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Back in Time: ShopRite 1975

ShopRite has long been a major name in New Jersey supermarkets, but recall that in 1975, the cooperative was reeling from the loss of Supermarkets General, which in 1968 had split off and become Pathmark. It, of course, would go on to more than recover from the loss, but in 1975 the cooperative was definitely still trying to regain members and market share. In the metro New York market, by the mid-1970s, Pathmark was near the market leader, which it would become by the end of the decade (and then, if I'm not mistaken, lose the title to ShopRite in the late 1980s). In 1975, ShopRites were located in Hillside (where the current one is), Clark (replaced by the existing store in the 90s), Millburn (which recently went through a renovation ), Union (now Second Avenue since the store moved to Route 22), and Colonia -- although I'm not sure about whether that's before or after it was a Stop & Shop (later Foodtown and now The Fresh Grocer ). Although ShopRite still has a l
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Back in Time: Medi-Mart 1975

Medi-Mart was admittedly a drugstore, not a supermarket, but this 1975 ad from an issue of the Daily Journal features the Stop & Shop-owned chain's Garwood location, located in the same strip mall as the Garwood Stop & Shop -- later Kings . In fact, the ad even proudly proclaims the store is "next to Stop & Shop"! As we can see, Medi-Mart sold a variety of products, from drugs to cigars, home goods to ice cream. I don't know much about Medi-Mart, though, since its life and death were all before my own. But tomorrow we're looking at an ad for a supermarket we're all very familiar with!

Back in Time: Foodtown 1975

The Elizabeth Daily Journal started publication in Chatham, NJ as the New Jersey Journal, later moved to Elizabeth and was renamed in 1787. Remarkably, the newspaper was published until 1992, and my grandmother saved a few issues of the paper, mostly from the 1970s and 80s. While recently cleaning out her attic, I flipped through some of the papers on a hunch that I might find some supermarket ads. I was right. This Foodtown ad comes from a July 16, 1975 edition of the paper, when Foodtown had I believe two locations in Elizabeth and multiple in the surrounding communities. Its parent company, Twin County Grocers, was based just to the south in Edison. Unfortunately, though, this ad does not list the local locations at the time of publication.

Back in Time: Custom Meats 1974

April 5, 1974: Custom Meats, Inc. was celebrating the grand opening of its Huntington store in this ad scanned from an original New York Daily News page from that time. I love the part specifying "no beef priced over $1.69 lb". This is an advertisement for something that, as far as I can tell, is relatively rare -- a chain of dedicated butcher shops (as opposed to the more common chains of grocers or even produce markets). Looking at the locations where these stores were, it also appears that they were very small, so not even something like a Giunta's Meat Farms which is a true supermarket with a large meat department component. It's also an unusual collection of locations, with Long Island, Queens, Rockland, and New Jersey represented. I found this in a newspaper from my grandmother's attic, and I thought that this might be the best I can do as far as finding grocery ads in the old papers. Luckily, I was wrong! Up next is the next ad I found, which we'll be s

Step Back in Time with Grocery Archaeology!

  This December... step back in time with Grocery Archaeology! During our winter break, don't miss a collection of old photos, ads, postcards, and more related to grocery stores here on Grocery Archaeology! Regular posting will resume on January 1st with jumping into the start of New York State, but in the meantime, enjoy this historical collection and then some time off for our winter break. Enjoy!

111 Hulst Dr, Matamoras, PA

Original Grocery Tenant: Grand Union Address: 111 Hulst Dr, Matamoras, PA Opened:  1993 Closed:  2001 Later Tenants:  Grand Union Family Markets (2001-2004) Photographed:  February 3, 2021 Yesterday we saw a former Grand Union that has remained a supermarket since, and today, we're going to check out one that closed almost 20 years ago. The Westfall Town Center was originally built with a 115,000 square foot Kmart and a 40,000 square foot Grand Union. The latter was subdivided in 2004 with multiple tenants including a movie theater, and the former was subdivided in late 2021, with 73,000 square feet of it going to ShopRite. That replaced the now-closed Montague store  just two miles east across in New Jersey. Tomorrow we're headed to the other supermarket in Matamoras on The Market Report , which is also our last Pennsylvania store!

