Buttrey's Supermarkets
648 N. Jackson and The Hustad Center




THE WES AND CAROL SYNNESS COLLECTION

This 1938 art deco building at Jackson and 13th, still standing, has seen numerous tenants over the decades. In this 1949 photo, we see it as Buttrey's Super Market. The structure was built in 1938 by Ellis Blumenthal, who opened his Nuway Super Market there on November 19. Less than a year later, he sold out to the Buttrey's chain, who held their grand opening in Helena on August 18, 1939 (see newspaper ad below). It was the 16th store in the Buttrey's chain...

Buttrey's 1939 Grand Opening Ad

Buttrey's was founded in Havre, Montana in 1896, At its peak, Buttrey operated 60 grocery stores across nine western states and was based in Great Falls, Montana.

In November of 1956, Buttrey's moved from the Jackson Street location to the new Hustad Shopping Center at the corner of Helena Ave. and National Avenue...


 

Buttrey's in the Hustad Center ~ 1956 Grand Opening Ad


Rosie Lee Moore Hall
Appeared as Aunt Jemima, 1956



COURTESY OF THE DAVID POOR COLLECTION

Tony Polich (1918-2005)



Manager of Helena Buttrey's markets from 1950 to 1964

 

Buttrey Foods Employees - "Gay Ninety Days" Promotion - May 6, 1961


COLLECTION OF KENNON BAIRD • CLICK ON IMAGE TO OPEN A BIG VERSION IN A NEW WINDOW




"Star", the Armour Meat Company's Robotic Elephant, at Buttrey's in the Hustad Center, 1968


COURTESY OF JODIE MILLER

Jodie Miller at Buttrey's in the Hustad Center with "Star", the promotional robotic elephant from the Armour meat company, May 1968. According to available online newspaper archives, the elephant was displayed in supermarkets around the U. S. from 1965 to 1968. It appeared in Helena no less than four times during that period -- at Buttrey's in Sept. of 1965 and May of 1968, and at Albertson's in Feb. of 1966 and October of 1968. Many thanks to Jodie for sharing this delightful image!

Osco Drug opened a big new store at 1000 Boulder Ave. in 1967; it is unclear from the available archives just when Buttrey's moved from the Hustad Center to share that new location, but it was there by May of 1969.

For a detailed history of Buttrey's, click this Wikipedia link.