Posted by: Kath Usitalo | December 27, 2010

Fresh – Pure – Delicious Memories Of Detroit

A tasty blast from the past is back

Paige and I were strolling through the super-duper Nino Salvaggio market in Clinton Township when I was stopped in my tracks by a display of Velvet Peanut Butter jars.

Velvet was the peanut butter of my youth. The creamy, go-to snack and school lunch staple was made in Detroit from 1937 until the company was sold in 1985. This was the main ingredient in the cookies I made by the dozens.

I remember the impish mugs of the “Fresh, Pure, and Delicious” lads on the huge, vertical Velvet billboard that was on West Grand Boulevard and Third, near the Fisher Building.

Apparently I was the last Baby Boomer in the Detroit area to know about Velvet’s return, brought back to grocery store shelves by a couple with Michigan roots who lived in Atlanta, Georgia, where the peanut butter is now made.

While scanning the www for info on Velvet Peanut Butter I came across a great source of Detroit trivia for Baby Boomers nostalgic about the city of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

Inspired by the “You Know You’re From Detroit If…” list of fun stuff that made the rounds via e-mail in 2002, Eileen Trombley Glick, who grew up in St. Clair Shores and now lives in Arizona, launched the Detroit Memories website.

It’s grown to include a Detroit Discussion Group, a free e-newsletter, Facebook page, links to related sites, and an online Everything Detroit store.

Detroit Memories is a blast from the past—a fun read both for remembering people and places and learning tidbits that weren’t a part of my experience.

I bought jars of Velvet for my siblings and for home, confirming Paige’s assessment of why the brand had been revived: To tap into the tremendous pool of Baby Boomers who would pay for a taste of their past.



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