The first ever supermarket in Watford on the Parade opposite the Odeon Cinema (which later became Top Rank) was FINE FARE. I think Fine Fare in recent times morphed into Key Markets possibly later on the International Stores got involved in ownership but I’m not sure as here in the West Country Key Markets and International were bought out by Gateway, later to become Somerfield or something like that.
The first actual “self-service” shop that wasn’t a Supermarket as such were The Co Op just along from Fine Fare. They were near to Stan Pike Newsagent and Tobacconist and about the last shop before the unusually named Cakebread Robey who were a showroom for Fireplace and Fires. My parents bought an Esse Stove from them.
The smell of coffee
The only shop with Coffee smells I remember were the place that sold coffee beans and roasted them on the premises. It was two doors along from Chef Corner Cafe which was opposite front of Odeon Cinema and I can’t remember what it was called. The first shop beyond Chef Corner was Woolcotts a sweet shop and tobacconist. I bought an Italian Coffee machine from the Coffee retailer in 1969 for just £11.0 I still have it to this day and it still works!
Beyond the Coffee shop was a Toy Shop in the corner where my friend noted that you could buy 12 plastic toy pennies for the prices of One Shilling and Sixpence and we wondered what kind of a trick that was when a child could play with 12 real pennies and spend nothing! Anyhow I do remember that lovely coffee roasting smell drifting down past that Tudor fronted building where Radio Rentals were and on the first floor of which was The Cookery Nook – a favourite morning cafe for the more elderly population who loved it’s olde worlde charm.
I’m sure I could think of much more but I don’t want to dominate this page as it may discourage others from posting up their wonderful memories.