Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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Ephrata1966
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Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by Ephrata1966 » 18 Jul 2010 19:49

I know, I am in a "posting mood" today!

Is it true that Penn Fruit only had one store each in NJ and DE? The only one in NJ I know of was in Audubon. It had a slight "quonset hut" design. This store was one of two "flagship" Penn Fruits built in 1955. The other was in Clifton Heights, PA. Across from a Centennial A&P, the Audubon store has been an Acme from 1979 to this day. There also is an Audubon in Pennsylvania close by.

There was one Penn Fruit in Wilmington, DE that I know of. It was on Philadelphia Pike and is now a Forman Mills clothing outlet. This store had to have been something between the two. Google Maps for a while had street view really close up to this store. That apparently was removed. Anyway, this is one of four former Penn Fruits I know of with the original 1955? light fixtures intact.

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by werememberretail » 19 Jul 2010 02:16

Ephrata1966 wrote:I know, I am in a "posting mood" today!

Is it true that Penn Fruit only had one store each in NJ and DE? The only one in NJ I know of was in Audubon. It had a slight "quonset hut" design. This store was one of two "flagship" Penn Fruits built in 1955. The other was in Clifton Heights, PA. Across from a Centennial A&P, the Audubon store has been an Acme from 1979 to this day. There also is an Audubon in Pennsylvania close by.

There was one Penn Fruit in Wilmington, DE that I know of. It was on Philadelphia Pike and is now a Forman Mills clothing outlet. This store had to have been something between the two. Google Maps for a while had street view really close up to this store. That apparently was removed. Anyway, this is one of four former Penn Fruits I know of with the original 1955? light fixtures intact.
Nope The Garden State had many Penn Fruits. a lot of them were Dale's Food Centers later ones were of their Consumers Warehouse Markets chain, the format that mad them hugely successful, then killed them. there were stores in Cherry Hill Willlingboro Lawrenceville, Bergen, the first Consumers store in Pennsauken, and a few more

Ephrata1966
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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by Ephrata1966 » 19 Jul 2010 20:43

But did any of those stores have their trademark roof?

There was, however, a Food Fair in Stratford, NJ with a very similar design to Penn Fruit. I mistook it for a Penn Fruit at first. Later it was a Phar-Mor, and is now a Goodwill store.

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by werememberretail » 19 Jul 2010 22:49

Ephrata1966 wrote:But did any of those stores have their trademark roof?

There was, however, a Food Fair in Stratford, NJ with a very similar design to Penn Fruit. I mistook it for a Penn Fruit at first. Later it was a Phar-Mor, and is now a Goodwill store.
Lawrenceville and Bergen had the famous roof. Cherry Hill had two stores the first did not have the roof. that became a Shop n Bag later in its life. and if I'm not mistaken that store was the first SNB owned by the Ravitz family which went on to own 5 stores that later became Shoprites. The Pennsauken Consumers Warehouse was an old bowling alley. There was also a Dales in Vineland NJ dunno if it had the roof or not.
As for The Stratford Food Fair/Pantry Pride I wonder what it became exactly after that (but before Pharmor, as Food Fair left Philly in 1979 and Pharmor was not founded until 1982 and did not get into the Philly market until 1988-89 or so) some say it was an Acme before Phar Mor which makes some sense as Acme bought some of the bigger (30,000+ square ft.) Pantry Pride stores

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by Ephrata1966 » 19 Jul 2010 23:30

That makes sense, but do you remember where you heard it was an Acme? Could it possibly have been a Thriftway? And are you sure Phar-Mor was not here until when you say?

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by maynesG » 20 Jul 2010 05:15

Hi, PenFruit had at least two stores that I am aware of as a Kid in Bergen county, Paramus and River Edge. I am sure that there where others in North Jersey because it caused a bit of a stir when they closed in the local grocery community with a few of thier former employees winding up with Finast. The two stores became Honey Dew Markets and then Shop Rites.

