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Holt Drive Grocery / Nu Blen Coffee Co / Nu Blen Coffee Roasters, 2028 Holt Drive: circa 1965/1971   2 comments

Posted at 12:22 am in business,historic

Commenter Sarah asked about Holt Drive Grocery a while ago, and this is what I've been able to find out. Commenter Andrew pinpointed the address at 2028 Holt Drive, and this is correct. The lot is off Rosewood at the end of South Waccamaw Avenue where it intersects Holt Drive.

The city directory for 1949 notes that 2028 is "under construction", while the city directory for 1950 just lists the name of "Dowdey, David D." for 2028. In 1951 the notation "gro" is added to the entry indicating a notation by the directory compilers that the location is a grocer's. However, the site is not listed in the business section of the directory as a named business at this point. The same goes for the 1952 directory.

In 1953, the city directory entry for 2028 expands to note "Dowdey Dave Distr Co Wholesale Groceries / Holt Drive Grocery". It also adds an entry for 2028½ (2028 1/2) as "Dowdey, David", so presumably, Mr. Dowdey lived on the premesis at the time.

There is some discrepancy between the Southern Bell phone directory listings for Holt Drive Grocery and the city directory listings. In particular, the last phonebook listing for Holt Drive Grocery is in the December 1964 book while the city directory continues to list it by name longer. I'm afraid I did not make my notes as clear as I should have on this point. In 1966 the city directory lists Holt Drive Grocery but adds the name Nu Blen Coffee Company. I believe 1966 is the last year of listing for Holt Drive Grocery, but the format I used admits the possibility that it continued to co-exist with Nu Blen. At any rate, in 1970, the name of Nu Blen changed to Nu Blen Coffee Roasters which continued for 1971. In 1972, the citry directory simply lists the address as "vacant".

Aside from the address the phonebook has little information as the business apparently never bought a Yellow Pages ad (few grocers did). However, in the November 1954 phonebook, the number for Holt Street Grocery was given as "2-8929". By the December 1961 phonebook, it had changed to "AL 6-9630", and in the last listing in December 1964, it was "256-9630".

Is the building pictured here the Holt Drive Grocery building? I can't say for sure, but I suspect that it is, as I can believe such a building was built in 1949.

Written by ted on June 13th, 2011

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