In the summer of 1978, Alford's IGA, a sister store to the like-named supermarket in Argos, under the leadership of Dave Alford, was opened in a newly-constructed, airily large building. Alford's came on the scene at a period in Culver's history when just one grocery store had survived the changing economic patterns of small-town life: that of Park N' Shop, which itself dated back to 1961 in Culver, when Charles Rhodes added to the chain of Park N' Shop stores he owned in several other communities the former Deckard's Super Market at 115 E. Jefferson (former home of Rideon Bicycles).
Two years later, however, Rhodes upped the ante by opened Park N' Shop in a "new, modern," steel-sided store (much larger than 115 Jefferson had been), east of its former location on land occupied today by part of the Culver Cove parking lot.
By April of 1981, the Rhodes family had purchased the IGA building, which of course was perfectly suited to moving a good-sized grocery store in. In so doing, the Culver shopping experience for that most critical of items -- food -- shifted for the first time completely away from downtown, and in fact from the most prominent business areas of town, to the edge of town. The building itself remained largely unchanged from that time forth for a couple of decades (though many in Culver will recall the days when a common expectation at most grocery stores, Park N Shop included, was the "bag boy" carrying groceries to the customer's car, now a long bygone practice), until 2009, when the store underwent a massive remodel which included a new exterior, addition to the north, an elaborate mural painted by local artist John Bickel, and a rotation in the direction of the store's aisles (which formerly led the shopper from north to south, and now do so from east to west, as it were).
Some of the change is undoubedtly owed to the presence of owner Bill Rhodes, who with wife Cheryl moved to Culver to retire around that time. Park N Shop continues to be a staple of the town, even if greater mobility means some residents shop outside of Culver. It's safe to say, however, that virtually everyone relies on the grocery store at 1105 N. Lake Shore to fulfill some all-important shopping need.