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by werememberretail » 20 Jul 2010 10:04

Ephrata1966 wrote:That makes sense, but do you remember where you heard it was an Acme? Could it possibly have been a Thriftway? And are you sure Phar-Mor was not here until when you say?
It's just an assumption, as I am not from the area but a couple of posters on the Flickr website mentioned that other food stores followed Pantry Pride in this location and one brought up Acme. Secondly there was an 50's era Acme Store in Stratford that closed around the same time as the Pantry Pride did and Acme did, in the 1970s have a habit of moving from older stores to larger stores vacated by competitors. (the former Clovermarkets in Cherry Hill NJ and Morrisville PA, come to mind, both relocating from A-Frames)
of course you could be right it could have been a Thriftway (as it does look like a twin of the Pennfruit/Thriftway on Frankford Ave. in Philadelphia) or some other Grocery store, (do you remember it being another food store?)

I can confirm that Pharmor was founded in 1982
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phar-Mor
and if Wikipedia is not a reliable enough source.

here's more proof.
http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company- ... story.html

one of Pharmor's first stores in Philadelphia was in Franklin Mills Mall and they oppened in 1988

did more research. the Stratford Pharmor was actually a RXPlace (then owned By Woolworth, later merged with Pharm House, then sold to Pharmor) these stores were started in the mid 1980s

Ephrata1966
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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by Ephrata1966 » 20 Jul 2010 19:05

I forgot there was a Penn Fruit in Clifton, NJ that became a Grand Union, then Stop & Shop. The whole shopping center was just demolished for a Super Stop & Shop. Ahold seems to do this a lot now, as both Giant chains have done the same thing. I see a trend of demolition involved, and new stores facing sideways. There was also a Penn Fruit/ShopRite in Paramus which is now empty.

As for Stratford, the period from 1978 to 1984 or so is not very long. But it does straddle two different eras. And back when Pantry Pride closed, the retail market was less saturated. Therefore the property would have gone fast. 1978-1982 would be nothing for a wait though.

Here is another mystery: The former Bradlees in this center still has the Jefferson Ward look. That implies it definitely started as a Two Guys. But I hear it was a J.M. Fields. I am not sure if the J.M. Fields stores became Jefferson Ward later or just Bradlees. Most became Kmart for that matter. It wouldn't really make sense for Jefferson Ward to remodel the Two Guys stores so much, but not J.M. Fields at all. Unless, however, the Two Guys were often much older. Food Fair did own J.M. Fields. I dispute the claim this was a J.M. Fields for a few reasons though. The Food Fair opened in 1959. Not until 1961 did they acquire J.M. Fields. Most of these "combination stores" opened even later. And they were usually connected, with a walkway in between.

Even though Two Guys often had a grocery section, many of them were next to supermarkets. One of my nearest Two Guys (now ironically a Giant) was next to a Centennial A&P, and nothing else. Another had a Penn Fruit in the parking lot. In fact, I think there was a Pathmark/Rickel almost next door too. That may have been built around the time both Penn Fruit and Two Guys closed though.

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by MikeRa » 21 Jul 2010 03:25

Ephrata1966 wrote:Here is another mystery: The former Bradlees in this center still has the Jefferson Ward look. That implies it definitely started as a Two Guys. But I hear it was a J.M. Fields. I am not sure if the J.M. Fields stores became Jefferson Ward later or just Bradlees. Most became Kmart for that matter. It wouldn't really make sense for Jefferson Ward to remodel the Two Guys stores so much, but not J.M. Fields at all. Unless, however, the Two Guys were often much older. Food Fair did own J.M. Fields. I dispute the claim this was a J.M. Fields for a few reasons though. The Food Fair opened in 1959. Not until 1961 did they acquire J.M. Fields. Most of these "combination stores" opened even later. And they were usually connected, with a walkway in between.

Even though Two Guys often had a grocery section, many of them were next to supermarkets. One of my nearest Two Guys (now ironically a Giant) was next to a Centennial A&P, and nothing else. Another had a Penn Fruit in the parking lot. In fact, I think there was a Pathmark/Rickel almost next door too. That may have been built around the time both Penn Fruit and Two Guys closed though.
The JM Fields in Strattford was one of the first Jefferson Ward stores in the Philly area, as confirmed in this flickr photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42444189@N04/4011442738/
This store was built many years after the Food Fair store opened.

