About Us

My great great grandfather was an Irish immigrant, landing on the eastern shores of America (the New World) in 1881. He told that the name on his immigration papers was Rufus T Growler, and that was the name he stuck by. A potato farmer from Donegal – turned entrepreneur. Standing 6 foot 6 inches tall, sporting a huge red beard, a champion bare knuckle fighter, and with a name like Growler, he was always known as “The Bear.” The story goes that they had a huge stuffed Grizzly standing in the store. Bad children were told they would be fed to it, good children could pet it. It drew in customers from miles around, and it DID prevent pilfering!


The Bear wanted a new life for his family and, rather than utilising his farming skills, he chose to open a small general store just outside of Chicago. That’s how and where the family business began. Rufus T Growler built it up, his son Rubert took it over after my great great grandfather passed away (not through fighting). Rubert’s son Robert expanded it into a chain of small supermarkets across Illinois. He had five daughters, all of which managed a store each. Competition between them was fierce! The eldest, Ethel, married a Jewish boy from New York and produced a son called Ruben. He followed in our family footsteps and opened a delicatessen …. Called Ruben’s. The second daughter Winifred, my mother, persuaded her sisters to sell up the family business to one of the big supermarket groups. They then settled into retirement a few years ago.


I am Rufus T Growler II. Having grown up in this trade all of my stuffed life, I am not new to this business. I’ve seen it all come and go, survived a few wars, and been a family member of possibly the oldest grocery business in America. Yes, that was me scaring naughty children 100 years ago. This is MY territory, MY park, and MY website.






We try to keep a small carbon paw-print. Our GREEN POLICY is to save trees and use as little paper as possible, and always recycled or biodegradable packaging. Please eat candy sensibly and dispose of the wrappers in bins provided.



We don’t talk rubbish here. We speak the truth and stick to the trail. Only goods approved by the UK Food Standards Agency are allowed on our picnics. Sometimes the law is just a “big donkey” and prohibits certain items, but for good reason. The Cowboys and Indians can fight this one out. Dumping of unwanted, prohibited, or hazardous goods is not our policy.



You won’t find us advertising hundreds of stock lines we don’t carry, cannot get, are discontinued, or prohibited. Fishing for attention is not tolerated. What you see is what we stock. Just like the old store.



We work to high standards here, and quality control is carefully monitored and recorded. Orders are picked, packed, and posted under the watchful eyes or our CCTV system. If you’re not satisfied with your order on arrival – we can go back and check to sort it out.



Unfortunately we are not a retail shop and not able to offer a collection service ….yet.


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