Central Massachusetts

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Pete

Central Massachusetts

Post by Pete » 18 Nov 2005 17:07

Can anyone add to this list? I'm trying to think of which chains were around the general Worcester area in the 1980s.

So far I've got:
  • Finast
    Iandoli's
    Price Rite
    Shaw's
    Big D
And a few independents...
  • Whitman's
    Economy (later Meat Master, now an office building)
    Cow's Farm
Any additions are appreciated. Not for any particular reason, just because I'm mildly obsessed, I guess.

Also, does anyone know if there was any connection between that Price Rite chain and the one presently in parts of New England that's owned by Wakefern Foods (ShopRite)?

I would be ecstatic, by the way, to even *see* a picture of Whitman's, which is many years gone now.

rich
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Location: Washington, DC

Post by rich » 20 Nov 2005 21:27

What about Stop & Shop (they were everywhere), Big Y (out of Springfield), or Star?

Pete

Post by Pete » 21 Nov 2005 15:52

Yeah, I guess I was thinking about ones that aren't there anymore (though yes, I did include Shaw's).

Star never had a presence in Worcester that I remember. Stop & Shop, you're right, was there. They had a large store at Webster Square at 50 Mill St. at Park Ave. That space has now been subdivided into smaller stores.

Big Y did not enter the area until much later.

An interesting evolution I just noticed while in the area yesterday is that the old Iandoli's (later Shaw's, I think) at Webster Square is now Bob's, a regional clothing store (formerly ragtag Bob's Surplus) that has come to occupy much larger locations in recent years. The Shaw's has moved into the Zayre space across the lot, which was, in its time, much larger than most supermarkets.

Other observations, if anyone's interested:
  • Whitman's on Chandler Street is now the site of a Brooks Pharmacy, in the same building.
  • Big D on Mill Street sits vacant, its characteristic bold paint scheme only barely visible anymore. Lights peek out from between the plywood over the front. This store was relocated by new owners Price Chopper to Cambridge Street a mile or so east.
  • Cow's Farm, an independent on Park Ave., is now a strip mall, with a "Cow Farm" convenience store occupying one of the slots.
  • The former Finast on Chandler at the corner of Mill Street, later Price Rite, is CVS as it has been for some years.
  • The building which housed Economy Market, a small independent on Pleasant near Chandler, is, interestingly enough, the current corporate offices of Honey Farms, a local convenience store chain.

MassMan
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Re: Central Massachusetts

Post by MassMan » 11 Aug 2008 21:50

This particular post hasn't been touched in nearly 3 years but I'll go with it anyway although answering a "dead" thread probably isn't a good way to start my Groceteria message board career.

-Concerning the above-mentioned Shaw's/Webster Square in Worcester, Shaw's had the old Zayre's/Ames building torn down, built a new building, and then moved across the plaza into it. Bob's Stores did, indeed, move into the old Shaw's store but lasted maybe a year. They are gone and I'm not sure what is in there now.

Shaw's also dumped their gigantic location on Grafton Street in Worcester near Interstate 290. It opened around late 2004 and closed in October 2006. Location location location. In this case, bad location. Yes, right near the interstate but who travels an interstate to get to a grocery store. On top of that, I-290 was undergoing construction at the time and Shaw's didn't know at the time that that very exit would be closed for some time just as they were opening. Also, the neighborhood right around the store is full of 3-deckers and seems many people shopping there are ones who would walk over and buy just enough (or little enough) to comfortably carry home. You can't support a huge store (or any store) on that. This Grafton Street location still sits vacant nearly 2 years later.

-Shaw's used to have a location on Lincoln Street in Worcester (across from the old Lincoln Plaza which had a Big D) but they closed that back around the early 90s. But then they re-opened it (I vaguely recall a lease issue) in the same spot but as a smaller store. But it closed again not long after. I remember working in the same plaza around 1991 for a drugstore and someone came in one day and said that an armored car driver that had pulled up to Shaw's to make a pickup had been shot and seriously wounded. He later died.

Concerning other chains that previously had a Central Massachusetts presence:

-There used to a be a 3-store chain called Julio's. One location was in Shrewsbury at the corner of South St and Maple Ave. A credit union sits there now. Another location was in Northboro at the Northboro Shopping Center (site of a recent destructive fire---arson---that destroyed a portion of the strip mall). A Rocky's Ace Hardware now sits in that space. And the third location was in Westboro that also had a Julio's Liquor store. The liquor store is still there. Julio's stores were pretty small and existed long before the superstores.

-Big D was heavily present around the area until Price Chopper bought them. Currently, PC wants to replace their Shrewsbury store with a much larger store and has purchased the lot located at South Street and Route 9 where the small LalaJava coffee shop sits. The current Shrewsbury PC was previously a Big D. Long ago, before that, I seem to recall something called Food Warehouse in that location. I'm pretty sure my sister worked there back in the day as well. It was a no-frills type of store. And before FW, I THINK that location housed a King's Dept Store. But I would have been probably 6 or 8 years old back then and wouldn't have cared about such a thing.

-Victory Supermarkets had Central/northcentral Mass locations until Hannaford bought them back around 2005 or so. Now, of course, they are Hannaford stores.

-Edwards grocery stores were around as well until Shaw's or Stop&Shop took them over. The former Edwards in Shrewsbury became a Stoppy.

-Iandoli's was around way back when

-Even Spag's sold some groceries but they weren't a grocery store. Spag's was the precursor to the warehouse type of store (BJ's, etc).

That's about all I've got for now. Sorry for the lengthy first post. I enjoy the website.

NEGrocRep
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Re: Central Massachusetts

Post by NEGrocRep » 30 Oct 2008 22:19

There was an independent called Orlando's in the Worecester market at least through the mid 70's. Can't remember how many stores they had.

NEGrocRep
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Re: Central Massachusetts

Post by NEGrocRep » 30 Oct 2008 22:36

Price Rite is part of the Wakefern Food Corporation (Elizabeth, NJ) that also operates Shop Rite supemarkets. Price Rite is the discount banner for Wakefern. Unlike the Shop Rite stores, which are owned by individual owners (who can own anywhere from 1, 6, 12, 20, etc. ShopRite stores) as memeber of the WakefernFood Co-OP, Price Rite is owned collectively by Wakefern Co-Op. While it's run as a seperate entity in the Wakefern business model, the buyers purchase for both banners. It's a great setup for Wakefern as it gets them competitive in the deep discount segment of the business, and gives them an outlet for overstocks, discontinues, etc. from their warehouse.

MassMan
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Re: Central Massachusetts

Post by MassMan » 31 Oct 2008 23:53

NEGrocRep wrote:There was an independent called Orlando's in the Worecester market at least through the mid 70's. Can't remember how many stores they had.
I recall one in Shrewsbury across from Spag's and Frosty's. The building (since torn down and rebuilt) now houses several businesses. Orlando's Meat Shop was still located in the back of the building for many years.

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