Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A&P Ad – January 16, 1952

Ad from the Lorain Journal of January 16, 1952
It’s hard to believe that the great A&P grocery store chain is no more.

According to this Wiki entry, it had struggled since the 1990s, and been in and out of bankruptcy – before finally closing all of its remaining stores in late 2015.

That’s why it’s strange to see the nearly full-page ad above, which ran in the Lorain Journal on January 16, 1952 – 65 years ago yesterday. It reminds me of its one-time market dominance, with its great in-house brands (such as Eight O’Clock Coffee, which is still around today).

It’s no wonder that Mom shopped regularly at A&P in the Lorain Plaza shopping center in the 1960s. The chain had a long history in Lorain.

According to an article in the June 21, 1955 Lorain Journal, the first two outlets in Lorain celebrated simultaneous openings on July 1, 1919. One was located at 858 Broadway and the other was at 500 E. Erie. A third A&P store opened on August 1, 1919 on Pearl in South Lorain.

During the 1920s, an incredible thirteen A&Ps opened in Lorain. These small, neighborhood stores were followed by six more in the 1930s!

At one point, Lorain's biggest A&P was at 3809 Broadway, which opened in 1955. A&P even constructed an extension of W. 38th from Broadway to Elyria Avenue. (Don’t look for that street on a map today; somehow it disappeared after that store closed in the early 1970s.)

Sheffield Lake’s A&P opened in August 1959. It was followed by the Lorain Plaza store, which opened in August 1960 (which I wrote about here).

Like I’ve said before, I remember seeing Ann Page products on pantry shelves in our house in the 1960s, never realizing that it was an A&P house brand. I thought Ann Page was a Betty Crocker-like cook who specialized in preserves.

I still buy Eight O’Clock coffee once in a while. The gimmick of grinding it in the store – and smelling its rich aroma – works for me.

That’s why I could never own a Keurig®. I want to sniff that coffee, man.

Although I don’t shop for antiques anymore (since I’m rapidly becoming one myself), I still have a few doodads on my shelves at home. That includes the two A&P souvenirs below.

I used an identical A&P scoop for years to make coffee every morning, until it cracked. I then broke down and reluctantly started measuring with a tablespoon.


Lisa said...

I believe there was an A&P at the corner of Abbe and Cleveland St. in Elyria, which is now an Apples grocery store. Is the A&P at the corner of "Rt. 301 and Lake" in Sheffield now an Apples as well? I remember the Ann Page brand and shopping at the Elyria A&P with my mom in the 1960's . . . eating ice chunks from the produce display and having an employee lecture me on how bad it was to eat that ice.

Dan Brady said...

Thanks for the comment. The former A&P that was in the Shoreway Shopping Center in Sheffield Lake made a final ghostly appearance before it was demolished along with the southern portion of the shopping center. You can read about it here:


There is currently an Apples in the center but it is in a standalone building that housed a variety of grocery stores over the years, including Giant Eagle, Sparkle, and Krogers.

Anonymous said...

"A&P even constructed an extension of W. 38th from Broadway to Elyria Avenue. (Don’t look for that street on a map today; somehow it disappeared after that store closed in the early 1970s.)" Ah, but I DID look for it on a "map" today. So, it appears that the A&P at 3809 Broadway was where Ely Enterprises currently is, just adjacent to 39th St. If you look at Google Street view, you'll see a rather large, wide apron to the north of the Ely Enterprises property which looks to me like the possible Broadway end of a destroyed 38th St. extension. It thus appears that the junk yard (now Mammoth Auto Parts, I can't remember what it used to be) was built, if that's the right word, over the remains of the dearly departed 38th St. extension to Elyria Ave. Just a guess, of course, I didn't get here until '75. Don Wozniak

Mark said...

I remember the A&P in vermilion. It was a great store!

Dan Brady said...

Hi Don,
Thanks for checking that out. I looked at the historicaerials.com website and you're right, the short connecting road was just north of the former A&P building (now Ely Enterprises). For a while, that part of Broadway was a real grocery store district, with Meyer Goldberg's first big store just across the street plus his Mr. G. convenient store.

Bill Rees said...

OK, so i'll add my two cents also. There was an A&P on Kansas Ave in Lorain also where the old Atkinson and Williams Ford dealership was. :)

Dan Brady said...

Hi Bill,
I’m guessing that A&P was the one at 1600 Kansas Avenue. It was one of only four listed in the area in the 1960 Lorain directory. (Besides it, there was the one in Sheffield Lake, the one on Broadway and one in Amherst at 201 Park Avenue.)

Rick Kurish said...

The Amherst A&P was located in the substantial brick building on the north east corner Park Avenue and Church Street in downtown Amherst. In the 1950s my best friends aunt worked there as a cashier, so his mother would occasionally send us to the store on our bicycles to pick up something she needed. Even in the 1950s the store struck me as old fashioned. The rather small store was permeated by the smell of ground coffee, and the wooden floors in some sections of the store were covered in sawdust -- which we thought was pretty cool!