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The early A&P Grocery Stores in York were located in first floor storefronts of buildings with offices and/or residences on upper floor(s). These food stores would have appeared something like this night view of an A&P Grocery Store, which is only identified as in Pennsylvania during the early 1930s. (Source: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

Stories of A&P Food Stores in York County

Did you, or family, work or shop at an A&P Grocery Store in York County? Sandy Brown inquired: “My father worked at the A&P next to the York Mall and when that store closed he worked at the A&P in Red Lion. His grandfather was an A&P employee in York, going back to 1919. Is that when A&P stores first came to York County? My father believed the store in Red Lion was the last A&P in York County, is that true?”

That query went to the top of my YorksPast To-Do-List, because of an item my Dad shared years ago, of which I wrote: “For spending money while in High School [i.e. 1928-1932], Dad delivered groceries for A&P stores. He recalled York City had about a dozen stores. One had a nice in-store bakery, that his Mom enjoyed their Boston Cream Pies. When it was Dad’s turn to supply the dessert for the evening meal, four deliveries were required to purchase one of those pies.”

A search of old York newspapers, via Newspapers.com provided the answers to Sandy’s questions and answered a question I had: What did a Boston Cream Pie cost in those days? With that I could determine how much Dad was paid per grocery delivery.

A search of newspapers revealed the first A&P Grocery Store in York County opened on November 23, 1911. It was located in York at 144 West Market Street. The building at the location has long since been torn down for off-street parking.

The first A&P Grocery Store in York County opened on November 23, 1911. It was located at 144 West Market Street. (CLICK to ENLARGE . . . . . Ad in The GAZETTE, York, PA., Nov. 23, 1911, Pg. 6)

In 1911, A&P Grocery Stores were the first major national/regional chain in York County and the opening day ad does indicate the store provided free delivery from the start. The next year an A&P Grocery Store ad continues to indicate the A&P provides Free Delivery. That ad states there are 375 A&P stores in the U.S., as off 1912. The ad also provides The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company was established in 1859 and incorporated in 1901.

This is lower section of an A&P Grocery Store ad, in The York Dispatch, indicating Free Delivery. The ad also states there are 375 A&P stores in the U.S. The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company was established in 1859 and incorporated in 1901. (The York Dispatch, York, PA., Apr. 29, 1912, pg.2)

In checking for A&P ads when Dad was in High School, this 1930 ad in The York Dispatch notes, “At our 21 W. Market St. Store, Baked on the Premises in Our Own Modern Bakery.”

(CLICK to ENLARGE . . . . . Ad in The York Dispatch, York, PA., Aug. 28, 1930, Pg. 6)

Via a 1931 Directory of York City, I was able to confirm, at that time, there were 11 A&P Grocery Stores in York City: Three on West Market Street at Nos. 21, 366 and 671. Plus: 23 North Beaver Street, 201 South Duke Street, 435 South George Street, 100 West Jackson Street, 673 East Market Street, 7 West Philadelphia Street, 161 East Philadelphia Street, and 235 South Pine Street.

Per the 1931 Directory of York, PA., there are 11 A&P Grocery Stores in York City: Three on West Market Street at Nos. 21, 366 and 671. Plus: 23 North Beaver St., 201 South Duke St., 435 South George St., 100 West Jackson St., 673 East Market St., 7 West Philadelphia St., 161 East Philadelphia St., and 235 South Pine St. (U.S. City Directories via Ancestry.com)

The locations of the eleven A&P Grocery Stores are shown on a 2024 Google Map of York City.

Locations of the 11 A&P Grocery Stores in York City during 1931: Three were on West Market Street at Nos. 21, 366 and 671. Plus: 23 North Beaver St., 201 South Duke St., 435 South George St., 100 West Jackson St., 673 East Market St., 7 West Philadelphia St., 161 East Philadelphia St., and 235 South Pine St. (S.H. Smith annotation of 2024 Google Map)

A 1931 ad in The York Dispatch notes the A&P Grocery Store at 21 West Market Street sold Boston Cream Pies for 17-cents. If purchased between 2 and 3 P.M. they were “Extra Special,” maybe a penny or two less? Therefore it is likely Dad was getting about 4-cents per delivery.

In 1931, the A&P Grocery Store at 21 West Market Street in York, PA., sold Boston Cream Pies for 17-cents. (Ad in The York Dispatch, November 12, 1931, pg. 20)

The following 1975 photo is of the 21-23 West Market Street building in York prior to it being demolished to create Cherry Lane pedestrian walkway from Market Street to Central Market. During the late 1920s and early 1930s the storefront with the awning contained an A&P Grocery Store with an in-store bakery.

This is a 1975 photo of the 21-23 West Market Street building prior to it being demolished to create Cherry Lane pedestrian walkway from Market Street to Central Market. During the late 1920s and early 1930s the storefront with the awning contained an A&P Grocery Store with an in-store bakery. (York County History Center on-line photo 39278.007W.025P)

Last A&P in York City

The last A&P Grocery Store operating in York City was located in the Yorktowne Mall at 135 North Duke Street. After several weeks of heavily discounted sales to clear the shelves, its final day was Saturday January 2, 1982.

A&P Food Store at York Mall

The York Mall opened along East Market Street in Springettsbury Township during 1968. At that time a stand-along A&P Food Store also opened surrounded by the Mall parking lot directly at the corner of East Market and Northern Way. After several weeks of heavily discounted sales to clear the shelves, that store closed Saturday February 6, 1982. A February 10, 1982 auction on the site sold all supermarket equipment in the store.

Showbiz Pizza opened in the southern half of the former A&P on February 28, 1983. It was an indoor amusement and entertainment center with a dining room containing a 42-foot stage. They served pizza, sandwiches, salad, ice cream and soft drinks. In 1990, the business was rebranded as Chuck E. Cheese with a theme providing a greater emphasis on catering to children.

In the north half of the former A&P a So-Fro Fabrics store operated there prior to the present Party City store. In 2003, several stores were built onto the Market Street end of the former A&P building. The major anchor was a Panera Bread, which opened on February 24, 2003.

Final A&P Food Stores in York County

After the A&P Stores closed in and near York during 1982, there appears to be only two stores remaining in York County. An A&P Food Store operated at Clearview Shopping Center in Hanover until about 1986. And an A&P Food Store operated at Dairyland Shopping Center in Red Lion until about 1987.

Number of A&P Stores Nationwide

There were 375 A&P stores in the U.S. in 1912, which was a year after their first store opened in York County. During 1930, with 11 A&P stores in York City, there were 15,709 A&P stores across the country. When the final stores closed in York County, the number of A&P stores nationwide was dropping fast, approaching 1,000. All A&P stores were closed by November of 2015.

Click on this LINK for a yorkblog.com Full View of the photos and illustrations in this post.

Links to related posts:

Bear’s Food Market, an AG Food Store

The Community Grocery Store in East York

Keller’s Grocery Store in Pleasureville

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts