In 1947, Irvin Mumper introduced Loudonville to the self-serve supermarket when he opened the Red & White store.
Prior to the Red & White, shoppers would provide a list or tell clerks what they wanted and the clerks would then fetch the goods and bring them to the counter.
In 1916, Piggly Wiggly developed the self-serve ideas, in Memphis Tennessee. But it would be another 37 years before Loudonville experienced the idea.
Though many originally lamented the idea of having to retrieve your own goods, the concept caught on. Opening day at Red & White was a frenzy of housewives, pushing carts and picking items off of the shelves for the first time -- and stock boys attempting to slip through the crowds to refill empty shelves.
The Red & White store was added onto Mumper's existing Frigid Food business at the corner of Haskell and Jefferson. Mumper had opened Frigid Food two years earlier, in 1945, offering frozen food lockers to residents.
Food lockers were an appealing idea to many in an age when frozen foods were becoming more popular -- especially meat -- but home freezers were not yet affordable or reliable. With the expansion of the Red & White, Mumper also added onto Frigid Food bringing the total number of lockers available to rent to 1,000.
Although the Red & White store was a unique concept at first, imitators later followed suit, including the construction of Schecks IGA across the street.
Mumper eventually closed down the Red & White in the 1970s and sold off the Frigid Food business, which is believed to have closed in the late 1980s.
More information on the Cleo Redd Fisher Museum can be found at this link.