201 First Street

Star Store (Bakery)

1922: Joseph Primavera buys the Boston Bakery.

Circa 1920. First Street looking west (Courtesy Douglas McLeod).

Joseph Primavera, his wife Martina and their son Victor moved to Langley on September 13, 1917 and settled in the two-story house at the corner of Second Street and Anthes Avenue. Joseph purchased the home In 1919, and set up a shoe and harness repair business there.

In 1922, Joseph purchased a small building from Joseph Coleman on First Street that housed the "Boston Bakery." Photographs suggest that the building was constructed prior to 1913, but the exact date is unclear.

He named his business the "Star Shoe Store" after a brand of shoes manufactured by the Star International Shoe Company. The sign across the front of the building read "Auto Trimmings - Harness - Joe Primavera - Star Shoe Store".

Circa 1922. The Primavera family in front of the initial Star Store (Courtesy Anna Primavera).


1923. Martina Primavera stands in front of the Star Store (Courtesy South Whidbey Historical Society).

He repaired the building and constructed a lean-to on the back to serve as living quarters for the family. He soon began adding groceries and clothing to his store and "built a three bedroom home in back of the store to replace the lean-to" (Cherry, Vol. III).

1929: Addition to the Star Store.


1929. Joseph, Martina and Victor Primavera in front of the Star Store addition (Courtesy Anna Primavera).

In 1926, Joe bought the lot immediately east of his original store, and constructed a new, two story, building with a brick façade there in 1929. A building to the east (left) served as a storage area. The truck in front of the original store was used by Victor to haul groceries from Everett once a week.

1933: Original Star Store receives a new look.


Circa 1933. Star Store after remodel of original store (right)(Courtesy Anna Primavera).

The original Star Store building was extensively remodeled, and a second two-story building with brick façade erected in its place. Both buildings had entrances on First Street.


Ca. 1940. Anna and Victor Primavera in doorway of Star Store. (Courtesy Anna Primavera).

Victor Primavera and Anna Peters were married in 1938. The newly weds lived in an apartment upstairs overlooking First Street. Two of their daughters were born there. Victor bought the Star Store from his father who died the following Christmas at the age of 80. Martina died in 1940.

The store initially carried all sorts of merchandise. Groceries were added later. There were hotel rooms and offices upstairs prior to 1943.


Circa 1950s. Inside the Star Store (Courtesy Anna Primavera).

The warehouse was replaced with an addition to the store in 1965.


Circa 1971. New addition (Courtesy Anna Primavera).

In 1970, Victor purchased the two-story building just west of the Star Store from Etta C. DeBruyn and had it demolished. Victor's son Joe and two friends rented the town's dump truck and hauled material out to the dump. The lot remained vacant for several years.

In 1977, the Primaveras sold the store to Dale Elliott and Roberta ran it until 1984 when they sold it to Gene and Tamara Felton.


Circa 1985. Star Store. (Courtesy South Whidbey Historical Society).

Another addition to the Star Store designed by Michael Boyd was constructed on the vacant lot in 1994.


2007. Latest addition to Star Store (Courtesy Robert Waterman).