There may have a been a time in history when the word grocer had a very different meaning. In early times, the grocer may have been known as the local merchant and his facility a Mercantile. The premise, however, was still the same. The merchant received his goods from traders who crossed continents to find the best in spices and food goods. It did not hurt that a few new cooking implements, such as a mortar and pestle or a pepper or salt cellar, were among those items traded. The necessities a merchant sold in those kept the larders full and the people from hunger.