Because of Shockoe Slip's convenience to both canal and rail transport, many different businesses contributed to its economic make-up. Some of the buildings in this block housed concerns that would be expected in the area, such as a cigar manufacturer and commission merchants. There were, however, others with more exotic specialties—a dealer in oils, a vinegar company, and a "fancy grocer and confectioner." All moved in and out of these buildings during the last hundred and twenty years. Several feed and grain merchants, a large wholesale liquor supplier, and the first Richmond office of the National Biscuit Company also occupied these buildings. This mercantile evolution resulted in a neighborhood exhibiting the levels of history and visual complexity that made the revitalization by businesses and restaurants on this block successful.