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Friday, 13 January 2012

Last chance to shop Riediger's

This post was updated in July 2014 with additional background information and photos.

Top: Original Entrance (Google maps)
Bottom: The Murals of Winnipeg

A number of long-time Winnipeg retialers have closed their doors over the past year. There's  The Chocolate ShopJ J H Mclean Pianos, and now Riediger's Superamrket at 188 Isabel Street which closes this Saturday.

 Source: Free Press Store

The Riediger family, headed by Heinrich (Henry) Riediger Sr., came to Canada from southern Russia in 1923, first settling in Henley, Saskatchewan. The family, which eventually included nine children, moved to Winnipeg in 1935 and two years later opened a grocery store at this location. For over a decade, they lived in a home across the street at 189 Isabel. 

In 1953 the store was expanded to the rear, a larger expansion to the west took place in 1976.

Mrs. Riediger died in 1946 and Henry Sr. died in May 1954. Their children took over the business, including Henry Jr., who was president of the company for 37 years until his death in 1981. He was also a founding member of Westgate Collegiate and active member in other Mennonite institutions.

It was Nick Sr., Nick Jr. and ken Riediger that rant the store in the 90s and 00s.

ad ca. 1954

As a neighbourhood grocery store, they did not advertize in the newspapers. In 1949 - 53 they were affiliated with the Red and White grocery chain and from 1954 to about 1956, Tom-Boy.

In a January 2000 Free Press article Ken Riediger told the Free Press "We want to see that the community keeps going and growing. It's the right thing to do, we've got to give something back."

Riediger's joins The Chocolate Shop and J J H Mclean Pianos as long-time local retailers that have disappeared in the past year.

More on the closing:
Closing grocery store gets special send-off CBC
End of an Oasis Winnipeg Free Press

A Winnipeg Landmark Westgate Retrospective 2012 (p. 18)

Henry Riediger Sr.'s fonds are at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Archives

Update July 31 2014:

The Riediger's store was sold in early 2013. In November, council approved a new Tim Horton's franchise for the site. At the end of July 2014 the building was demolished.


Anonymous said...

Even if the Reidgers are leaving the business, surely the building will be bought by an enterprising immigrant and space would remain a grocery store.

Anonymous said...

Interesting historical note on the Riediger's venture, but on the Tim Hortons purchase for community improvement and business development in that area, i think there were many better spots available on the market at that time to purchase one for a development as a TH in 24 hours operation, particularly the lot on the Isabel side of the school, the industry, 235 Isabel, and 228 Isabel all have the better suitability for adding also the Logan high traffic intake. In that case, it can certainly go out a bit from residential intakes in its day operation if it is to go very close to Logan. If it is the priority, taking the residential intake as its first and not the high tragic visibility, then this is an ideal location for people in the area and for by passers and visitors.