My mother dealt with a high-class grocer called Cromwell Jones. She went once a week to do the shopping and, on entering the shop, a chair was brought, upon which she would sit while giving her order! When ordering bacon, the whole side was brought forth, “How would you like it cut, Mrs Phillips? … and what thickness would you like?” A massive block of butter was on view and an appropriate amount would be cut off, weighed then shaped into a neat square. To finish off, a swan was stamped into the butter! Biscuits were chosen from tins, each with a glass lid so the contents could be seen; biscuits were ordered by weight.
After giving her order, my mother would leave the shop, with the goods being delivered that evening and paid for quarterly. At Christmas time, Mr Jones enclosed a gift with the order… either a bottle of Johnny Walker or a box of chocolates, as a ‘thank-you’ for the custom.