Eba’s Cut Rate Groceries opened in the Corner Market in 1927, located just behind the 1st and Pike storefront occupied by 3 Girls Bakery. Eba replaced and probably bought out Ralph McDonald’s Corner Market Grocery in stall 103. In 1932 after Eba’s merged with Mutual Markets, this store did not continue as part of the chain. Instead, Eba’s former manager Harold Cohen took it over. It became Trade-Well Grocery. Trade-Well also had a location at 4901 Rainier in Columbia City.
These two stores must have still been entangled financially with Eba’s Mutual Markets, because they became locations for Tradewell Groceries after M. L. Bean took over Augustine & Kyer and Eba’s Mutual (Piggly Wiggly) Markets for Pacific Gamble Robinson in 1939. The Corner Market location continued as a Tradewell until at least 1940. 4901 Rainier continued all the way to 1957, when it was replaced with a modern store a couple blocks north. This later Columbia City location was discussed in my history of the Burien Tradewell.
Just inside the First Avenue entrance to the Corner Market Building is this plaque:
It’s misleading on a few levels and flat wrong on many others.
- First, Eba’s store opened by November 1908, not in 1910 as the plaque says.
- It implies that Herman and Minnie Eba’s store started in the Corner Market. In fact the stall was over in the Main Arcade. Which was the only part of the market in 1908.
- It implies that Earl Eba’s store at the Corner Market was the singular end result of his parents’ store. Actually it was the second store in what grew into a large chain of forty stores. Earl Eba had a store in the Corner Market for only a few years, while in contrast had his Main Arcade store for 17 years.
- Eba’s store in the Corner Market opened in 1927, not 1929.
- Finally, Tradewell Stores was formed in 1939, not 1934.
After the 1970s effort to save the Pike Place Market succeeded, the Corner Market Building was the first to be refurbished. Tradewell had an honest connection to the building, more than a decade long, so they donated large and got a plaque on the wall. It’s understandable for them to overstate the Corner Market connection of Eba’s itself. No excuse for getting the dates wrong, though.
The Tradewell Grocery Story
In the series:
- Augustine & Kyer
- Charles Louch Farm
- (Witness Weeps) – The Tragedy of Alvin Monson
- Piggly Wiggly Seattle
- Anderson, United and Mutual Markets
- Eba’s Cut Rate Markets
- Main Arcade Eba’s Store No 1
- Wallingford Eba’s Store No 7
- Seattle’s Drive-In Markets
- Seattle’s earliest car architecture in pictures – Drive-in markets
- Ice cream, beer, and the Montlake Drive-in Public Market (on CHS blog)
- 50s Futurism Forgotten – The Burien Tradewell Story
- Buy your rubber at City Market (on CHS blog)
- Capitol Hill – fancy groceries since 1923 (on CHS blog)
- A Broadway clock that tells history not time – Queen City Grocery and IGA (on CHS blog)
- Broadway Market v1.0 (on CHS blog)
- Blueprints of Broadway Market
- Piggly Wiggly on Broadway (on CHS blog)
- A shop on 11th Ave – Salle Brothers and Arai Grocery (on CHS blog)