I love old signage. Case in point:
Oh, yes. Isn't this glorious? I love everything about it - the colors, that "store" font, the ridiculously low price, the size (roughly 6 X 10"), the fact that the actual store name is featured - it's ALL good. :D
And how about that store? If you can't read it, it says, "Murphy's, the Complete Variety Store". From a quick Google search, I believe I discovered that these stores began in McKeesport, Pennsylvania and, like many other variety stores, had a lunch counter and low, low prices (here's something fascinating - in doing my research, I discovered this photo from a Murphy's - right here in Fond du Lac!! Is this true?!?! Native Fond du Lacians - help me out!). :D From the company website, it seems that there were many stores, mainly in the Eastern U.S. and some Midwestern states.
Because of my age, I pretty much missed the "variety store" days. By the time I was cognizant of store branding and retail merchandising, the "discount store" had taken the variety store's place. Sure, K-Mart had a cafeteria, but it wasn't the same as a lunch counter, at least to my mind. I'm pretty sure the Slushie was the only 'fountain' drink that K-mart served - no phosphates or egg creams there. :)
Because I enjoy living vicariously through those who have come before me, I would LOVE to hear any variety store stories you have. Please - share with me and the readers what you remember and loved the best about any variety store in your area - and don't forget to name the store! :D