Grant St. Grocery History

History of Grant Street Grocery

Excerpt taken from Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office

Casper experienced an oil boom period that began in 1913-14 and continued well into the next decade. The major oil companies established their headquarters in Casper, providing employment and injecting capital into the local economy. The population of 2,639 in 1910 nearly doubled in the next five years to 4,040. Casper transformed during the decade and a half boom as the population continued to increase at a staggering rate.

The rising population and the sudden prosperity accelerated community development and the construction of new buildings. This expansion demanded additional local services within walking distance of people’s homes. As the city expanded, the neighborhood grocery store became a common sight; in 1923, 60 neighborhood grocery stores existed in Casper.

Among these 60 was the Grant Street Grocery and Market, which is south of downtown Casper in a residential neighborhood. E.R. Williams owned several neighborhood grocery stores including Central Grocery and Market, established in 1915, Blue Front Grocery, established in 1916, and the Grand Grocery, established in 1921. In 1918, Williams built the Grant Street Grocery as a small local market. A severe depression following World War I left E. R. Williams struggling financially. He chose to lease Grant Street Grocery and Market to Arthur L. LaClair in 1926. Six years later, Arthur ”Art” LaClair and his wife, Mary, purchased the store from E. R. Williams. As an established store, the market never closed during the transfer of ownership.

In order for the busines to succeed, the LaClairs expended great effort to make Grant Street Grocery and Market the best in both products and service. Arthur traveled to meat markets south of Buffalo, Wyoming to procure quality pork, while ordering butter from Sheridan, Wyoming and cottage cheese from Seattle, Washington. During the holidays, he drove 100 miles east of Casper to Lusk and hand picked turkeys, which he then delivered. The LaClairs not only delivered during the holiday season, but also offered deliveries six days a week. Striving to continue the best service to their customers, fresh flowers were also available. Adding to the personal service, neighborhood children always received a cookie when they entered Grant Street Grocery; Arthur LaClair became known as the ”Cookie Man.”

According to local residents, the store expanded as LaClair, who insisted on selling the best meats, built a chicken house at the back of the store. In this building, he fattened, butchered, and dressed his own chickens, turkeys and other small poultry. With the addition of the chicken house, the store then had access to fresh eggs.

In an effort to increase economic viability during the Great Depression, the LaClairs again altered the building and increased the services offered. They enlarged the store to include a bakery, the first in-store bakery in Casper. According to county records, in 1937 the LaClairs built an addition at the rear of the building into which they relocated the chicken house. The new bakery then moved into the old chicken room. These changes proved to be an advantage to the store as the economic instability required different avenues of revenue.

Bill and Nancy Wayte purchased Grant Street Grocery and Market in 2004. In order to increase business, they grew their selection of specialty items and gourmet sandwiches, added an imported cheese line, and of course the best meat in town. 

In 2016, a small group of neighbors, Lindsey Grant, Terry & Del Johnson and Doug & Susan Holmes, came together to revitalize Grant Street Grocery and Market. They updated and added onto the building including a commercial kitchen, expanded the butcher department and added a public restroom. With the intent is to continue to bring the best meat, seafood and cheese selection to Casper, along with an expanded array of specialty items, freshly prepared meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, unique gifts, and a coffee shop. They expanded the hours of the store and also have events regularly like Cheese Extravaganza, Wine Wednesday, Burgers and Brews, and more. They hope to maintain a neighborhood market experience that Grant Street has provided to the community for over 100 years!

Grant Street Grocery and Market was established in 1918 during the oil boom and expansive growth of Casper. It continued to serve the neighborhood through various financial climates. The owners sustained the market by maintaining a local atmosphere, providing quality service and products, and adapting to the changing economic environment. Grant Street Grocery survived and remains the sole neighborhood grocery store in Casper.

“The partners wanted to continue to provide the high-quality meats, seafood and cheeses, as well as fresh sandwiches, the store has offered. But they also wanted to expand the business by building a commercial kitchen and hiring a chef to prepare fresh lunches and dinners for customers to carry out.”

— Casper Star Tribune, 2016

They are open Tuesday-Saturday, 9-5. People are still able to shop here since they are a grocery store. They have gift cards, meat, cheese, some produce, lunch, coffee, and other provisions. Happy to take email and phone orders and deliver curbside as needed.  Lunch is available for delivery with Doordash.

Check out their instagram/facebook for more photos!

Visit their site: