My Granddaddy was a grocery man. He wore a big smile and a white butcher’s apron every day for years and years. He was never rich, but he was always happy. He worked six days a week, smoked a pipe, ate two Oreos every night, and watched As the World Turns on his lunch hour with my Grandmommy. He was the same man in church on Sunday and at work on Thursday. Oh, what a fine man he was.
It’s Grandparents Day, and I’m thinking about my Granddaddy.
If my grocery man granddad were alive and could visit me in Austin today, Royal Blue Grocery is the first place I would take him. We would put on our walking shoes, head just a few steps down the block, peruse the aisles of sundries and staples, get a good coffee to go, then walk down to the Capital to take pictures, talking all the way. I’d hug him and say I loved him. He’d give me a twinkly blue-eyed smile and say, “Well, Sugarfoot, I love you, too.” Ahhhhhh. I’m glad there’s a Grandparents Day.
Royal Blue Grocery isn’t really a vintage store. It’s very trendy. Yet, it reminds me of the little store my Granddaddy owned in his small western Oklahoma community of Elk City. I spent a week every summer with my grandparents.
Every afternoon at about 3;00, the rotary phone would ring three times and my grandmother would always answer, “Hell-ooo.” It was always Granddaddy on the other end, but since there was no caller ID, she had to answer it politely, in case it was the preacher instead.
Did she need him to bring home anything for dinner? A can of this or a bag of that? Grocery delivery – the way to a woman’s heart.
Downtowners love to get groceries delivered, but if there’s something you forgot, I would almost guarantee that Royal Blue has it.
If you need to throw together a cheese board and get a bottle of wine, just walk down to your closest Royal Blue. They’ve got all of that.
As of today, there are 6 Royal Blues in downtown Austin and one in Dallas. I hope they end up being everywhere, because, just like my Granddaddy’s store, there’s a little bit of everything you need – and a whole lot of anything you could want – at Royal Blue.
Downtowners might stop in for morning Stumptown-roasted coffee and a hemp seed biscotti, then slowly enjoy it at a sidewalk table before the morning rush. Commuters who need a Royal Blue traffic detox can easily park, then log a few extra steps on their FitBits, and reward themselves with a breakfast taco – or drink their daily greens.
If you want a delicious hot sandwich on your downtown lunch hour, Royal Blue has it. Millenials make friends at work and, if they don’t want what’s being catered for lunch at the office that day (what a deal!), they head to Royal Blue, in groups of five or so.
They sure are cute, always chatting it up, walking fast in mile-high wedges and skinny jeans. The guys seem to like the Cubans and Reubens, but the girls usually go for the salads and yogurt.
Oh, my goodness, I’d like to try one of everything in this store.
Midafternoon slump? A short walk from anywhere in downtown Austin, and you’ve got yourself a Royal Blue snack. From healthy and exotic chocolate bars to enticingly-labeled sodas I’ve never seen before, an afternoon treat from Royal Blue will perk up the slumpiest of office personnel or convention attendee.
Next time our granddaughter comes for a visit, I think I’ll take her to Royal Blue and let her pick out whatever she wants, then I’ll tell her some stories about how her great-great Granddaddy smiled all the time, shined his shoes on Sunday mornings for church and did good wherever he went. I might even start calling her “Sugarfoot.”
Happy Grandparents Day to all of us who are blessed to be one, to all of us who have one, and to all of us who miss one.
Encouraging intentional adventure and a legacy of love,
PS – Do you have a grandparent-given nickname? I’d love to hear!