J. & A. Macdonald, Tea Dealers, Grocers, Wine and Provision merchants, 99, Renfield Street.—
The modern grocer has developed into a provider of everything in the nature of comestibles. In times gone by, sugars, teas, spices, and their concomitants formed the staple of the trade ; now, the very price-list of a modern grocer’s wares is a pamphlet in itself. Messrs. J. & A. Macdonald, of 99, Renfield Street, combine all the excellencies of the old school with the pleasing varieties of the new. Indeed they were the first in Glasgow to introduce that trade in tinned goods which is now universal amongst grocers.
Twenty years ago they began with Liebig’s extract of meat and tinned salmon ; now, almost every provision that may be asked for can be supplied in a tinned form. Mr. John Macdonald, the founder of the firm, was for many years a prominent member of the sugar trade, and was a partner in the firm of John Beattie & Co., and latterly as J. & G. Macdonald. His grocer’s business was first established in 1838 at 15, Argyle Street. In 1842 it was removed to West Nile Street, and there continued until 1881. The business was carried on by John Macdonald in conjunction with his brother Alexander, both of whom have now retired from business, leaving Mr. Alexander C. McIntyre as sole proprietor. Mr. McIntyre’s connection with the business commenced in 1866, he was made a partner in 1875, and in 1883 he took over the whole charge. It was then that the licence for wines, &c., was added. The removal to the present completely appointed premises took place in 1881.
The firm has always made a speciality of the tea trade, and have fitted up a tea-tasting room in connection with the private office at the rear of their premises. They give particular attention to the matter, and buy only on the London market. Their long experience gives them great facilities in the selection of Indian and Chinese teas most suitable for blending to secure the highest quality. They are no less successful as regards their selection of coffee, the quality of which is sufficiently excellent to satisfy even the most critical of tastes. The general stock ranges from almonds to Yorkshire Relish, and in addition to dried fruits of all kinds, and preserves, and sauces of every description, includes such apparently dissimilar articles as bath bricks and biscuits, or capers and castor oil. Suffice it to say that every article that can be required for ordinary household use finds a place upon Messrs. Macdonald’s well-arranged shelves. The preserved provision department is equally well looked after, and contains all the best known brands whether in fruit, fish, or flesh. Of ordinary provisions, such as butter, cheese, bacon, dried fish, &c., the stock is both extensive and choice.
Since the acquirement of the liquor licence great care has been bestowed on the selection of wines, spirits, &c., of the most choice kind. The result will be approved by the most fastidious connoisseurs. The knowledge and judgment displayed in the choice of the other numerous articles of their stock is equally satisfactory, and has resulted in a large family trade of the better class. Many titled people are amongst their patrons ; they supply also the military establishments and other public institutions. The conduct of the business has always been characterized by the upright dealings of the proprietors, who have been untiring in their efforts to maintain a high tone in the grocery trade.
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