West Street Grocery

uy Larson worked as a meat cutter at the National Tea grocery store on 5th Street before owning and operating West Street Grocery.  Guy and his wife Esther had three sons - Cliff, Larry, and Ken, and one daughter - Bethine.  Guy died in 1957.  At that point, Cliff sold his own Alden store so that he could return to Ames to manage his father’s store.

Larry worked at the store until he entered the army in 1958.  He returned to Ames after his service was done in 1961 and continued at the grocery along with his wife RoDean.  Their two children, Eric Adlai and Claudia, were often at the store.  Also Cliff’s seven children (six girls and a boy).  During Larry’s absence, Cliff expanded the selection of imported beers and gourmet foods.

West Street Grocery closed in 1972.

A neighborhood grocery store would often unify the neighborhood because nearly everyone living in the area eventually passed through its doors.  A Chicago woman called the store once, asking if anyone there had seen her son.  He was unknown to the Larsons, but they posted a sign on the cash register as she requested, telling the missing young man to “call home.”  Larry reports that over the years there were several burglaries.

In 1976, Larry purchased a store in Slater and has owned and operated Slater Town & Country Market ever since.  (2011)

The Larson family was involved in politics.  While John Culver and his wife, Lynn, were on the campaign trail in the 1960s, they stopped at Guy and Esther’s 155 Campus Avenue home so that Lynn could take a bath to refresh herself.  Cliff left the store in 1964 to work with Neal Smith in the Iowa Congress.  Cliff and his wife were each Story County chairmen, and Cliff was also state chairman.  Cliff Larson and Richard Bender put together proportionate caucuses.  Dave Jepsen wrote a column about Cliff after his passing in 2001.  Larry earned his graduate degree in Political Science, was elected as a state representative in 1970, and then to the Story County Board of Supervisors from 1977-80 and 1989-96.  1962 Democratic candidate for U. S. Senate E. B. Smith’s son Steve, and daughter-in-law Barbara, were both employed at West Street Grocery.

  • 1926 - Charles Peyton - Peyton & Sons Meat Market
  • 1935-1947 - Charles Peyton - West Street Jack Sprat Food Store (aka Peyton's Grocery & Market)
  • 1950 - Fred Huntley - West Street Grocery and Market
  • 1951 - Mr. and Mrs. E.N. Allen - West Street Grocery and Market
  • 1952-1957 - Guy Larson - West Street Grocery and Market
  • 1957-1972 - Cliff Larson - Larson's West Street Grocery
  • 1973-1994 - Dugan's Deli
  • 1995-1997 - Long Shot Tavern
  • 1998 - No listing
  • 1999-2008 - Boheme
  • 2009 -  Mother's Pub