5684 PA-115, Blakeslee, PA

Original Grocery Tenant: A&P Address: 5684 PA-115, Blakeslee, PA Opened:  unknown Closed:  unknown Later Tenants:  Ahart's Thriftway (open by 1976) > Ahart's Market Photographed:  October 15, 2023 Time for a little bonus post! A commenter on a Flickr photo says this 15,000 square foot was originally an A&P, but by 1976, it was Ahart's Thriftway. By 1998, it was still a Thriftway, and the following year, the newer location had been opened across the street. I'm not clear whether it opened as a Thriftway and later switched to Great Valu, or if it has been a Great Valu since it opened. Now for a look at what's next door... A 45,000 square foot former Jamesway at the other end of the strip mall is now a somewhat strange indoor flea market, but it definitely has signs of its Jamesway past, including the fact that the flea market sign is a banner over the old Jamesway sign. In the bathrooms, we have a more explicit indication... The strip mall is now mostly

24 Main Ave, Hawley, PA

Original Grocery Tenant: ACME Markets Address: 24 Main Ave, Hawley, PA Opened:  1950s Closed:  1994 Later Tenants:  Insalaco's (1994-1995) > Dutch's Market (1995-2006) > IGA (2006-2014) > Dollar General (2015- ) Photographed:  December 18, 2019 and May 28, 2023 Hawley, PA is a delightful quaint little town on the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack, a very interesting manmade lake (where you can also take a beautiful boat tour). This 13,000 square foot store was built in the 1950s by ACME and then closed in 1994, but here's where it gets interesting. Insalaco's was apparently here for just a year, opening in 1994 and closing in 1995. Dutch's Market, which has another location in Greentown which we'll be touring in a few days, was here from 1995 to 2006, at which point the store closed and was sold to the owners of the other supermarket in town, the Lake Region IGA. It operated as an IGA until 2014 (after it was beginning to close in 2011, but extended briefl

1199 Texas Palmyra Hwy, Honesdale, PA

Original Grocery Tenant: Giant Market Address: 1199 Texas Palmyra Hwy, Honesdale, PA Opened:  ca. 1972 Closed:  1993 Later Tenants:  Insalaco's > subdivided Photographed:  May 28, 2023 This 25,000 square foot store was built as a Giant Market at the eastern end of the Route 6 Mall at some point around 1972 before becoming an Insalaco's. Insalaco's then moved to a former Kmart, before ultimately becoming a Weis . As AFB pointed out a few months ago (which I didn't know), there were actually four  Giant chains at one point or another. Giant-MD and Giant-PA, of course, both of which are now owned by Ahold. There was also a chain in the Binghamton area, mostly acquired by Weis; and yet another (which I didn't realize was separate from the Binghamton chain), based in Scranton and at its peak, with 25 locations. In 1971, the Scranton-based Giant Market grew from 20 to 25 stores with the acquisition of five Food Fair stores. The chain declared bankruptcy in 1983, and

Coming Soon!

  Welcome to the Poconos! The Poconos are the mountains running between Stroudsburg and the Wyoming Valley. We're going to start to the east of Carbondale in Waymart, where we'll see a store that recently changed ownership. Then we'll roughly continue east along route 6 with some stops to the south in Greentown, Daleville, Blakeslee, Mount Pocono, and Mountainhome, then moving east to the Port Jervis area for Milford and Matamoras. Believe it or not, then we're completely done with Pennsylvania! Of course, not nearly all of the grocery stores in Pennsylvania, but just the relatively few stores I've actually been to and have pictures of. There's a lot of wilderness in this area, with state forests and game lands surrounding us, so we'll be seeing a lot of small stores in small towns. But it means a lot of interesting stuff, including lots of independent stores! We're going to begin with a store in Waymart tomorrow on  The Independent Edition !