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What grocery stores did your family shop at growing up?

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True story: My first word was "Kroger". Some of my most vivid memories growing up were from going with my family to the grocery store. I'm not sure why that was. I think because going to the grocery store is such an everyday part of American life that transcends socioeconomic status. Young, old, rich, poor, city, country, we've all been to the grocery store at some point. It also transcends time. We tend to go grocery shopping with our parents when we're young, and so many "nostalgic" things came from the grocery store. Cereal, Ecto Cooler, magazines, 24-hour photo, etc.

What grocery stores did your family shop at growing up? Do you have any grocery store memories worth sharing?

When I was growing up, stopping at the grocery store seemed like an everyday thing. We went to:

 

Michigan

  • KROGER
  • MEIJER
  • PERRY DRUGS

 

South Carolina

  • PIGGLY WIGGLY
  • BI-LO
  • BRUNO'S
  • HARRIS-TEETER

 

Florida

  • PUBLIX

 

vintage-grocery-stores-usa-old-pictures-

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My hometown had a few grocery stores that were locally owned and operated.  The local Wal-Mart took one side of a building while Consumers took the other side.  My uncle worked at Hudson's all his adult life.  Almost every week he was bringing home food close to being out dated but made for great meals.  Then there is Edwards which was the most expensive in town.

Consumers is now Country Mart, Hudson's and Edwards are still there.  Aldi was added after I moved away.  Hudson's still had that chicken machine that laid eggs with prizes inside.  If you got a golden egg you got an expensive prize.  I got a $20 gift certificate to the store once.  I got something from the deli because their food at the time was better than any other place in town, a drink, and a slice of cake for desert.  I was 16 and had a couple of quarters and thought what the heck.  Only time I ever got a gold egg out of that thing.

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I'm from Puerto Rico.  We went to two supermarkets:  Jaime and Pueblo.  Jaime was an independently owned supermarket and it was named after the owner, who's first name was Jaime.  Pueblo is a chain that still exists today. 

Edited by TrekMD

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When I lived in Saint Paul, MN, we shopped at a chain called Country Club. It lasted only until the 1980s or 1990s. Then, they folded. There was another chain called Applebaum. It later became Rainbow Foods. Then, Robert Mariano got a hold of it and ran it to the ground. He owned Roundy's in Wisconsin. They used to double and quadruple the amount of coupons you had to get even better deals on sales. Actually, when Mariano closed Rainbow, it was still profitable. Imagine that. Stupid financial move, IMHO.

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When I lived in Indiana for two years, we went to Tysen's (a local IGA), Jewel, and Meijer. We even went to Sam's Club for a while. My girlfriend's parents had a membership there, and we were guests. That was around 2004-06. But, I am glad I am back in Minnesota. It has better fishing up here. :)

Edited by DegasElite

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My original grocery store was a local chain called "Fred Meyer".  We all called it "Freddie's".  They eventually spread out to several states here in the northwest part of the country.  But once the founder, Mr Meyer, died in the 80's, the chain was sold to Kroger.  The stores are still branded as Fred Meyer here. 

And now we call it "Freddie Kroger".

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I can remember my childhood Freddie's vividly.  The green concrete floor, white walls.  I remember playing Asteroids while my dad was in line for groceries.  I remember walking there with my brother to buy Mattel Basketball (the old LED handheld).  I bought my first digital watch there.  And on and on. 

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I've lived in Texas my whole life.  My childhood was in "East Texas"...  if you look at a map of Texas, I was about half way between Dallas and Shreveport, LA.  Anyway...

The grocery stores I remember...

In our little town, there was an independent grocery store called Food Fair.  My best friend's first job was there.  Also, during the grand opening, my dad won a door prize of a new Atari 2600 and some games.  We already had a 2600 so he just let me pick one of the games to keep.  I chose Yars Revenge.

In the next closest town, I remember two different ones we went to...  Piggly Wiggly and Safeway.  I remember my mom and grandmother having those green stamps... C&H I think they were...  they would collect them in little books and turn them in at the Piggly Wiggly for... something... discounts?  Free stuff?  I don't know what they were for.  lol  And at Safeway, I remember playing some of my first arcade games.  They had Pac Man and Popeye.

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When I was growing up, there was a supermarket in the 1970s and 1980s called Country Club. It was a nice store that had everything a supermarket would have. My family would shop there because it was the closest supermarket in our part of Saint Paul, Minnesota. They later went belly-up and became no more. We also had Red Owl, Knowlan's, SuperValu, Applebaum's, Cub, Rainbow Foods, Lund's, Byerly's, Kowalski's Market, et cetera. We always as kids exclusively went to Country Club. It was near the arcades at Rack and Cue Billiards and the Minnehaha Lanes. The Minnehaha Lanes were a bowling alley that had a small arcade, and I loved the arcades. Too bad that they demolished it.

Ah, those were the good old days. :O)

There was even a video store that pioneered renting A2600 games to people in that mall. It no longer exists either. It's too bad. That video store was ahead of its time then.

 

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Well I've pretty much lived in the same place my entire life. But in that time I've seen a few different chains of grocery stores come and go. 

