Advert for WF Prescott & Co's grocery store
Medium: Print on paper
The majority of shops in the 19th century were small independent businesses run by successive generations of a single family. There was a considerable amount of work involved in running a shop: even when goods were bought wholesale, for example, the shopkeeper had to do much of the processing.
Thus, a grocer such as this one would have blended tea, roasted coffee, ground sugar and packaged dried goods. Self-service stores were unknown and goods were kept in drawers, on shelves behind large counters or in large storerooms at the back of the store. The shopkeeper would bring items out from the storerooms for customers to choose from.