A circa 1964 shot of a frozen food case in a Chicago-area Jewel Food Store. The title of this post is taken from a Banquet frozen pie ad from about the same time. Clarence Birdseye, the pioneer of frozen food technology, had first marketed his frozen foods in 1930. By the 1960’s, a dizzying array of frozen vegetables, desserts and full meals (that great American institution, the TV Dinner) beckoned from cases like this in supermarkets everywhere.
Among the brand names visible in this photo – Mrs. Paul’s, Banquet, Pepperidge Farm (desserts on the upper right), Morton’s, Pet-Ritz, etc., are two Chicago legends – first, Sara Lee, which was founded in Chicago and named for 8-year old Sara Lee Lubin, daughter of founder Charles Lubin. By the time of this photo, the Kitchens of Sara Lee had become a division of Consolidated Foods and Sara Lee had long since become a national brand. Years later the entire corporation would adopt the name Sara Lee. The second legend I’m referring to, with a market base closer to home was Dressel’s, the makers of a superb line of frozen cakes including a very popular whipped cream cake. It was always a special treat when Mom (or Dad, as was frequently the case) would show up home with one of these.
One more note – the initials “E.V…” which are visible on the fascia behind the frozen food case stood for “Extra Value Trim”, Jewel’s meat trademark of the time. And dig that great tile pattern!