After World War I, Melvin Rucker, aka "Pops," worked as an electrician in Southern California. Following the death of his first wife, Martha, in 1943, he moved the remainder of his family back to Southeast Minnesota, where he later married Gladys Kjos.
Melvin, along with his sons G. Edward and Dale, operated The Pub Oyster Bar, a 3.2 beer bar in the new Miracle Mile Shopping Center, from 1952 to 1955. When his sons decided to open Inn the Moo’d, an ice cream parlor and teen dance club in 1955, Melvin and Gladys moved to the south side of Rochester and opened Pop’s Cheese Shop at 1712 S. Broadway, living in an apartment in the back of the shop.
Melvin retired from the fancy cheese business in 1961. It’s never been confirmed if the sign on the front of the shop is actually Pops Rucker.
“Lens on History” is a weekly photo feature by Lee Hilgendorf, a volunteer at the History Center of Olmsted County.