Tillie’s Store was opened in the 1940s by Matilda “Tillie” Jason and her husband, Johnny Jason (pictured). It was a grocery store unlike any other because, among other things, it offered a seat caning service — Peter Manso said in 2012 that Tillie’s caning on his mother’s rocker was still good — and the works of Harry Kemp, each “signed with a seagull’s feather” by the author. “They sold candy to kids at a monetary loss,” Daniel Kearney recalled, “because (quoting my Dad who was quoting John): ‘A kid has to be able to buy something for a penny.’” Ginny McKenna, or “Ginny Jewels,” the proprietor of Small Pleasures, bought the property from the Jason family in 1990 and greatly altered it.
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