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by maynesG » 21 Jul 2010 17:35

Hi, The former Glass Brothers Shop Rite outside of the Bergen Mall in Paramus New Jersey I believe has been demolished or is about to be.
The store in River Edge is no longer a Shop Rite and has been converted to other uses. It never had the barrel roof that Penn Fruit was famous for.

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by MikeRa » 21 Jul 2010 17:49

maynesG wrote:Hi, The former Glass Brothers Shop Rite outside of the Bergen Mall in Paramus New Jersey I believe has been demolished or is about to be.
The store in River Edge is no longer a Shop Rite and has been converted to other uses. It never had the barrel roof that Penn Fruit was famous for.
The Penn Fruit that was at both Fairless Hills Shopping Center (since demolished and replaced by Giant [PA] and a now-closed Wal-Mart) and at Levittown Shopping Center (was replaced by Thriftway, since demolished and replaced by a Super Walmart, which opened the day after the Fairless Hills Wal Mart store closed)

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by werememberretail » 22 Jul 2010 23:47

MikeRa wrote:
maynesG wrote:Hi, The former Glass Brothers Shop Rite outside of the Bergen Mall in Paramus New Jersey I believe has been demolished or is about to be.
The store in River Edge is no longer a Shop Rite and has been converted to other uses. It never had the barrel roof that Penn Fruit was famous for.
The Penn Fruit that was at both Fairless Hills Shopping Center (since demolished and replaced by Giant [PA] and a now-closed Wal-Mart) and at Levittown Shopping Center (was replaced by Thriftway, since demolished and replaced by a Super Walmart, which opened the day after the Fairless Hills Wal Mart store closed)
Ironically the Penn Fruit at fairless Hills was briefly a Thriftway during the 70s.
The Penn Fruit at Levittown towards the end was briefly rebannered Pantry Pride before Food Fair left and after Thriftway it spent a decade as "Super Food Rite" part of the Food Rite group of indys supplied by Richfood/Supervalu. it closed sometime after 2002 much of the mall lay in ruins, the owners of the property had kept the site in poor condition untill securing deals with Home Depot and Walmart.

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by MikeRa » 29 Jul 2010 21:20

werememberretail wrote:
MikeRa wrote:
maynesG wrote:Hi, The former Glass Brothers Shop Rite outside of the Bergen Mall in Paramus New Jersey I believe has been demolished or is about to be.
The store in River Edge is no longer a Shop Rite and has been converted to other uses. It never had the barrel roof that Penn Fruit was famous for.
The Penn Fruit that was at both Fairless Hills Shopping Center (since demolished and replaced by Giant [PA] and a now-closed Wal-Mart) and at Levittown Shopping Center (was replaced by Thriftway, since demolished and replaced by a Super Walmart, which opened the day after the Fairless Hills Wal Mart store closed)
Ironically the Penn Fruit at fairless Hills was briefly a Thriftway during the 70s.
The Penn Fruit at Levittown towards the end was briefly rebannered Pantry Pride before Food Fair left and after Thriftway it spent a decade as "Super Food Rite" part of the Food Rite group of indys supplied by Richfood/Supervalu. it closed sometime after 2002 much of the mall lay in ruins, the owners of the property had kept the site in poor condition untill securing deals with Home Depot and Walmart.
If I remember correctly, the Food Fair was for many years a big hole in the ground, while the Penn Fruit/Pantry Pride/Thriftway/Super Food Rite thrived as a supermarket.

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Re: Penn Fruit outside Pennsylvania

Post by Gary21228 » 14 Dec 2010 22:50

Penn Fruit also had stores in Baltimore. I'm not sure exactly how many stores they had here, but at least 3 are still standing: Beechfield Ave. (now a church); Glen Burnie (for many years now the La Fontaine Bleu banquet facility - photos appear on this website) and Catonsville/Pike Park Plaza (now subdivided into other stores).

Beechfield and Glen Burnie were arch-roof stores, Beechfield being a free-standing unit and Glen Burnie anchoring a strip center. Catonsville was built as part of a strip center and adjacent to what was originally a Topps discount store (also now subdivided). I believe that Catonsville may have been a Dale's at one point and then went through several incarnations as an independent store before being subdivided.

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