Business: Dime Groceries

In the noisy shadow of the Ninth Avenue L, at 47th street, Manhattan, there is a tiny grocery store bristling with progress. First glance reveals no striking difference from myriad other stores; glance two does. A placard reads: "Nothing in this store over 5 & 10 cents." There are other wall slogans: "Ordinarily we dislike seeing folks get in a Pickle but let us help you. There is no gamble about our Diced carrots." A lone cashier, for a dime, will dispense eggs by threes, bacon in strips of six, butter in quarters of a pound, anchovy paste, or vegetal buds.

The...