Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
Aasten’s Grocery

Aasten’s Grocery
302 Queen Anne Avenue

Photo courtesy of Molly Aasten
Photo courtesy of Molly Aasten

Aasten’s Grocery, which opened in 1925, stood at the corner of Queen Anne Avenue and Thomas Street for twenty-seven years.  Like many other small neighborhood grocery stores of that era, it was a family business owned and operated by immigrants to the United States.

John Gunnufsen Aasten was hardworking and ambitious. He was born in Hovind, Norway on March 8, 1887.  Aasten and his wife Karen came to the United States from Norway in 1906.  He was nineteen.  On his arrival, he listed his occupation as laborer.  In 1917, on his Draft Registration card, he declared himself a miner employed by the Seattle Engineering Department.  By 1924, however, he had found his calling.  On the Declaration of Intention he filed that year to become a United States citizen, he registered his occupation as grocer. …Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
Aasten’s Grocery”

Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
Dick’s Drive-In Predecessor – the Motor-In Market

Where Dick’s Drive-In now stands, the Motor-In Market opened Oct. 17, 1930 at 500 Queen Anne Ave. N. The innovative market was the first of its kind in the neighborhood.

Its eye-catching tower lit up at night to ensure people could find the location. The pioneering L-shaped building had parking for 100 automobiles, with a Shell gasoline filling station onsite. Attendants parked cars for motorists, according to an advertisement in The Seattle Times. While shopping, customers could have their groceries delivered to their cars, and a special numbering system ensured that the right packages were delivered to the correct cars.

(Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Archives, circa 1937)
(Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Archives, circa 1937)

…Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
Dick’s Drive-In Predecessor – the Motor-In Market”

Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
S&M Market

2201 Queen Anne Avenue North: 1933 – 1989, 56 years at Queen Anne location

S & M ca. 1985 (source unknown)
S&M Market ca. 1985 (source unknown)

At the top of Queen Anne Hill, on the corner of Queen Anne Avenue North and West Boston Street, stood a small, independent grocery beloved by many on the Hill. The owner of the store was Morris Mezistrano, a self-made man and extraordinary entrepreneur.

Morris’ story is an inspiring one.  He overcame the hardships of his youth to lead a remarkable life.  He was born in Gallipoli, Turkey in 1909.  His father was a well-to-do businessman who owned an import-export business and a successful store.  But his family lost everything when trapped in the chaos of the First World War.  His father was killed, his father’s store was bombed, and their business and all their material possessions were destroyed.  Earlier, his sister had moved to Seattle to enter into an arranged marriage. When Morris was nine years old, his mother and her four sons, including Morris, escaped Turkey and made their way to Seattle, sponsored by Morris’ sister. …Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
S&M Market”