Elliott’s Grocery Store
Unlike the practice of the other numerous grocery stores in Montevallo during the mid-twentieth century, there is scant evidence that Elliott’s Grocery ever placed any advertising in the local press. However, the store, owned and operated by Mrs. G.T. Elliott is mentioned occasionally in brief accounts in the Montevallo Times. The ills and accomplishments of her employees are covered now and then and a particularly specific story in 1946 brought readers up to date on the fact that Mrs. Elliott had recently moved her business into a partially completed new brick building on Main Street that was next door to the building she occupied previously.
This building was next door to the new bus station, which was completed about the same time, and endured as a typical “pre-supermarket” style grocery store, similar to others in town, well into the 1970’s, but under several owners.
By 1952, Mrs. Elliott’s ownership had come to an end and the new proprietors were Ard Chambers and his partner, a Mr. Eddings. They were not as shy about advertising as Mrs. Elliott had been, so there is ample evidence of their tenure in the grocery business in this location. The Chambers & Eddings grocery did a good business and was so successful that they could boast two check-out lines. They had modern display coolers to keep vegetables fresh and easy to select while offering a well equipped butcher shop, also with refrigerated glass-enclosed meat counters that were kept well-stocked from a large walk-in cooler.
In the late 1950’s or early 1960’s, Chambers and Eddings ended their partnership and sold out to a Mr. Harper from Pea Ridge. The store then became Harper’s Super Saver and continued to do a good local business. Mr. Harper, probably due to competition from larger stores, eventually decided to take over and build up the venerable grocery store that was situated on the outskirts of town at the intersection of County Road 10 and County Road 17 in the Almont community west of Montevallo. His business on Main Street was then taken over by a new owner and became Bill’s Grocery. Bill’s was as much a convenience store as a traditional grocery store and only lasted for a few years.
When the sturdy building’s long role as a grocery store came to an end, its owners remodeled and divided the space into segments to provide office space to several service type businesses, such as accountants, a tax service, insurance agencies, and real estate brokers. The Bradford Real Estate Group was located in the building for a number of years and also shared the space with other local professionals.
Sadly, the building met the wrecking ball in 2017 when it’s current owner sold the property to make way for Montevallo’s new Taco Bell fast food franchise. Bradford found a larger space available in the Masonic building a block away and has made it into a comfortable working environment as well as an attractive addition to the line-up of Main Street’s commercial tenants. The Elliott Grocery/Bradford building is now only a memory, but its successor, Taco Bell, has certainly been well received and appreciated by its customers and has contributed to enhancing the culinary offerings available to Montevallo citizens, UM students, and visitors passing through town.
Thank you Clay Nordan, Vice President of Montevallo Historical Society, for this information!