Snider Plaza Evolves But Boasts Many Mainstays

Snider Plaza opened in 1927 but remained underdeveloped through the Depression.

By 1945, University Park had grown to around 18,000 residents and had 120 businesses. Businesses have come and gone over the years, but a few have stood the test of time.

The Fuqua family’s Plaza Health Foods at 6722 Snider Plaza is likely the oldest.

“It was originally my grandad Paul’s Plaza Bakery, which he started after World War II,” recounted proprietor Max Fuqua. “Safeway was becoming more popular as people trended toward a one-stop shop. They kind of saw the writing on the wall and decided to do something no one else was doing. My grandmother, Esther, was trained as a nurse before the widespread use of pharmaceuticals.”

Having learned plant-based medicine, she put the first supply of vitamins and herbs in the bakery in 1949.

“It became a center for health here in Dallas and later nationwide,” said Max, who took over the business in 1999. “We have customers all over the world now. But we have frozen yogurt now instead of cakes. My dad took it over in the ‘70s and built it up into a bigger operation. He put in frozen yogurt in the ‘70s, so we’re probably the oldest yogurt shop in town, too.”

Another venerable plaza mainstay is Kuby’s Sausage House and Market at 6601 Snider Plaza, opened by Karl Kuby Sr. in 1961. Generations of UP residents have grown up with its beloved German food and fare.

“6601 was originally two stores — Kuby’s and Mr. Tuxedo,” proprietor Karl Kuby Jr. said. “In 1971, Mr. Tuxedo said, ‘We really gotta move because our tuxedoes are smelling like sausage.’ So, my dad took over that part, and Mr. Tuxedo moved down to the corner.”

In 1977, Kuby’s expanded the deli, meat market, and shop by absorbing the space of an auto parts store at 6605.

“I love what I do,” Karl Jr. said. “What I love even more is seeing my customers’ fourth and fifth generations. That’s really cool.”

So is seeing Karl Sr. still visiting weekly at 91.

“He loves seeing the customers that he’s seen forever,” Karl Jr. said. “And he loves giving out the gummi bears to the kids.”

Suzanne Roberts’ self-titled gift shop at 6718 Snider Plaza will turn 49 this November. What began as a way to “make a little extra money” has flowered into a Plaza mainstay for stationary, gifts, and seasonal décor.

“I’m the only one outside of Neiman Marcus who carries MacKenzie-Childs,” she boasted.

“Some of the young (customers’) grandparents were shopping with me,” Suzanne said.

“Business is better than it used to be in that people have more discretionary income,” she added, but rents have increased, and she bought her present building in 2016.

“I’m always looking for new things, changing it up,” Suzanne said. “The only thing that’s certain is change.”

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