Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yates Market--In March, a Deli with Coffee

In November of 2009, Yates Market was featured in my blog and I emphasized the family operation and continuity over time. Much has happened since then, and continues to happen (e.g. change), but first, a review of the historical background of this longest running store on Main Street in Ellicott City Historic District .

In Fall of 2009, when I asked Betty Jacobs--whose real name is Pauline Yates Jacobs--to tell me who had served as storekeepers over time, she responded, "Of course, since they overlapped...father and son working together, it is not simple." History books sometimes overlook that fact.

Betty's brief history: Samuel James Yates, was the original owner and shop keeper in 1885. He delivered groceries in a wagon. Samuel Irving Yates was next, followed by Samuel Bladen Yates (Betty's father, generally known as Bladen). Which takes us...with all the complexities of life...to February of 2010.

Cut to the Present. Although Betty Yates Jacobs is the current owner and store manager, she decided within the recent past that some defining changes were in order to meet customer demands of the decade and continue to survive and thrive on Main Street. First, since January of this year, Yates no longer delivers groceries as in the past. Then, beginning March 1st, 2010, the store will no longer sell dry goods or groceries. It will become a DELI. That's the good news we've all been waiting for! Since I have only recently purchased and enjoyed the delicious Pfefferkorn's coffee, this feature will focus on that continued product--coffee!

Betty at the c. 1930s Grinder. I had ordered a pound of coffee. Exciting to me is the fact that the c.1930 coffee grinder that Betty operates daily will be a focus of the Deli and Coffee Shop. This piece of machinery has survived because of her dedicated mainenance and repair, so customers can enjoy this functioning piece of the past. Thanks to Mary T. Robbins Phelan for her excellent article that came out in the newspaper, The View from Ellicott City on February 4th, and was also posted online on the same day.
Phelan writes, "customers will still be able to get their beloved hand-packed bags of Pfefferkorn's coffee, sandwiches, salads, and pre-ordered meats and seafood, which Jacobs will continue to order from Faidley's Seafood in Lexington Market."

I also did some online research into the coffee itself and photographed a bag of it that I am currently enjoying: Decaf. On a company web site, it says: "Dating back to 1900, Pfefferkorn's Coffee, Inc. is the best of a Baltimore tradition. Now into its fifth generation, our family operation has mastered the art of selecting, roasting and blending premium coffees as only years of experience can produce. The secret behind Pfefferkorn's legendary flavor is the better variety of superior beans from around the globe uniquely blended to produce rich, full-bodied flavors. Consistently voted Baltimore's Best, these fine brews are featured in Baltimore Magazine's Product Hall of Fame."

Of importance, as Betty Jacobs divests much of the current inventory of canned goods, etc. she has given the Howard County Historical Society (Executive Director Richard Flint) many historical artifacts. Flint emphasized in Phelan's article, that Yates Market "is one of the few stores left that offers a chance to compare a market that was typical of the life before the World War II era to the big grocery chains of today." According to The View newspaper and hearing it from Betty as well, the Market will be newly connected through combined services to Dwayne Hitchcock's upholstery store next door, offering caning, for example, another historical connection. They will run the new store as a joint venture. A future blog will delve into the partnership in more depth. On a cold winter day, this feature is more about the continuation of COFFEE!

Finally, since Pfefferkorn Coffee can be ordered to take out by the cup or by the pound, this last image shows my pot on the boil with coffee dripping into a cup next to it. Delicious, and I had more than one cup!
NOW! Be sure to visit Yates Market while in transition; some items are for sale from the earlier era. And then, on March 1st or thereabouts, come back to experience the newly re-configured, transformed Yates Deli & Upholstery. If this is not the name, then look for the sign and be sure to go in. The address is still 8249 Main Street, across from the restored Fire Station on Church Road.

Blog content/photos: Kay D. Weeks
Be sure to visit Jeremy Kipp Clarks web site: http://ellicottcity.net/



Denee Barr Art News and More said...

Interesting historic meets modern on Main Street in the Ellicott City, Maryland

kate said...

I hope that the deli that will be opeing has veg options. ALso do we know if their coffee is fair traded?

Anonymous said...

Those of us who know Ellicott City from way back when only care about historic preservation which includes keeping one of the most iconic places on Main Street. Kudos to Betty for knowing what works in the 21st century. I can hardly wait to stop by.

Sally Bright

Anonymous said...

Really nice! I love the coffee grinder photo.

April Baer

Anonymous said...

i loved this, kay. even though i grew up in timonium, i knew (a little) about ellicott city in the "old days," and i fondly remember yates from back then... my father and grandfather owned a business in e.c., a laundromat.

Anonymous said...

Deli and upholstery? Strange combo. Glad to see a deli in EC though. It may have been historic, but I never shopped at Yates.

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