Launched as a cut-rate drug store in 1925, Webb's City grew fast during the Depression thanks to "Doc" Webb's willingness to do anything to attract customers. He was particularly beloved for his two-cent breakfasts in those early days, when anyone who could scrounge up some pennies got an egg, a bacon strip, and a side of buttered toast, along with a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice. Thus fortified, anyone could go shopping at Webb's.
Webb fashioned himself as a man of the little people, selling goods below prices set by their producers and fighting lawsuits that challenged his cut-rate tactics. In St. Petersburg and the Florida Dream: 1888-1950, Raymond Arsenault quotes Webb's philosophy, "I don't care a damn about money . . . I wanted customers."
At its zenith, Webb's City included 77 stores covering seven city blocks, selling groceries, hardware, surgical supplies, electronics, clothes and, of course, drugs. Webb's City offered a combination of history, hucksterism, and value that can only now be experienced, I suppose, in South Dakota's Wall Drug. I'd love to learn more about Webb's City, so if you ever visited "Doc" Webb's beloved xanadu of values, please leave a comment.