Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Photopost: South City Grocery Store

I used to live in the area of South St. Louis commonly known as "Little Bosnia," in a house that was built in the early '20s. When I moved in, in 1999, the neighborhood was a mix of families that had been there forever, entry-level homeowners like me, and lots and lots of Bosnian, African and South American immigrants.

One of the wonderful consequences of that population mix was a plethora of international food items in the most affordable grocery store. It started out as a single shelf of unroasted coffee and tea cakes, way back in the dairy section. Soon there was a stand of freshly baked Bosnian bread nearby. These days, it's a huge section of its own, with juices, preserved vegetables, dessert mixes and prayer candles.

I was there the other day, doing research for a blog post for work, and couldn't resist the opportunity to take photos of all that awesome stuff. I'm pretty sure several old ladies thought I was nuts, which made me laugh, and I'm sure my giggling cemented their impression of my mental imbalance.



  1. Heidi,

    Yes, St. Louis has wonderful international grocery stores, doesn't it? I've always especially liked the Santa Muerte candles.

    It's funny to think of the crazy anglo taking photos in the shop and giggling.

    Janet Riehl

  2. I love those prayer candles! I once took part in a music competition in the middle of west Texas. I made friends with a clarinetist from New Zealand and we hung out together after we were both eliminated. The night before the finals, we went to the grocery for snacks and also picked up a prayer candle, the sort of item which neither of us had seen before. It cracked us up. We took it back to the hotel and ate our snacks by the light of an illuminated Jesus, laughing our heads off at just about everything.

  3. What a great story! Those candles fascinate me -- I'm curious about whether they evolved from the system of paying to light a candle at a church, or are a completely separate tradition. If anyone knows, please, pun intended, enlighten us.


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