Photo Archivist's Selection of the Month: January 2002
The E.B. Hoit Company
Grand Central Market in 1913
E.B. Hoit Company had a flourishing market, the Grand Central Market, on
480 Main Street in Stamford. Founded by
E.B. Hoit about 1880, it became a Stamford landmark, and was listed in the
1883-84 City Directory as “Hoit, Edward B., proprietor, Grand Central Market.” About
Mr. Hoit's earlier venture as a butcher in Long Ridge Village, in northern
Stamford, one can read here.
The Market served customers from Riverside to the west to Tokeneke to the east.
Guide to Nature magazine issue of May 1913 brings
us a lively article about the business in its “Local Department
of Observations and and Suggestions” section.
Its photo illustrations are mouth watering...and
the sentiment expressed below somehow seems to have come full circle in the
modern day quest for unprocessed, organic food. And we all yearn for a genuine
old-time market...even those of us too young to have experienced one. With
apologies to our excellent locally run supermarkets!
Clearing House for Nature's Food Supplies.”
“Since we all
depend upon nature for food it is astonishing that the interest in nature
herself is not deeper and more widespread. Probably
more than half of mankind is really interested in nature as the bountiful supplier
of their need for sustenance and clothing, yet every human being is of necessity
dependent on the supplies that come from nature because the requirements
each must be met regularly and in proper quality. Otherwise our physical body
suffers, and as a result our mentality deteriorates.
“It follows logically
therefore that everyone must be intimately concerned in the source from which
these supplies are obtained. If we were to
detail the varying aspects and concomitants of animal life or of plant life
in the abstract, not every one that reads this magazine would find in the
anything worthy of personal application or of personal study, but we are sure
that we now have a topic that will interest without exception every one of
many readers that have their residence along the Connecticut coast between
South Norwalk and Greenwich, because this comprises the region of territory
natural supplies from her zoological and botanical domains are distributed
most satisfactorily by The E. B. Hoit Company of Stamford, Connecticut.
“The growth of
an institution is like the rising of the mercury in the thermometer which
registers the increase of the temperature. The growth
of a business is an evidence of an increasing warmth of cordiality and appreciation
on the part of the patrons. This constantly rising business thermometer is
token of success in the firm's method of distributing mature supplies of meats
and vegetables, and shows that this company has received the approval of
public in the past, and is meriting a continuation of that appreciation on
account of the remarkably good manner in which the business is conducted.
Editor's Note: One wonders whether the gentleman at the right
below might not be E.B. Hoit himself . . .
|A CONNECTICUT-COAST CLEARING HOUSE FOR ANIMAL AND PLANT FOOD SUPPLIES.
||A PLEASING GREETING AT THE ENTRANCE.
“It requires no small amount of skill to be successfully
the middlemen, between nature's productions and their use by the people. The
essential qualities here are as they are along any other line of human endeavor;
namely, love of the work, and kindly and generous consideration for the welfare
of others. The moment at which neglect enters, or when one has in mind wholly
and only his own selfish advancement, at that moment disintegration begins,
and whatever the occupation may be, it then ceases to grow or to win favor.
The entire atmosphere of this old-time market is that of faithful service and
of courtesy to its patrons. Not a thing that should be done has been left undone
by way of pleasing arrangement and an attractive presentation of goods, as the
accompanying illustrations show, while the absolute cleanliness even to slightest
details is as delightful to look at, as it is to think about. Those that do
great things do them with apparent ease. When one is equal to the task, the
task is done with system, calmness and apparently with little effort, though
the efforts are really strenuous. It is only when the task is too great for
the doer that the “flusserbudget” style of service enters in. After
all that has been said by the experimental scientist in relation to the comparative
food value of different edibles, mankind will continue to eat what their appetites
call for and their taste craves. The same principle holds true in regard to
the store in which they will obtain the desirable things. People will gladly
go where they are well treated and are made to feel that their kindly consideration
is of prime importance. For these reasons this market has grown and is growing.
These two purposes are its fundamental principles, its two corner stones of
success. It supplies what is wanted and does so in a pleasing manner. No more
and nothing better can be said of any other institution. That institution's
growth follows as a matter of course. We are but parts of one great family
which each must give good service to the other, and do so with courtesy and
WELL CLASSIFIED AND ORDERLY ARRANGEMENT.
ATTRACTIVE DISPLAY OF HIGH-CLASS EDIBLES.
It is astonishing
how these elements of good service have been recognized and applied with
the larger and more successful business establishments,
and how such have increased within the last few years. Compare a modern market
with the old-time method of doing things slapdash, clean or not, and all
the term “modern market,” implies and connotes is found in The
E. B. Hoit Company's establishment.
was brought to its present high standard, by the well-known efficiency and
thorough knowledge of the proper method of obtaining
and distributing nature supplies and by the genial personality of Mr. E. B.
Hoit, who for several decades has been as reliable as any human being can
In recent years he has been efficiently aided by Mr. A. B. Chichester and Mr.
Walter W. Brush, who now chiefly carry the responsibility and the work of
the business. Mr. Hoit has well earned the privilege of devoting less time
to this special pursuit, while he devotes more time from a limited amount
to the care of other commercial interests. He is fortunate, and so is the public,
in having these well trained, enthusiastic assistants to give all their time
and attention to the business. They do it successfully. Those who have been
patrons of the market for several years have with pleasure noted the steady
advance and the steady growth of the improvements, and can easily predict
with the rapid increase of Stamford's population, the market is still going
on to greater things because of intrinsic merits in quality of goods and
for supplying them to the public promptly and politely. Probably few markets
outside of New York City are so thoroughly equipped with every modern appliance
for handling meat, fish and vegetables, for promptly taking orders and for
the goods. Gasoline automobiles have annihilated distance, and a patron in
Riverside or in Tokeneke can have an order filled almost as promptly as a
Stamford. We congratulate the members of the firm upon their successful career,
and extend to them our heartiest good wishes for the future prosperity of
great clearing house for nature supplies, and we felicitate their patrons for
their privilege of dealing with such men, and in so pleasing a place.”
Editor's Note: I had hoped to find more information
and images about E.B. Hoit and his business. The Stamford Historical Society
welcomes any information and/or images readers may have. We gladly would make
copies of photos, or accept digital images.
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