Document of the Month - January

Early Shopping in Stirling - D. & J. MacEwen Ltd Grocers and Wine Merchants, Port Street

MacEwen’s splendid grocery store, seen here around 1910, was established in Stirling by brothers Daniel and James McEwen in the 1790s. They were joined by the other MacEwen brother, John in the early 1800s and it was his sons that took over the business in the later 19th century.

The Council Archives holds a day book for the company, dating from 1799 that has to be one of the earliest records of a grocery shop in Scotland. The volume gives details of orders made to the shop by their customers and indicates the diversity of the produce sold. The first entry showing the grocery order for a John Stewart of Kippen includes tobacco, rope, tea, ink, snuff, soap and sugar.

As well as groceries, MacEwen’s was famous for the range and diversity of the wines in stock from the great vineyards of the world and for its fine array of whiskies. MacEwen’s even had their own whisky blend known as the ‘Sterlini’, a blend of 10 year old malts that was exported to India, Africa and Canada and to other places all around the world.

PH61/31 & 42. PD13/1