Tracy’s Drive-In Grocery - HISTORY Tracy’s Drive-In Grocery is a little grocery store with a Big Heart! In some ways, it also represents the heart of the community. There are few strangers that enter and none that leave. In 1946, a small grocery store was opened at the corner of Cedar and Main streets in downtown Bastrop, Texas by Hycie Jones. He sold his store to Evonne Rosanky, who ran the store before selling it to Bessie Warren, Tracy Chalmers’ Aunt. In turn, she sold the store to Tracy’s older brother, Leroy. According to family lore, Leroy was playing more than working which left his wife to run the store. After nine months of hard work, his wife convinced Leroy it was a good idea to sell the store to Tracy Chalmers. Tracy officially purchased and renamed the store Tracy’s Drive-In Grocery in 1946. It has been continuously run by the Chalmers family since that time. It was run and operated by his son and daughter, Forrest and Sarah Chalmers until February 2021. At that time, the store was bought by Athan and AnneMarie Schindler and Ryan and Samantha Holiday. Athan and Anne Marie are currently actively running the store with Joshua Bingamon lending his business expertise. They have brought new ideas while continuing to honor the traditions and history of store. The competition was intense with other small grocery stores in town when Tracy purchased the store. Local stores closed after 6:00 p.m. and on Sundays. Tracy gained loyal customers by providing extra services like working late and providing home deliveries for the first five years. Tracy’s was also known for extending credit to his customers when needed. No one went hungry. Over the years, Bastrop continued to grow. Super S, a grocery chain store, opened in town which resulted in many of the competing, small groceries closing. Later, Super S was replaced by Wal-Mart and HEB. Through it all, Tracy’s Drive-In Grocery has continued to serve loyal, local customers who can be seen walking, biking and driving up to the store. There are still occasional customers that arrive on horseback. Forrest, Tracy’s son, fondly remembers helping his father at the store after school in the mid-60’s. He made 25 cents an hour. In those early years, the store was subject to flooding. The neighbors would call if it looked like the store would flood. Forrest would run to the store and the neighbors would help him move items to higher shelves. During those years, the store’s only security was a baseball bat behind the counter. Tracy used to take the money home at the end of each day and liked to recount that one night a burglar tried to rob him, but he tackled him and got a bag of his money back. Generations of students can say that working at Tracy’s was their first job. Students still stop by before and after school as they have for many decades. On the wall by the door, there are rows of student photos going back to the 50’s. The pictures of many Tracy’s customers have been prominently displayed over the years as well as ever-changing flyers with info on everything from a free rooster to holiday dinners and sales at local churches. By the front door is a large, colorful rubber band ball that is made with rubber bands customers have contributed. The store has also been featured in numerous movies and commercials. Prominent in the store is a vintage 1948 Coca Cola drink cooler that was lovingly refurbished and is in its original location. Ice cold drinks in glass bottles can still be fished out of the cooler and you can “pop the top” with its bottle opener. The deli has also been in continuous service. The store is known for its pressed ham, bacon, summer sausage and “rat” cheese as it is called by the locals. Everything is sliced on-site by a manual slicer as ordered. Local farmers’ seasonal produce and farm fresh eggs are proudly sold. There are usually a couple of pickups in the parking lot and locals can be found by the register visiting about everything from local to world events. Former Bastropians drop by to visit when they are in town. Tracy’s continues to provide the legacy of old-time, excellent customer service. Nothing makes them happier than seeing old and making new friends that walk in the door.
Tracy's Drive-In Grocery is a little grocery with a BIG Heart located in historic, downtown Bastrop, Texas. The store opened in 1946 and continues a legacy of old-time personal customer service. There are few strangers that enter and none that leave.
Monday: 08:00 - 19:00