‘Babe’ Shaver’s Store
'Babe' Shaver's Store
“Babe” Shaver began to carve his name in the history of Grapeland in 1924. For many years he and his sons had owned and operated a lumber mill but felt a calling to serve in a different way. He and his wife, Mattie Whitehead Shaver, moved to Grapeland, bought and opened a grocery and filling station on the highway (building presently located by the Kountry Kitchen and Motel). Through the years, Babe added and changed several facets of his store… a skating rink, a small cafe, and a feed store. Employees of the store were often grandsons and granddaughters (of which he had plenty), making the atmosphere always young and pleasant.
In the early years flour was 25 cents a sack, potatoes 50 cents per a hundred pounds, and Post Toasties 10 cents for a large box. One of Babe’s favorite stories was concerning an overly conservative customer who always asked him if he would split a half post of post toasties or halve a box of 10 cent crackers, then sell the remainder of the box with slices of cheese. He always kept a stalk of fresh bananas hanging by the door, and although bananas were 2 or 3 for a nickel, many of his customers often “took” one as they were leaving the store, and rarely did Mr. Shaver call the matter to their attention. Babe and Mattie ran the store until 1930 when it burned. He rebuilt the store and continued in business until mid 1940’s when failing health (and eventual death) caused him to sell the store to his son, Jim Shaver. Jim and Wilma ran the store under the old name, Shaver’s Store, until 1947.
Babe Shaver was a mild mannered, honest and serving businessman who loved big touring cars, his customers, sported a handlebar mustache, and whistled while he worked. Salute!