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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Herman Newton Truitt, December 5, 1978. Interview H-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Making sandwiches for mill workers

Truitt and other local business owners relied on sales to mills and mill workers. For example, Truitt recalls that the owner of a hosiery mill contracted him to make sandwiches for his workers' lunches. Truitt did so until a state health inspector shut down the operation.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Herman Newton Truitt, December 5, 1978. Interview H-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ALLEN TULLOS:
When did these small neighborhood stores begin to change?
HERMAN NEWTON TRUITT:
When the supermarkets started coming in is when they began to change. Around here I guess it was in the early forties that supermarkets started spreading out.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Which were the first ones, the first supermarkets?
HERMAN NEWTON TRUITT:
I believe the first one in Burlington I recall was the A&P. Back in the earlier days I can remember when Bryan's store was the largest store and did more business than the A&P in Burlington. And the Cash Store down in east Burlington, they did more business when they were in their prime. They did more business than the A&P. And there was another chain store known as Pender's in Burlington early. There were local stores larger than those two until we came into the time of the supermarkets. Then when they started supermarkets, first one and then another. They did a lot of advertising. Then the local owned small grocery stores began to lose out, fading away.
ALLEN TULLOS:
You say that began in the early forties. There weren't any supermarkets that you remembered before, say, 1940?
HERMAN NEWTON TRUITT:
Of course, this is just my memory, but I don't remember exactly.
ALLEN TULLOS:
The A&P would have begun right after World War II, or right before World War II?
HERMAN NEWTON TRUITT:
It was probably about that time.
ALLEN TULLOS:
There was something called the "Dixie Home Stores." Do you remember those?
HERMAN NEWTON TRUITT:
I remember the name. They never came to Burlington and Alamance county. But the Winn-Dixie hasn't been here so long.
ALLEN TULLOS:
What about this mill that's right across the street from you, the hosiery mill, when was it built?
HERMAN NEWTON TRUITT:
About forty, early forties, I would say.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Did people who worked over there ever come in here to get things for lunch?
HERMAN NEWTON TRUITT:
Well, they used to a whole lot more than they do now. They try to keep them from coming in, they try to keep them on the job. You noticed the man in here a few minutes ago who bought a carton of ale, six bottles I believe, he works over there. They come over and buy some ale and things. They first started that mill, though…they didn't have any drink machines, no coffee machines, no sandwich machines over there. And the mill owner came over here and asked me if we would furnish them some sandwiches at noon time. We agreed to do it. For a while we would send a man over there and he would take orders for sandwiches and drinks. He would come back over here and we would make the sandwiches. When they got them made, we would take them over there. They would have their lunch. But, as things developed, a man came down here and opened up a cafe right down here, next door. And of course, it was illegal for us to make sandwiches in our market. But we were doing it to accommodate those people over there. I don't know, but we think the man who started the cafe down there sent the inspector up here and they stopped us from making sandwiches.
ALLEN TULLOS:
When would that have been you all stopped, how long ago?
HERMAN NEWTON TRUITT:
I would say in the fifties, somewhere in the fifties.
ALLEN TULLOS:
Was it always the Holt Hosiery Mill?
HERMAN NEWTON TRUITT:
Yes, it's always been the hosiery mill.