably can be ordered in for you because availability and customer service have been key words for 50 years of a grocery business that has been owned and operated by the family for four generations.
The Store, originally Culver Cash Market, was purchased by Peggy and Wes Frazier in 1951, and was located in an old wooden building that served as the first Jefferson County seat. A variety section was added onto the back, growing around two old concrete block buildings that eventually gave up their space and provided blocks for building material for The Store.
Flood irrigating canvas dams, shovels, boots, tennis shoes, overalls, blue jeans, and other goods necessary to meet the needs of local farmers and country folks were carried, and the merchandise changed with the times and needs of the community.
Four small apartments, located on top of the 2,500-square-foot grocery store, served as residences for the Fraziers, and also became home to Barbara Jean Schneiter after she married Wes, and Peggy Frazier's son Bob in 1960. The apartments were eventually remodeled after children Mark, Randy and Cindy were born, and Wes and Peggy's needs changed.
The children grew up helping in the store -- stocking grocery shelves, wrapping and packaging meat, putting up bottles in the cooler, and making block and cubed ice to sell.
Barb Frazier recalls daughter Cindy standing on a milk crate to operate the cash register.
"I was 8 years old when I was running the tills. (There are) a lot of good memories," said Cindy Williams, adding, "My folks worked morning to night, seven days a week. I worked Sundays with dad, and mom had some Sundays off to clean house."
The hard work of three generations became publicly acknowledged in the mid-70s when Culver Cash Market was renamed as Frazier's Market. The hard work didn't stop there -- as the community grew, Bob and Barb's dream for a bigger and better store grew into reality.
Bob acted as general contractor, and the whole family worked together cleaning concrete blocks salvaged from the demolished two adjacent houses. The blocks were sent to Portland to be tested for strength, and were found to exceed the building code requirements.
According to Barb, the first concrete pour for the floor took place on the hottest day on record for August. Finally, in June of 1981, a "Welcome Neighbors, Open at Last" sign appeared in The Store's window to welcome everyone for the open house.
The new building was named "The Store," according to Barb Frazier, because "everybody says `I'm going to the store' and given the multitude of merchandise carried, the family thought the name would be a great match. The 12,000 square-foot store carried the same things as we had -- all we did was enlarge upon it."
More store space, more work, and busier parents meant less involvement in their children's lives. "The hardest part was that as I got older, my parents were having a hard time coming to my games -- one of them would have to stay and work. A lot of sacrifices are made when you own your business," commented Cindy.
In 1987, The Store became an official family corporation and 50 years later it reflects the hard work of four generations. Cindy, who married Ron Williams in 1986, works together with her husband and parents. Ron takes care of sporting goods and salesmen, while Cindy does the books and banking. Bob runs the meat and produce departments, and Barb takes care of everything else, from balloons to flowers to gifts.
Although there is hired help, everybody pitches in doing whatever needs to be done. Cindy and Ron's 13-year-old son, Michael, now follows three generations' footsteps by stocking shelves, tearing down boxes, and running the till.