The old Foodbasket on Fort Worth Avenue was the first grocery store in Dallas with wall-to-wall carpeting.
“I can attest this was a terrible idea,” says John Stolly, whose first job was sacking groceries there in the late ’60s.
The carpet, Stolly says, was “a disturbing teal color,” something like Astro turf.
“I remember someone immediately dropping a jar of vinegar in front of the doors, and that spot was there forever,” he says. “If someone dropped eggs, you just ended up chasing it around. It kind of floated across that carpet when you would try to clean it up.”
The Foodbasket was just east of Hampton, where there is now an Elrod’s Cost Plus. It was part of a shopping strip that had a Skillern’s near where there now is a Chinese food buffet; Stevens Theater was on the other end, near where there is now a Wendy’s.
It also had an art-supply store where Stolly, who now owns an advertising design firm, took painting classes as a teen.
“When I got my first car [a Volkswagen bus], my dad marched me up there to apply for a job,” says Stolly, who still lives in Oak Cliff.
His girlfriend, Linda, and her sister, Brenda, also worked there, as well as Stolly’s best friend. His two younger brothers would find jobs there later.
“We were kind of a tight-knit group,” he says.
Besides working with all of his best pals, his schedule was pretty groovy. He worked Tuesdays and Friday nights, when tips were the best. And he worked 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, which gave him the freedom to cruise Kiest Park in his bus all Sunday afternoon.