Manitowoc & Two Rivers, WI chain grocery locations, 1942-present

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Manitowoc & Two Rivers, WI chain grocery locations, 1942-present

Post by Andrew T. » 19 May 2018 09:25

Another CSV file for your interest and amusement: Manitowoc and Two Rivers, WI.

I conducted this research in 2010, when I lived in the area and had a shred of enthusiasm about it. I originally arranged it in a different format, but I've put it in the "Groceteria format" so that David can use it.

The general grocery tale in Wisconsin over most of the last 70 years has been one of national and super-regional chains being replaced by local ones. National operated in Manitowoc and Two Rivers in the 1940s, but departed from the area about a decade before Loblaws bought the chain. Neither Kroger nor A&P survived to the end of the 1970s. Kroger bought a similarly-named local chain called Krambo in 1955, and promptly entered a period of naming indecision: Kroger stores were rebranded as Krambo, then a few years later all the Krambo stores were rebranded as Kroger! Confusing? Yes, but that's what makes supermarket research so interesting.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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Re: Manitowoc & Two Rivers, WI chain grocery locations, 1942-present

Post by Groceteria » 24 May 2018 20:06

Thanks to Andrew T., Manitowoc/Two Rivers has now been added as a page on Groceteria.com:

http://www.groceteria.com/place/us-wisconsin/manitowoc/

I was able to add a couple of years to the original because I'm a librarian with special powers.

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Re: Manitowoc & Two Rivers, WI chain grocery locations, 1942-present

Post by Andrew T. » 24 May 2018 23:10

Nicely done! I kick myself for not researching Madison, Wisconsin as well...but my heart wasn't in the city during most of the time I lived in it, plus their central library spent several years closed for renovation.
Groceteria wrote:I was able to add a couple of years to the original because I'm a librarian with special powers.
Ha ha! These are the special powers I'm trying to attain...

You've alerted me to the existence of two bygone local grocers named "Rheinhardt Mahnke" and "Pfeiffer's." I had them in my notes as "Reinhard Mahnke" and "Pfeifer's," but I don't have the directories in front of me to spell-check...
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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Re: Manitowoc & Two Rivers, WI chain grocery locations, 1942-present

Post by Groceteria » 25 May 2018 07:45

Andrew T. wrote:Ha ha! These are the special powers I'm trying to attain
As you might guess, “special powers“ basically means “consortial access to the Ancestry.com city directory collection.” It’s helpful in many cases, though not nearly as helpful as you might assume. Probably 85% of them don’t extend past 1963, and the directories for most large cities are incomplete (e.g. only one of two microfilm reels was scanned).

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Re: Manitowoc & Two Rivers, WI chain grocery locations, 1942-present

Post by Andrew T. » 02 Jun 2018 17:36

When you fleshed out the pre-1945 listings, it looks like you were confused by 1120 Washington Street...which apparently went from A&P to National and back to A&P again through the course of the 1930s.

I was confused myself, so I checked the local newspaper archives (which I still have access to) to see if they could put things into focus. Well, I could find no mention of A&P being at this address in the 1920s or early 1930s. National indeed opened on 12 July 1935...but they don't seem to have lasted long, and in 1936 they were taking out ads to sell off the fixtures! A&P opened 16 November 1939, and stayed there until 1971.
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"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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Re: Manitowoc & Two Rivers, WI chain grocery locations, 1942-present

Post by Groceteria » 03 Jun 2018 10:25

If I had to make a guess, it would be that A&P maybe had a small store at that location earlier in a building that National took over and that was torn down to build the A&P supermarket that opened in 1939. I tried to look it up in the county property tax map but (unless I'm missing something) the online parcel records for Manitowoc don't list construction dates.

It's possible, of course, that National built the new store and A&P took it over as well.

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Re: Manitowoc & Two Rivers, WI chain grocery locations, 1942-present

Post by Andrew T. » 03 Jun 2018 12:23

Groceteria wrote:I tried to look it up in the county property tax map but (unless I'm missing something) the online parcel records for Manitowoc don't list construction dates.
IIRC from the times when I lived there, the Manitowoc assessor records construction dates for residential buildings only. Every city does their own thing there.
Groceteria wrote:If I had to make a guess, it would be that A&P maybe had a small store at that location earlier in a building that National took over and that was torn down to build the A&P supermarket that opened in 1939.
After more extensive searching, I found 1922-29 references to an A&P at 1118 Washington Street (not 1120).

Oh, and there's more! In a 1936 ad, National described its store as being "next to Kadow's Market." Where was the Kadow Market, which coexisted with both National and the '20s A&P? 1118 Washington Street, in the Kadow Building. (You know what else was at 1118 Washington Street? The Mikadow Theatre. Mi-Kadow, get it?) Then, there's this:
The Herald-Times, 11 July 1935 wrote:Manitowoc will witness the acquisition of a new food store company, the National Tea company, which will open a place at 1120 Washington street in the Kadow building, the site recently vacated by one of the A & P stores.
Meanwhile, from 1939, I found a column containing this quotation (emphasis mine):
The Herald-Times, 16 November 1939 wrote:The New A & P Self-Service Super Market has opened in a new building at 1120 Washington street.
So, there you have it. A&P had a small, pre-supermarket store at 1118 Washington alongside Kadow's Market in the Kadow Building. This store was then reoccupied by National, who incremented the number by two. Then National left, a new building was constructed next to the Kadow Building (inheriting the same number), and A&P opened up a supermarket inside!

The A&P store now houses a coffee shop, while the Kadow Building next door was rebuilt following a 1950s fire and still houses a (second-run) cinema.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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Re: Manitowoc & Two Rivers, WI chain grocery locations, 1942-present

Post by Andrew T. » 05 Jun 2018 00:12

There was another discrepancy I was unclear about: In 1956, a Piggly Wiggly store was listed at 1439 N 8th St. By 1960, the address had shifted to 1339 N 8th St. Had the address been renumbered, or had they closed one store and opened another one a block away (as grocers often did in those times)? I didn't know.
pigwig.jpg
Fortunately, the grand opening ad for this store from May 25, 1954 contained a small map which proved that the number had moved, not the store! This area of the city was not yet well developed in the 1950s, so the address numbers hadn't yet "solidified"...and in fact, the ad copes with this by referring to cross streets alone.

This store still exists on the same site, and is still a Piggly Wiggly today after 64 years and counting...although the building has been expanded, renovated, expanded and renovated so many times over that it's difficult to say if any original bits survive.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
Andrew Turnbull

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