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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Stock certificate.
NATIONAL TEA COMPANY. Founded in 1899 in Chicago, Illinois, the company spread to about 160 stores by 1920, and annual sales approached $13 million. By the end of the 1920s, National Tea had over 600 locations in the Chicago area alone and another 1,000 stores nationwide. Sales grew to about $90 million a year. Many of these stores were closed or sold during the GREAT DEPRESSION, but National Tea remained among the 10 largest grocery chains in the United States for most of the 20th century.

In 1955, when annual sales topped $600 million and the company had nearly 20,000 employees nationwide, National Tea was purchased by George Weston Ltd., a large Canadian grocery retailer, later renamed Loblaw Companies. Most National storers were in the Mississippi Valley, including in Louisiana. During the 1950s, it acquired about 500 new stores by buying up smaller chains.

Eventually, National, renamed National Supermarkets, was reduced to operations in Missouri, Illinois and Louisiana. It was a major chain in the St. Louis and New Orleans areas until Loblaw sold it off in 1995 to Schnucks Markets. Immediately after that, Schnucks sold the National New Orleans division to Schwegmann Giant Super Markets of Metairie, Louisiana, which later sold them to GREAT ATLANTIC & PACIFIC TEA COMPANY (THE), which finally sold them to Rouse Markets in 2007.

National Tea no longer has a separate existence as a retail chain.




The 1929 Dubuque City Directory listed 469 and 951 Main, 1070 Iowa and 1604 Central.

The 1934 Dubuque City Directory listed 1604 Central, 1170 Iowa, 521 and 898 Main.

The 1937 Dubuque Consurvey Directory through 1941 Dubuque City Directory listed as the addresses 730 Main for the grocery and meat market, 1604 Central, and 1170 Iowa.

The 1939 Dubuque City Directory listed 1170 Iowa and 730 Main.

The 1942 Dubuque Classified Business Directory listed 898 Main.

The 1945 Dubuque City Directory through 1948 Dubuque Classified Business Directory listed 1604 Central and 898 Main.

The 1962 and 1966 Dubuque City Directory listed 1313 Dodge. The 1964 and 1966 directory also listed a branch of the company No. 258 at 2013 Central.