Brookside Market stood just west
of and attached to Brookside Drug (6001 Excelsior Blvd.)The following
information and the picture were provided by Ray Hartmann,
son of George Hartmann.
George R. Hartmann and his wife Esther worked together
running the grocery store and meat market, which was open 7
days a week. Their sons Charles, Raymond, and Richard also
worked in the store at various times. They had some full
time employees and part time neighborhood boys who picked up
fresh produce daily and meat from distributors in the
Minneapolis farmers market and the warehouse district in
George's Father, Charles Hartmann of Shakopee, was the
proprietor of the Jack Sprat Food Market and also owned and
operated a slaughterhouse with his six sons and one
daughter. All of the boys became competent butchers. George
went to work for the Cudahay and Swift meat packing
companies in Wisconsin in the Thirties, with the result that
he was able to obtain all the meat products he could handle,
even through the rationing restrictions of WWII. He did not
gouge people with the OPA ceiling prices, and helped many
families in the area by providing them with credit.
Customers came from far and wide, even Minneapolis to get
meat. The lines lead from the meat counter out the front
door, past the Drug Store and around the corner and past
Al's Barber Shop. George also supplied meat to restaurants
such as the El Patio and to the National Tea Company.
In the Forties, when gambling was thriving,
Kid Cann asked
George to run for Mayor of St. Louis Park, since he was one
of the most popular businessmen in town. Cann wanted to
institute gambling in St. Louis Park on a grand scale [and
figured George would be a respectable "front" - a tactic he
later used to establish McCarthy's.] George, of course,
declined, as he wanted nothing to do with the mob or with
gambling. He most likely didn't want to be Mayor either.
George gave blood for the war effort on a regular basis, but
because he did not take the recommended rest after giving
blood, he developed a heart murmur and subsequently had a
serious bout with pneumonia. He was forced to sell out his
business late in 1945.
Red Edelstein took over as proprietor of the Brookside Food
Market in 1945, but in 1950 there was a fire at the
property. The owner of the property, Walter D. Gunstsen Co.,
sold the property to Leonard Hermann, the owner of
Drug, and the two stores were combined in 1956.