BROOKSIDE MARKET – 6007 Excelsior Blvd.

Brookside Market stood just west of and attached to Brookside Drug (6001 Excelsior Blvd.) The following information and the picture were provided by Ray Hartmann, son of George Hartmann.  

George R. Hartmann and his wife Esther worked together running the grocery store and meat market, which was open 7 days a week. Their sons Charles, Raymond, and Richard also worked in the store at various times. They had some full time employees and part time neighborhood boys who picked up fresh produce daily and meat from distributors in the Minneapolis farmers market and the warehouse district in downtown Minneapolis.

George’s Father, Charles Hartmann of Shakopee, was the proprietor of the Jack Sprat Food Market and also owned and operated a slaughterhouse with his six sons and one daughter. All of the boys became competent butchers. George went to work for the Cudahay and Swift meat packing companies in Wisconsin in the Thirties, with the result that he was able to obtain all the meat products he could handle, even through the rationing restrictions of WWII. He did not gouge people with the OPA ceiling prices, and helped many families in the area by providing them with credit. Customers came from far and wide, even Minneapolis to get meat. The lines lead from the meat counter out the front door, past the Drug Store and around the corner and past Al’s Barber Shop. George also supplied meat to restaurants such as the El Patio and to the National Tea Company.

In the Forties, when gambling was thriving, Kid Cann asked George to run for Mayor of St. Louis Park, since he was one of the most popular businessmen in town. Cann wanted to institute gambling in St. Louis Park on a grand scale [and figured George would be a respectable “front” – a tactic he later used to establish McCarthy’s.] George, of course, declined, as he wanted nothing to do with the mob or with gambling. He most likely didn’t want to be Mayor either.

George gave blood for the war effort on a regular basis, but because he did not take the recommended rest after giving blood, he developed a heart murmur and subsequently had a serious bout with pneumonia. He was forced to sell out his business late in 1945.

Red Edelstein took over as proprietor of the Brookside Food Market in 1945, but in 1950 there was a fire at the property.  In December 1955 there was a holiday greeting in the Dispatch  from Archie Peterson and Henry J. Currie with the address 6007 Excelsior Blvd.  The owner of the property, Walter D. Gunstsen Co., sold the property to Leonard Hermann, the owner of Brookside Drug, and the two stores were combined in 1956.