This store, known as the Corner Grocer, was made by Wolverine in the 1930s - 40s. The two wings of shelves fold in for storage. When extended, the entire shop measures 31 inches wide by 14 inches tall.
The highly detailed main panel features an historic grocery store interior. Visible in the lower left are glass fronted cracker or biscuit bins, and a variety of carefully arranged dry goods line the shelves.
The store's actual shelves came filled with miniature packages, and the original child owner added a few additional pieces, including some salesman samples she probably got while shopping for real groceries with her mother.
The free standing counters and accessory pieces that came with these stores are usually missing today, since they couldn't be stored inside the closed shop as the groceries themselves were. We were very lucky to find this one intact, along with its original shop phone. The scale and cash register were added, but fit the playset perfectly.
The front of the counter is illustrated to look like a deli case, complete with cold cuts and cheeses.
The miniature tin cash register actually works: as the levers are moved, numbers ring up on the other side, and the drawer springs open to take in tiny coins.
The Corner Grocer was one of this year's best Christmas gifts. A few years ago, I received another Wolverine tin shop, the General Grocery, which also dates from the 1930s - 40s. This one is smaller, measuring 20 inches wide by 12 inches tall. It is structured differently from the Corner Grocer, with its shelves in the center panel. The side wings still fold in for storage, but they feature beautifully lithographed images of children shopping. Although this set is missing its counter, it still has its original shop phone, along with a feature unique to this particular grocery, a fold out awning.