When I was very young, we had a store called Sipes and my mother seemed to favor that store. It closed up and was turned into a May's Drugstore or something by the late 80s. But we also had a number of Safeway's. We also had Skagg's Alpha Beta along with GIANT and likely a few independants. 

Then in the 90s, this all began to change drastically! It started with all the Safeway's basically shuttering overnight. In their place opened up Homeland. I later found when working at Homeland, that it was in fact...Safeway but they changed their name as they felt Homeland fit this part of the world better or something. I just know my paychecks were on Safeway letterhead with the Safeway corporate offices listed on them. Skagg's changed their name to Skagg's Albertson, and then eventually to just Albertson's. 

GIANT and IGA disappeared completely from here and only existed in rural towns at that point. In their place we had the rise of Price Mart, Buy 4 Less, and the one independent in the area that was starting to expand a bunch...known as Reasor's Foods.

Then by the late 90s and into the 2000s, all the Albertson's closed down and for a brief time became Food Pyramids. Reasor's eventually bought out and acquired all the Price Marts converting their stores into Reasor's and doubling their empire pretty much over night. Homeland which used to have about 40 stores in the area...completely disappeared and their buildings either being raised for different structures, or converted into Wal-Greens which was now on a huge rise. 

Today, we pretty much only have Reasor's (Still has the most grocery stores in the area), Wal-Mart super centers and their neighborhood markets, Super Targets, and... that is pretty much it. I'm sure we might have some smaller independents but they don't exist in the main city with the exception of Reasor's. My wife gets most of our stuff from the closest Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market but we try and get our meat from one of the local butchers. I've heard of Kroger, Publix, and others but those stores never existed that I can remember where I live and they certainly don't exist here currently. 

I was forgetting that we do have a few Aldi's that have sprung up but we don't personally shop them. We also have two Wholesale Food Markets but they are in the hipster part of the city so again...not our bag. We also have an independant that alongside Reasor's has been here a long time and used to have quite a few stores. They were called Warehouse Market and had been around since the 60s but as the last family member of the company decided it was time to move on, they were bought out and now known as Cox Savers. But most of them are on the other side of town and not near where I live so again for us it mainly the choice of the Super Target, Wal-Mart, or Reasor's. Reasor's is the nicest of the bunch but they are priced to match so we rarely go into the one just a mile up the road unless there is something we need and they are the only ones to carry it. 

 

Edited by CrossBow

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I grew up in the Chicago area. The first grocery store I remember was called Eagle -- not related to the Giant Eagle chain, btw. I think that chain closed up in the early 2000s...shame because the carried Hershey's raspberry chocolate chips -- those things are amazing...can't get those any more. 😞 When I was a wee tot my mom's grocery shopping was always done on a Wednesday. We'd go to the local Eagle store, and then next door to Econo Drugs. Sometimes we'd go to a very tiny A&P. (My last memory of that A&P was playing a game of Pac-Man there circa 1982.)

Eventually a Kroger opened up in town. My biggest memories of that store involved video games -- they always had two arcade cabs up front by the entrance. I'd plead with my parents for a quarter (a few times it actually worked!). But I would hang out in front and watch other people play. I think their first cabs were Crazy Kong (yup, Crazy Kong -- in the US!) and a Deep Scan / Head On II twofer. They eventually got a Pac-Man cabinet that I'm pretty sure was counterfeit -- wasn't the Bally/Midway cabinet but a custom cabinet with a hand-painted sign that didn't resemble the actual marquis. I seem to remember they also would eventually have Popeye, Ms. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, and Pac-Man Plus, rotated in and out over the following year or two. Kroger also had a video rental service, and I think for a time records. We moved away from that place in 1986. Weird thing is I was back there in 2006 visiting a friend, and I wanted to stop in at Kroger to get a drink or something...and I swear to God, it looked EXACTLY the same as I last saw it, minus the arcade games and video rentals. NOTHING had changed. It was a weird time capsule.

There used to be a chain called Dominick's in the Chicago area. They closed down a few years ago. I think when they first opened they had an Italian focus, but the eventually became just another grocery store. Safeway bought them out. What's cool though is because of that, when I visit California I can actually use my old Dominick's loyalty card at Safeway. 🙂
 

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I lived a couple of years in Bellevue, NE (suburb of Omaha) and as I was writing that I don't remember the grocery we went to, the name Hinky Dinky pops in my brain -- I haven't thought of that name for decades. The brain is a mysterious thing. In any case, this was in the late 70s.

I lived for six months around Baltimore, MD but don't remember anything.

In Seattle, we mostly went to Lucky (or Lucky's). When we moved the suburbs north of Seattle in the mid-80s, we shopped at Haggen's, a local chain, which eventually gave way to Top Foods. And then there's the ubiquitous Safeway.

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I grew up in the far north suburbs of the Twin Cities.  Our hometown grocery store was Soderquist's Market.  Otherwise we would go to Rainbow Foods for bigger shopping trips (the chain shut down in 2012 or so) or Cub Foods (They are the big local chain owned by Supervalue)

Occasionally we would go to a Red Owl, which I don't remember much about, but the logo was awesome (way too cool for a grocery store).  Fortunately, Cub Foods started selling Red Owl branded stuff (Since Supervalue also owned Red Owl) so I got this bag!

IMG_20200817_070541157.jpg

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