Cut Rate Service


412 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29403


Throughout the mid-1900s, Leon (1911-1997) & Ethel Miller Lipman (c.1913-1985) managed at least eight businesses in Charleston. Leon was the oldest of five children born in Charleston to Polish immigrant Hyman (1881-1951) and his first wife, Rachel Finkelstein Lipman (b. 1894). Leon grew up working as a clerk in his father’s grocery store and married Ethel sometime before 1938. Ethel also grew up in the mercantile industry and, following her father Charles Miller (1873-1938), immigrated to the United States from Poland with her mother, Liba Chervonykamen Miller (1873-1938), and four older siblings around the age of five.


After working for his father for several years, Leon opened his own grocery store at 16 America Street around 1935. Within three years, he named this fledgling business Cut Rate Foodland and opened two more groceries: Cut Rate Service at 412 Meeting Street and Bargain Corner Market at 58 Calhoun Street. Continuing to operate Bargain Corner Market and Lipman Cut Rate Foodland, Leon closed Cut Rate Service around 1940. He was later remembered for establishing Leon’s 5 Cents, 10 Cents & 1 Dollar Store with Ethel in 1957.

Main Image:  1944 Charleston Sanborn Fire Insurance Map showing 412 Meeting Street in red. Reprinted from the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

The Jewish Merchant Project is supported by the generosity of the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the Stanley B. Farbstein Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation.

JHSSC Office
Sylvia Vlosky Yaschik Jewish Studies Center
96 Wentworth Street
Charleston, SC 29424
Phone: 843 953 3918