I think I was born (1971) close to the end of the door-to-door general sales era, since I do remember the salesmen coming with their little basket of samples, but that ended well before I was a teenager.
I’m talking about companies like Jewel Tea. According to the link, they did, indeed, phase out the door-to-door division in 1981. I wasn’t aware that they had a chain of supermarkets, as well…they aren’t in our area, that I know of.
All I know is that it was endlessly fascinating to visually rummage through the Jewel Tea man’s basket while he talked to my mother.
I’m sure there were other companies that had the same sales model. Share your memories.