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Following up with even more A&P and other grocery store memories

A & P logoTuesday, we talked about Stewartstown memories, including Norris Grocery – which had formerly been an A&P.

That got me started thinking about that chain again, which no longer exists in York County. We’d talked about them back in June (that’s when I’d originally shared the Norris Grocery photo from Mary Kurman).

And originally, in this April post, we starting talking about A&P following a letter from Linda Arnold.

Since then, I’ve heard from some other folks who remember this grocery chain.

Kathy Campbell Beaverson writes, “I remember that there was an A&P where Print O Stat is now, on West Market St. My mother used to go there.”

Commenter Bill Schmeer said, “When you’re talking A&P, you’re talking close to my heart. My father was an A&P manager when I was born, which was 1930. Back then, all grocery stores were ‘corner stores’ or mom and pop stores as mentioned by Connie Morningstar. The supermarket concept had not yet taken hold. Customers could either visit the store or could call in their orders and they would be delivered in wooden express wagons with metal rimmed wheels, pulled by boys or young men, who were hired for that purpose. Many of those young men went on to become store clerks and some, eventually, to become managers themselves. My father earned all of $35 a week, with any produce losses being deducted before payment. My mother said he never brought home a full pay. A&P went to the supermarket concept around 1937.”

About the delivery, he continues, “Those express wagons were regular size wagons like the metal wagons you can buy today. They had wood spoke wheels with metal rims. A lot of kids had them. You put one knee into the bed and with the other leg you propelled it along, just like a scooter. Although the wagon was equipped with a wooden brake that could be pressed against the wheel rim, the brake was usually the foot on the same leg used to propel the wagon, which is why the left shoe always wore out before the right one.”

How about that – what a great way to deliver! Bill S. also mentioned that he thinks what another Bill, Bill Landes, remembered on Philadelphia Street across from where the White Rose is now was a Food Fair rather than the A&P that Bill L. suggested. (I have more details to come on this intersection – it turns out that the family of my daughter’s teachers had owned property there for many, many years, and she’s willing to share some info with us!)

Commenter Anita said there was an A&P on Philadelphia Street – but on East Philadelphia, not West – and that it was right before the railroad tracks at Broad Street.

And finally, commenter Nancy of Rediscovering Grandma, a former Yorker now living in New Jersey, brings up another store. She says, “I remember an A&P, but I couldn’t tell you where it was if my life depended on it. The one I remember was the Pantry Pride, which was at Queensgate where the Weis is now. It had sort of a colonial-looking sign and blue was definitely the color of choice. I must’ve been pretty small when Weis took over that space, though, because I don’t remember too much else about the PP.”

Does anyone else? As I’ve mentioned before, I like grocery-store memories, so please share!

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