At the turn of the 20th century, Vincent Hromadka came to St. Louis from Bohemia now part of the Czech Republic. While walking home from work at Heil Packing Co, he passed a meat market. Seeing the butcher eating chicken during the middle of the week., when chicken was very expensive, made Vince decide to operate a meat market as he did in Bohemia.In 1912 Vincent Hromadka quit Heil Packing Co and opened a meat market in the Bohemian Hill section of St. Louis at 1838 South 11th St. (S. 11th and Emmet St. in Soulard). The first Vincent’s Market catered to the Bohemian population in the area around St. John Nepomuk Church and Czech National Hall. In the 1950’s this building was razed for the 3rd Street Highway (I-55).
In 1922 Vincent’s Market moved west to 1928 South 13th St. as a meat market with some groceries. The City of St. Louis street department widened Gravois, and the building was moved back into its rear yard. The address was changed to 1266 Gravois. (SIDE NOTE – The 50 Gallon caldron that was used to make fresh liver sausage was too heavy too move and was left in the basement, paved over and now sits under Gravois.)
In 1937 Vincent’s Market moved again west, to the corner of 39th and Shenandoah. Vincent Hromadka Jr. entered the business. This store kept up with the times, by offering grocery, meat, and produce. They also joined a voluntary food chain IGA
In 1958 Vincent’s Market was on the move again, this time it moved east back to the old neighborhood, at 1102 Park Ave. By 1958 most of the Bohemian people were gone. The old Hudson Show, at one time was a brewery and church, was remodeled into a grocery store, where it did business till 1963. (SIDE NOTE - While at 1102 Park Ave., Vincent’s Market was robbed by James Earl Ray. He was serving time at the Missouri State Prison for robbing Vincent’s Market and a Kroger Store, when he escaped. A year latter he assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis.) In 1963 Vincent’s Market built a new store across the street, at 1025 Park Ave, after the City of St. Louis bought the building to raze it for a park. In 1968 Vincent Hromadka III entered the business.
In 1971 Vincent’s Market moved again. This move was to St. Louis County 600 West Woodbine in Kirkwood. The building was remodeled with a new front, floor, and display cases.
In 1978 again the store moved to its biggest location at 2651 Telegraph Rd. in South County
On March 17, 1986 after a 49 year absence Vincent Hromadka III moved the store back to Soulard. In 2006 it celebrated its 20th year at the present location of 2400 South 12th Street. In 2004 his sons Vincent IV and David entered the business, son Steven joined in 2008.
Vincent’s Market plans to serve the Soulard and surrounding neighborhoods by broadening its selection of groceries, meat, produce and liquor. Enhancing these sections to better suit the needs of its customers to insure that Vincent’s Market will remain A REAL NEIGHBORHOOD STORE.
In 2023 we celebrate our 111th year in business. That makes Vincent’s Market one of the oldest family owned grocery stores in St. Louis.