Goldblatt's Basement Meat Market


I don't know what it would take to capture the feel and the smell and the unique images of the meat market and deli located in the basement of the former Goldblatt's Department Store in Hammond, Indiana. 

Once your first visual impression made it past the rows of tripe, beef tongue, kidneys and heart, all laid out uncovered on metal trays, you began to realize that beyond the fragrances of fresh slaughter, there was a wonderful aroma of baked bread.

    Samples were rarely, if ever, served since everyone who shopped there knew what everything actually tasted like. But food items were openly displayed without protective cover. Home freezers were not available among the working class so fresh meats were purchased daily. What was left over was ground into sausage for sale the following day.  

You could not grow up in Hammond, Indiana, without knowing about "babushkas", the head scarf used by Polish grandmothers but also worn by Hammond school girls. It was the first Polish word children in Hammond learned.

The second Polish word was most likely "duba"
or "kielbasa."



Older women in their babushkas would frequent the basement meat market at Goldblatt's on a regular basis. It was a time for neighborhood chats and social opportunities.




There was actually an active protest by customers in 1935, protesting the high cost of meat. The movement started in the Detroit area but moved throughout the Midwest. Housewives went to the streets and demonstrated for lower meat prices in urban areas.


Goldblatts Meat Department
March 28, 1958
(Source: Planet Hammond)

Goldblatts After Christmas Sale
December 27, 1960
Main Floor
(Source: Planet Hammond)


Visit us for more pictures and history of Hammond, Indiana at
email us at:

Back to Goldblatt's