Old Richmond Grocery Stores

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401 North 27th Street
Built c. 1812-1814

Believed to be the oldest surviving commercial building in Richmond, it was originally a grocery store.

Here are some photographs and notes regarding older grocery store locations in and around Richmond, Virginia. The years shown are the  references to the year that a location apperared in the Hill's City and Suburban directories and telephone directories.

A&P, 1932-1943, 2609 Midlothian Turnpike
Nothing left but the facade. Note the trees!

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Currently, I have over 675 addresses in my database of chain grocery locations in Richmond and the surrounding suburbs! Some are no doubt duplicates, and I'm sure I've missed others - I just found one I had missed today. While I sort through this mess I've created, I went ahead and posted six new Ukrop's pictures as well as the picture shown above of the oldest grocery building still standing in Richmond - doesn't seem to have ever been occupied by a chain store, though.
I've also began the process of "tightening up" the dates for the various locations. As I can determine more accurate opening and closing dates, I'll add them. Bear in mind that most of these dates are from city directories and can be off by a year (i.e. the 1981 directory was based on a canvass performed in 1980). I've also pretty much reached the limit of the easy access to city directories, but the only significant gaps I need to fill in are  1993-present, 1926-1931, 1916-1921, and pre-1915. Interesting how it's the oldest and newest stuff that's hardest to find.
2:52 pm est

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New pictures and text
I added around 20 new pictures and moved some stuff around. The new pics are spread through out the site (primarily in Safeway, Food Fair, A&P, and Colonial, but there are others), which I'm still trying to organize a bit better - bear with me!
6:49 pm est

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I've made some additions and clarifications to several picture captions and will have some new photos soon.
7:33 pm est

Monday, April 17, 2006

New pictures
New pictures of old A&P locations have been added to the "A&P" tab.
10:00 pm est

Corrections to Grove & Libbie
I've made corrections and added information to the Grove & Libbie page. The renumbering of Grove Avenue sometime after 1941 threw me for a loop...
5:06 pm est

Friday, April 14, 2006

What's all this, then?
I've been avoiding actually writing anything to this blog because I don't feel I have the time to keep up with it as I should, but I figure it's about time to post something to explain what this is all about.
I was doing some work-related research once upon a time and stumbled across http://www.groceteria.com/ website. This great website is devoted to supermarket history and architecture mainly from the 1920's to the 1970's and I highly recommend that you visit that site if you haven't done so already.
Anyway, I got to getting sort of nostalgic about going to the store when I was a kid and realizing that Colonial, Food Fair, Safeway, and A&P are all gone - if not entirely, at least from Richmond.
So, strictly as a pastime and out of curiousity, I decided to do sort of what David Gwynn of the Groceteria.com was doing for places like Charlotte and San Francisco, but about Richmond. First I developed a list of addresses of grocery store and supermarket locations, and then I started taking some pictures. Right now the address list contains over 500 entries and I know it's incomplete because I haven't even added much in the way of current or recent locations since I figure those are low-hanging fruit.
And, by the way, I'm only researching chain locations, like A&P, Safeway (Sanitary), Colonial (Pender's), Ukrop's, etc. I thought about trying to deal with all of the Mom and Pop and independent grocers, but there were well over 500 grocers listed in the 1941 city directory in Richmond, for example. What's been fascinating is to see how many current corner grocers in places like the Fan District have made my list because of a prior use of their location by one of the big chain operations.
The big thing left for me to do is to write The Big Story. Otherwise, all I've done is to amass a funky spreadsheet of trvial information and some equally funky pictures of buildings. In doing the research, I've been reading or rereading a lot of Richmond history, and when I get my act together, I hope to have something interesting to share.
Your questions or comments are welcome.
7:44 pm est

2006.06.01 | 2006.05.01 | 2006.04.01

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Thanks for looking. Check back for updates and hopefully better pictures!
  2006 David McGrann unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. this is a personal hobby site not authorized by, affiliated with, or endorsed by any grocery retailer or other entity.