There was a time in San Pedro when the few stores on the island did not have any signs with their names. Renowned photographer Sanpedrana Kay Scott, who came to live on the Island in 1982, recalls that when people needed a certain item, they had to recall which store was which, but that was okay for there were only a handful of stores.
One of the reasons why stores did not require a name sign was because it was impossible to confuse them. The other reason was that since there was very little competition, business owners did not need to advertise. Finally, everybody was from San Pedro, (no foreigners) so they all knew about the stores.
There was La Favorita with a small ten inch sign, and Fina’s Store without any. There was Me Lo Llevo (I’ll Take It), and Helen’s Store for the Paz Family. All stores carried a variety of groceries and some other dry goods or hardware, so on your way for groceries, you could also purchase your particular needs.
At La Favorita villagers could also get some cloth, elastic, buttons etc. At Me Lo Llevo the people could also get some fruits, milk shakes, and even boiled eggs ready to eat.
At Fina’s Store, besides your groceries, you could also get nails and screws, sand paper, turpentine and some paints, contact cement and Well Wood Glue, etc. At Helen’s Store besides your groceries, you could get loaves of bread and of course your delicious paletas.
Then there was Neydy’s Store with some plastic ware and even toys at Christmas time. Alice Store had a variety of groceries and one or two medicinal drugs.
All stores carried Aspro and Phensic as well as Alka Seltzer, Andrews, also Castro and Maravillosa- two medicines that cured everything. Interestingly, there was no store that sold shoes, but that was okay for Sanpedranos and for Kay Scott too.
All stores were managed and run by their owners and a family member, with no self service, no cashier lines, no show windows, and NO SIGNS. It is from them that we got the motto, “No shirt, No shoes, No problem.” Such was the simplicity of doing business in the village of San Pedro in the 1970’s twenty five years ago.
– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist