Straub's Celebrates 110 years in the Grocery Business
The Webster Groves location held a special event Saturday to commemorate the anniversary, selling a $1.10 Kobe hot dog lunch special.
William A. Straub opened his first grocery store in Webster Groves in October of 1901. Even in those early days, Straub's had a reputation for carrying products that were both higher quality and more unusual than what other grocers might sell.
The current store in Webster Groves at 211 W. Lockwood Ave. was built in 1960 and is just a few blocks from the first Straub's location, which was torn down.
Straub’s has grown to four locations around the St. Louis area and is still a family operation. Its current president and CEO is William Straub’s great-grandson, J.W. "Trip" Straub, III.
Straub’s marked its 110th anniversary on Saturday by giving their Facebook fans a $10 coupon for groceries, handing out samples of “Straubalicious ” foods and selling an amazing lunch deal of Kobe hot dogs, chips and soda for only $1.10.
Straub’s is known for having a daily hot lunch special, but hot dogs are not normally on their menu. Staff specially grilled 150 American Kobe Beef Franks for the Saturday special and served them up at a little table in the center of the store.
“When he’s out of dogs, he’s out of dogs,” quipped Peter Glarner, the Webster location’s wine manager. He was stationed next to the hot dog table handing out samples of wine and cheese.
“Wine and cheese is a very simple art that people make too hard,” Glarner said.
Frequent Straub’s shoppers like the store’s friendly atmosphere.
“You see neighbors here, and people will run in for lunch,” remarked Judy Rath, a frequent customer who works in the area. “They have a large variety of unusual items, and you see the same people waiting on you.”
Assistant Manager Mike Nuelle agreed. He’s been working at Straub’s for more than 30 years. He said the store’s real appeal is that it’s a true neighborhood store, not just a specialty store.
He said Webster residents drop by the store all the time just to visit with friends. The store has a little café area in the front where shoppers can eat lunch from the deli or have a bakery snack and enjoy free Wi-Fi.
The store’s butchers said their meat counter was the real reason Straub’s customers keep coming back. The meat department is stocked with USDA Prime Beef and exotic cuts—like American lamb—not found in their competitor’s stores. They also have main entrée’s ready to cook at home, like a stuffed pork tenderloin or bacon-wrapped, Gouda-stuffed Kobe burgers.
“And you can say you made it yourself, we don’t mind,” said butcher Donny O’Brien.