National Tea Co. was founded in 1899. By the end of the ’20s, National Tea had over 600 locations in the Chicago area alone and another 1,000 stores nationwide. Sales grew to about $90 million a year. Many of these stores were closed or sold during the Great Depression, but National Tea remained among the 10 largest grocery chains in the United States for most of the 20th century.
This advertising postcard from National Tea Co. Food Stores was mailed locally in Chicago on December 20, 1934.
The prices advertised on this card seem absurdly low by today’s standards. For example, apples would cost around $5.99 for 3 pounds, compared to 20¢ in 1934.
I was surprised to see veal roasts prominently advertised, because veal is rarely even found in stores today. The most recent National Retail Report listing Advertised Prices for Lamb and Veal at Major Retail Supermarket Outlets does not even list any prices for veal shoulder roasts. Last week, boneless veal roasts were advertised at $21.99 per pound.