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The Great A & P: RIP

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As I delve into my big Thanksgiving grocery shopping, it seems like a good time to acknowledge the good old A & P. The dying grocery giant goes out of business, at the end of this month, after more than 150 years.

Just a few weeks ago I stumbled onto a great estate sale of a former A & P manager in New Jersey. Over the years, he salvaged and collected some wonderful A & P merchandise. I feel fortunate to have acquired some great original pieces.

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The signs, below, would have been used in this era. It's so much fun to look at the displays and the prices (!)

I will be putting many of these items up for sale in my Etsy shop. Maybe you can find a new life for them in your home or shop.

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A few other fun pieces that I came across at the sale were promotional pieces and give-aways, like this 1950's A & P "Play Store".

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A & P was founded by George Gilman in 1863, on Vesey St in NYC, as The Great American Tea Company. I have some wonderful tins dating back to it's early years. The green one, in the photo below, dates back to between 1863-1869.

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In 1869, when the trans-continental railroad was completed, the name was changed to The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company to reflect the exciting expansion of the market. The company continued to grow at a rapid pace and to innovate throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th century. It became the largest grocery chain in America. It lost it's way in recent years or failed to meet the new demands of the 21st century marketplace. We have our Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Costcos…all good, but somehow not the same.

Wherever and however you buy your groceries, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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